A L I E N  Covenant

So let’s talk about Sir Ridley Scott and his upcoming A L I E N COVENANT , coming out in ITALY 11 MAY 2017, in the previous 2 movies ALIEN and PROMETHEUS we have seen TWO spacecrafts named Juggernaut , a massive spacecrafts constructed by the Engineers( royal pricks of high-bred origins ),for whom know the saga that spaceships are derelicts, one on the moon LV426(ALIEN) and the other in LV233(Prometheus),both are planetoids(moons) of Zeta2 Reticuli IV system ; however , Now this time alien COVENANT show a third derelict spacecraft in to a another unknown terr-alike planet(PLANET 4),smashed in to a wood and with this premise, hoping not only a pilot’s issues, i’m sure it will be A remarkable Pandora’s vase in that amazing SCOTT’s filmic universe.

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For who’s looking for other clues about this feature I can say most locations are from New ZeAland ; the cinematography is by Darius Wolski ASC (Prometheus) COVERED WITH ARRI ALEXA XT WITH PANAVISION LENSES(Probably ANAMORPHIC C Series or SOMETHING OF ACTUAL)  and some aerial shoots been covered with RED EPIC and THE HYDRA AERIAL CAMERA system

the TERRIFIC soundtrack is composed by jed kurzel(Macbeth-BABADOOK) and will BE released on Milan Records LP CD AND DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

Composed by JED KURZEL(1976, Australian composer , singer) ALIEN COVENANT SOUNDTRACK is integrating some original elements from JERRY GOLDSMITH’s A L I E N (check 02 The Covenant-05 Sail -06 Planet 4/Main Theme – 08 Wheat Field – 16 Face Hugger and 22 Alien Covenant Theme ) and something of really new mixing electronic with classical music that reach its best in the outstanding tracks 01 Incubation, 15 Command Override , 17 Chest Burster(BEAUTIFUL TRACK FIT IN TO A DISTURBING SCENE) ; while the top notch is the tracks 19 CARGO LIFT – 21 Terraforming Bay thanks to a sort of percussions that really enanched the scene and bring me to something structured and listen around James Newton Howard’s Collateral(Vincent hops train). THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING SCORE,A MUST AND SHOULD NEVER LACK TO ANY SOUNDTRACK COLLECTOR AND LOVER OF THIS MOVIE.

Covenant LP

No Animals Were Harmed ”®

best experienced with ALIEN LEAGUE FONTS

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ALIEN COVENANT could be poorly named Alien 2017,loosing all the philosophical meaning of the word covenant and later paradise lost ,so i like think about that as upgraded new begin and as      a l i e n  lover I can’t notice the many homages and reference to 1979 FILM , including The T E R R I F I C Soundtrack by Jed Kurzel that has in ITs Musical DNA many Jerry Goldsmith sounds and score.In that outstanding work of art the message is clear this is a new movie about fear of Unknown, fear to face our fears , about choices and mistakes.The feeling of dread and that something of tremendous is coming is constant , those features fit and set in all the acts of the story ,well written  directed and act (outstanding Fassbender and Waterstone)also supported by a state of art cinematography , production design , visual and special effects; this level of realism and beauty in my view was never reached in any other films of the saga(Alien and Prometheus except Which this film is the sequel ). Paying attention to details help  making the differences in suspense terms how could be try to close an automatic door in front a bloodthirsty evil creature but our feet accidentally  is blocking that function or run escaping from something and slipping over blood stains. Covenant is also a magnificent walk in the silence of the depth space but also a close up of acoustic meatus attacked by the black goo.A film of spaces there are introspective view Vs. the vastness of breath taking panorama or unsettling wastelands,with this visual synergy the feeling of being hunted make its play and leave its punch in the stomach . I saw this film twice in 24 hours and I’m still thinking about what i saw,so RIDLEY SCOTT’s Alien Covenant is working and I can’t wait for the next step in the story.




