So what's giving you the most trouble in post-production right now?
Anderson: In post? I wouldn't say that any scene is a trouble scene because it doesn't work or anything like that. This is a movie that had a phenomenal amount of thought put into it before we started making it, specifically with how we were going to do the Alien and Predator combat aspects. I did not want to rely on fully CG Aliens and Predators wailing on each other, because I don't think that would have looked very good ... I mean you could have spent years and Jurassic Park money on it and it would never have looked as good as the real thing. So that's why we specifically shot as much practical as we possibly could. What that meant was we had to spend a huge amount of time shooting the fights. If you do it all CG, you shoot a bunch of plates and then you do it post-production on a computer.
We went a much more difficult route of practicality, like for example in the first Alien/Predator fight, where an Alien and a Predator go head-to-head, we spent two months shooting it. They're in kind of like a chamber which they literally tear apart as they fight. We had to have practical walls that would break, columns that would collapse, floors that would break. When the Alien's tail snaps into things, those things have to break, and so on and so forth. We did everything, as much as possible, practically. During the shoot that was problematic because it just meant it was a huge amount of time to shoot it. In post, if anything is the most difficult thing it seems like you've got [find a way] for two months worth of material to fit, hopefully, the most amazing head-to-head fight scene ever seen. You shrink down two months' worth of material into an amazing three or four minutes.
It's just the sheer volume of material that you're working with. But then the exciting thing is you have it, you see it, you see an Alien flung and smacking into a pillar or whatever, you get it. Combing through the material and getting the best of the best to put in the movie is incredibly time consuming, and that's why we're working until midnight every night.
What's the score going to be like?
Anderson: It's going to be primarily orchestral, there won't be any source music in there. It'll be an orchestral score probably with a kind of a synth bed in some scenes. But it's very much along the line of the traditional scores that the Alien and Predator movies have had. It's not like we're going to cover the movie in techno music or anything like that. You know, this is a terrifying movie and it needs a terrifying, classic movie score to go with it; at the same time it's got huge action so it needs that kind of proper orchestral support.
Also, one of things that Harald came to do is to work with a lot of high and low frequency noises as well. One of the things he likes to do (because he's done a lot of experimental stuff as well, which you won't find reflected in Roland's movie) is where he samples machinery and animal noises, things like that, and then works those natural and unnatural sounds into music. The idea is that what we'll get is something very, very unsettling
Can we expect much one-on-one action?
Anderson: I know for a fact that we've put some amazing Alien and Predator action on film. I don't have to finish cutting the movie to know that, I mean these creatures look the best they've looked and when they go head-to-head, it's like two alien creatures going head-to-head, it looks real, it looks ferocious, it's fast, it's frenzied, it's scary as hell. It's very impactful as well, I mean it's huge! People are going to leave the theaters I think pretty wrung out..
There was one set where we were filming the first Alien/Predator fight. When we started, the room was made out of all this black stone, it's very cool looking. About halfway through the shoot I was standing with my DP. We were looking at the shot, and we're going, 'There's something wrong, it doesn't look right.' What we realized was that the whole set had changed color because we'd been smashing up so much of it that just the dust from all the rock that had been exploding and breaking had impregnated the entire set! It turned it kind of brown, rather than black. It had become a big problem for us and we had to have the whole thing cleaned because we literally had been causing so much devastation that the whole color had changed.
For the full interview, CLICK HERE
Thanks to 'Stax'