Cowboys & Aliens: Circle the Wagons and Blast 'Em
ILM built the first 20 feet of the mothership, which in the movie appears like a tower. It's like a mining vessel that lands and burrows its way into the ground. Ghost VFX in Denmark did extensions on the spaceship with ILM and Kerner did miniature work that included collapsing terrain. Embassy, meanwhile, did the speeders and
"Jon and I spoke a lot about the alien itself as an insect or creature and the ship is really a shell that they adapt so that you have an ant farm inside a machine," Guyett adds. "They're a mining race and their body is built to be underground. Their technology line is also a little ambiguous. Each race wouldn't develop in the same way that we do here, so some of their technology seems more advanced than ours and some seems simpler. But they clearly have heavy-duty weapons and can travel in space."
The blaster that Craig wears like a manacle was also a design challenge. "The weapon is Transformers-like but we were conscious of the elements to make sure that it worked, and we went through the HUD technology and so that there was an alien feel to it yet something also familiar at the same time. It's harder and harder to break the mold on this kind of stuff."
Bill Desowitz is former senior editor of AWN and editor of VFXWorld. He has a new blog, Immersed in Movies (www.billdesowitz.com), and is currently writing a book about the evolution of James Bond from Connery to Craig, scheduled for publication next year, which is the 50th anniversary of the franchise.