Dante goes Hercules


Some great news from Showbiz  Dante Spinotti is checking venues and locations in Budapest for next Brett Ratner’s project produced by MGM – Paramount Hercules The film is going to be directed by Brett Ratner and co-produced by Peter Berg (director of Hancock and Battleship).Meanwhile he was so willing and gracius to answers me about the world of cinematography,I love this world ,this is not an insert coin passion, I spent many time on readings over American Cinematographer and  watching movies I matured a sort of curiosity, so we have a good chat about photochemical past era(finally clarify use of daylies) and some words about the new one the digital era ,the use some Panavison cameras and Lenses( expecially”rehoused” versions of Zeiss or Cooke lenses) , Panavision I guess the greatest supporting company for your ideas;last we also talk about very intresting made in germany anamorphic Hawk Lenses . It was for me and my profanity a moving call,The size of this man is equal to the huge emotions in producing great images for every great flick he covered. Grazie Dante you deserve a bottle of Gattinara for the Warp Party!



eventwallpBritish cinematographer Adrian Biddle was addicted to old school turning to be one of first of the new school embracing the new lighting techniques;he started his career on 1970 as clapper/loader at Ridley Scott associates and became DOP in around 1980 working for TV Commercials where earned British Designer and Art Director Guild Award for outstanding Cinematography.adrian

For his records as swimmer on the Kent County Team and the meet with Gil Woxholt (underwater cinematographer than trainer) ,skipping all the rules of that times ,he broke on cinema industryat the age of 16,as underwater cinematographer for On Her Majesty ‘s Secret Service then for Captain Nemo and the Underwater City.

He was focus puller for Ridley Scott’s the Duellist and Alien ; James Cameron on 1986 hired him to photograph the sequel Aliens;.Biddle had unique ability to work at a very wide aperture ,dealing with film emulsion while maintaining essential details elsewhere, that were great skills for obtain perfect negative every time.

In to 1997 director Paul Anderson involved him in to the production of the Gothic Space horror Event Horizon,production that filled most of seven sound stage at England’s Pinewood Studios,including vast 007 Stage.

This Outstanding techno medieval set design story,was shot entirely with Kodak Vision 500 asa 5279,this emulsion get better black than 5245 or 5296 ”5279 can be very forgiving in the dark and in Anamorphic I’d rather go for a bit more F stop to bring the quality up and get finer grain”said Biddle.

One of more intresting shot’s technique in Event Horizon is named Contra Zoom too or Trombone shot.This near prefect execution is when William Weir (Sam Neil ) is in the Ducts of the ship looking and checking for a medieval problem named short circuit and suddenly the subject increase removed part of their environment. cortocircuito

That was one some very fluid,sweeping lovely camera moves in this oddly-shaped sets.

Having photographed so many genre films the cinematographer concedes the devising a unique approach can be difficult:” a lot of it is done in conjunction with the director and production designer .On Event Horizon I was fortunate to be working with a Director like Paul Anderson and a production designer like Joseph Bennet (Hardware,Jude)They Really have a feel for these things .We went for more of a gothic approach inside the Event Horizon ship which has all of these crosses and objects of that nature within it.”


Beyond this Hybrid production design ,Biddle and Anderson struck upon the idea of using colored gels ,a tactic not typically employed in films with such bilious subject matter.In moment of maniacal hysteria ,for example, the spaceship’s interior seems to come to life as a bloodlike substance courses from the walls.Notes Biddle,”I used some sepia brown coming up from the floor to make viewers uncomfortable on the ship,as weel as flashes of red.I also used a lot of green.

Cinematographers generally shy away from green ,because it’s not very pleasant ,but on Event Horizon I used gels to produce that nasty ,horrible green you get from fluorescent when theyare not corrected(for color temperature).If you are in an underground car park the fluorescents make you feel uncomfortable. I was going for that kind of an effect, to convey the idea that something is not very good is lurking in the ship”.

