Science Fiction Non-Fiction Book Review

Alien Vs. Predator: The Creature Effects of A.D.I.

(2004) Alec Gillis & Tom Woodruff jnr. Design Studio Press, 9.99/US$19.95, pbk, 128 pp, ISBN 0-972-66765-2.

I have to say that I have not yet seen the Aliens Vs. Predator film, largely because I felt that the 'Alien' franchise is being rung dry for economic reasons at the expense of its SF. However, it has to be said that what has been kept, if not enhanced, is the spectacle. For the past 20 years the cost of past effects-technology has decreased, while new more visually staggering effects technology has developed. Consequently fantastic film fans have tended to more to stimulate the eye (even if there is not always the sufficiently underpinning SF plot, script or acting). How this is done is rather fascinating.

Alien Vs. Predator: The Creature Effects of A.D.I. book is enticing. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff have presented the film's effects philosophy, design look, model sculpting, animatronics and painting, so capturing the spirit of the behind-the-scenes team that make the actors and film look so good.

The book takes us from pre-production sketches and how the effects company ADI liaised with the director, through construction and on to the set. It is a enthralling tour that will be appreciated by both SF film buffs and 'Alien' fans alike. Meanwhile artists wishing to draw alien and predator characters will find this invaluable.

Jonathan Cowie

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