Watch the Incredible Human Effort Behind Alien: Covenant‘s World

HBO visited the set of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant, hanging out with the cast and crew as they worked on what promises to be one of the year’s most brilliantly crafted films. And we do mean craft. The amount of technical and construction know-how that was poured into the creation of the sets, props and art design is staggering. 

As you’ve seen from the trailers, teasers and promos we've been sharing, the sets for Covenant are, as you'd guess on a film of this size and scope, extremely detailed. The ship, the alien planet, the props, and many of the various environs on that planet and the aliens themselves were built by human hands. This means that Scott and his team eschewed relying on CGI to create their environments as much as possible, evidenced by the massive, moving platforms they constructured to simulate the Covenant as it rolls and pitches, and other sets where the crew is being hunted by their alien antagonists. Scott's longtime SFX supervisor Neil Corbould was on hand to help him build the Alien: Covenant world, which included building the ships cockpit, where Danny McBride's pilot, Tennessee, does his work. 

As the film tracks the Covenant's crew both onboard their ship and then on land on the alien planet, it was crucial that those two environments look and feel as real to the cast as possible. Simulating terror is a whole lot easier when you're standing on a massive, moving platform, or moving through practical sets. The corridors, the ship's bridge, the caves they explore and the various aliens they encounter—as you'll see, Alien: Covenant's world was largely built by human hands. You'll see the effect practical sets, effects and stunts have when Alien: Covenant opens on May 19.

Featured image: The set of ‘Alien: Covenant.’ Photo Credit: Mark Rogers. Courtesy 20th Century Fox. 


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.