Given Biddle’s Resumè, he’s become something of an specialist shooting scene involving special Effects. Event Horizon ,under the duo of supervisors Richard Yuricich ASC and Stuart McAra (Visual effects producer) demand 250 plus effect shots, involving models in severe scales under motion control (by dop David K.Stewart ASC),last but not the least involving CG experts at CINESITE London and Computer Film Company CFC

Biddle adds”I don’t think there’s anything too difficult about working with effects,because in the end,you don’t want an effect to look like an effect.I think the way to approach it is as if it’s not an effects shot. Although the elements you film may be complicated ,in the end ,they’re only going to go into a shot that is meant to look natural”. Biddle Maintains that digital technology actually freed up his cinematography on the effects-driven Event Horizon,”expecially with shots involving blue and green screen,which we did quite often.We had a lot of wire-work whenever we had characters who went out into zero-gravity of space,so I was happy about the prospect if digital wire removal.We shot both blue- and green- screen depending on what the predominant color of the light was.If it was green ,we use blue screen and vice-versa”.


burnehThe Appearance of the “Burning Man”,a lucid sins-nightmare, is one of special effect shot that deserve a note,Instead of conceiving this grisly vision with an actor in a fire suit Yuricich and Biddle combined several different elements.”We did several passes on the same set,”Biddle Says.”sometimes we used motion control.I shot some of that,but we also had a bit of a second unit.The Burning Man involved a lot of different effect elements. To Get the Proper color saturation and not let it blow out, we shot the fire at f8 or f11.We had to lighten up a bit ,but it’s a really amazing composite”

Event Horizon by Adrian Biddle BSC, who sadly has died of heart attack aged 53 on 7 December 2005; was shot on Panaflex Camera and Panavision Anamorphic Lenses ,color by Rank Laboratories.


Article written Inspired by

UNEARTHLY TERRORS by Ron Magid American Cinematographer VOL 78 N.8


ALEX THOMSON B.S.C. Caretaker of Vision

The Keep Set, Alex Thomson standing on right

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Sir Alex Thomson,born in London UK 12 jan 1929, was President of the BSC in 1981/1982,Golden (but desaturated to shining Silver) years where he recived an Academy Award Nomination for John Boorman’s Excalibur(1981) and later won the BSC award for best cinematography with Ridley Scott’s Legend(1985) All stared on 1946 at the now-defunct Denham studios ,began work as Clapper boy for So Well Remembered shoot by Freddie Young,then later he stayed at Denham under the aegis of some of best cinematographers in the industry until 1951,then moved at camera dept. of Technicolor ltd. on 3-strip cameras working on such diverse films as Richard III with Laurence Oliver acting and Directing. He Left Technicolor when 3-strip became obsolete and began as a freelance camera operator,forming a long association with the then cinematographer and now respected director Nicolas Roeg,which he earned a BSC Award with Eureka. His first film as Director of Photography was Clive Donner’s Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,he went on photograph another 53 pictures,among them Cimino’s Year of the Dragon,Fincher’s Alien3 & Harlin’s Cliffhanger until his retirement on 2001. On 1983 was called by Michael Mann on Shepperton Studios and on locations in Llechwedd & Llanberis’s  Gwynedd North Wales’s slate quarry for the production of supernatural gothic thriller THE KEEP.

Wales , Lake The Keep Opening Scene Location


This underrated “state of mind” masterpiece keep in its inner soul a state of art cinematography by Alex Thomson BSC ,that collaborating with De Luxe labs made a milar stone of Anamorphic System.The Keep,nominated on 1984 at Saturn Award for Best Film, was shot on Joe Dunton Camera’s 35BLIII and lenses with anamorphics which are based on Cooke optics 2s & 3s,the focal lenghts was;25mm T2.3 ,32mm T2.3 , 40mm T2.3 , 50mm T2.3 ,75mm T2.8, 100mm T2.8, 152mm T3.5, 203mm T4.5, 40-200mm Cooke Zoom T 4.5, 50-500mm T5.6 Cooke.These lenses are called “Xtal Express Series” ,this formula is still used today as happended in movies like “Kinsey” ,“The Interpreter” & “Guardians of the Galaxy” . 



In 2002 he recived the society’s Lifetime Achievment Award for outstanding contribution to the art of Cinematography;Alex Thomson a great man an outstanding Artist passed away on Thursday 14th June 2007 at St.Peter’s Hospital;Chertsey at age of 78

(c)Fabio Pirovano Sources: Guild of British Camera Technicians

Obituary supported by Kodak Plus Cameraimage

Joe Dunton

alexthomsonTAKE ONE

Tales from Behind the Camera by Alex Thomson BSC


_the_keep__film_poster_by_atom8productions-d7fg7mjCHECK THE KEEP DOCUMENTARY BY STEW BUCK BUCK GREEN FILMS

The Keep reel