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One Step Beyond: The Making of 'Alien Resurrection'

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One Step Beyond: The Making of 'Alien Resurrection'
Film information
Directed by Charles de Lauzirika
Produced by Charles de Lauzirika
Jonathan Mefford
Written by Charles de Lauzirika
Starring Jean-Pierre Jeunet
David Giler
Walter Hill
Joss Whedon
Music Jonathan Elias
John Frizzell
Cinematography Mac Kenny
Editing Paul Baker
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Release information
Release date(s) December 2, 2003
Running time 174 minutes
Worldwide gross
Preceded by Wreckage and Rage: The Making of 'Alien3'
Followed by The Furious Gods: The Making of 'Prometheus'

One Step Beyond: The Making of 'Alien Resurrection' is a 2003 making-of documentary directed by Charles de Lauzirika that details the production of the 1997 film Alien Resurrection. Created for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD release, it uses extensive interviews with the film's cast and crew, as well as a wealth of behind the scenes footage, to detail the development, filming and release of the movie.


The documentary is divided into ten separate chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of Alien Resurrection's production. As with all of Charles de Lauzirika's documentaries on the films in the Alien series, it features no formal narration but instead relies on newly-filmed interview clips to tell the story of the film's development, interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage and images.

From the Ashes: Reviving the StoryEdit

The first chapter covers the Joss Whedon's ideas for continuing the Alien series with Ellen Ripley, despite her demise at the end of the third film.

French Twist: Direction and DesignEdit

The second chapter covers the hiring of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Unlike the previous films, production on Alien Resurrection was largely trouble-free, a situation largely credited to Jeunet's willingness to work with 20th Century Fox and give the studio what it wanted.

Under the Skin: Casting and CharacterizationEdit

The third chapter covers the cast and how they got their roles, with Sigourney Weaver explaining how the film gave her a chance to put a new spin on the Ripley character.

Death from Below: Fox Studios, Los Angeles, 1996Edit

The fourth chapter covers filming at Fox Studios, in particular focussing on the difficulty and danger surrounding the complex underwater chase sequence through the flooded galley.

In the Zone: The Basketball SceneEdit

The fifth chapter gives the full story of the behind-the-back basketball shot, which Sigourney Weaver accomplished for real without the assistance of any special effects trickery.

Unnatural Mutation: Creature DesignEdit

Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. discuss the design of the Xenomorphs in the film, including the more complex, more articulate Eggs. Also covered is the Newborn, which was brought to life with one of the most complex animatronics ever created, and Jeunet's original insistence that the creature include obvious genitals designed as a mix of both sexes.

Genetic Composition: MusicEdit

The seventh chapter focusses on John Frizzell's soundtrack, the composition of which, like the overall production compared to the others before it, were completed with little frustration or stress.

Virtual Aliens: Computer Generated ImageryEdit

The eighth chapter covers the CGI work used to show the Aliens in parts of the film, the first time such technology had been used to portray the creatures (not counting a single brief shot of the Dragon's head cracking in Alien3).

A Matter of Scale: Miniature PhotographyEdit

The ninth chapter covers the miniature effects work done on the film with lots of behind the scenes footage of the models being filmed.

Critical Juncture: Reaction to the FilmEdit

The final chapter covers the response to the film, which many of the cast and crew admit was mixed. Despite this, the film was very successful in Jeunet's home country of France. The documentary closes with some thoughts from the cast and crew on where the series might go in the future.


Originally presented in a 4×3 aspect ratio for the Alien Quadrilogy box set, Lauzirika elected to "rebuild" the documentary for the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set as a 16×9 widescreen presentation. This conversion essentially entailed the cropping of the interview and vintage on-set footage to the new widescreen format, while the various title graphics were replaced with newly rendered equivalents.[1]

Enhancement PodsEdit

For the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set, several previously-unreleased "Enhancement Pods", essentially deleted scenes taken from the main documentary, were made available for the first time. These cover a wide range of topics, many of which are already mentioned in the documentary itself, and provide minor additional details and trivia. Unlike the main documentaries, these did not undergo conversion to a widescreen aspect ratio.[1]

  • "Costuming the Betty Crew"
  • "Intentionally Uncomfortable Costumes"
  • "Creating Ripley's New Look"
  • "Downsizing the Design"
  • "Dueling Design Sensibilities"
  • "Breaking the Language Barrier"
  • "The Storyboard Bible"
  • "Preparing for Action"
  • "Winona Ryder Answers the Call"
  • "Surviving the Shoot"
  • "Swimming with Aliens"
  • "The Art of Slime"
  • "The Cloning Process"
  • "Considering Giger's Legacy"
  • "Newborn Dick Removal"
  • "The Evolution of the Alien"
  • "Designing the Newborn"
  • "Becoming a Film Composer"
  • "The Burden of Temp Music"
  • "Animating Underwater Aliens"
  • "VFX: Knifing Ripley's Hand"
  • "VFX: Shooting Miniatures"
  • "Abandoning the Bug Opening"
  • "Ending After Ending After Ending"
  • "Remembering the Premiere"
  • "Future Franchise Directions"



  1. 1.0 1.1 "The Digital Bits - Blu-ray Review: Alien Anthology". Retrieved on 2016-01-11.

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