Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Making Of The Opening Scene For PROMETHEUS

Click the jump to check out two videos that feature new insight from the visual effects department for Ridley Scott's Prometheus. They look back at the visually stunning opening sequence of the film, and in the other video discuss the intricacies of the spaceship.

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By nailbiter111 - 6/19/2012

Visual effects supervisor Martin Hill:
"Because we had such a short amount of time to tell the story of the DNA getting infected, breaking apart, and then re-forming and recombining to show Earth DNA, we had to make the designs of the different DNA quite graphical, quite illustrative of what they were."

"The Engineer's DNA, we thought, 'This needs to be quite sinister, but we know it's going to get infected, and the infection has to look more messed up than the Engineer's DNA. We used quite a light color palette for Engineer's DNA, and then the infection comes on and it's very melted looking. Ridley actually said to us, 'It has to feel like war in there. The DNA is just being torn apart.'"

"We try to use as much reality as possible, so we were looking at all different kinds of reference, so eventually we settled on fish bones, actual decayed fish spines, to represent the structure of the DNA. For the infection that rolls across the infected DNA, what we did was carve actual blocks of silicone with the vein structures in there and pumped black ink and oils and all kinds of different materials through those, filmed them, and used the motion of those as the basis for all of our effects for the veins and the effect coursing through his body."

Thanks to MTV for the transcript.

Prometheus Cast: Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), Captain Janek (Idris Elba), Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green), Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace), and David (Michael Fassbender). The film is directed by Ridley Scott, and is in theaters now!

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PanaV - 6/19/2012, 3:26 PM
the effects were sick! such detail. The movie was mediocre. Perhaps because we all expected so much more
emeraldtaurus - 6/19/2012, 3:44 PM
movie was a disappointment lets be honest, but the effects were prob the best i've ever seen, particularly the engineers- looked amazing. loved the way they used actors in suits mixed with forced perspective rather then cgi cartoon characters,lot of hacks in hollywood who need to start takin notes !
peppy - 6/19/2012, 3:47 PM
This movie was a piece of shit really. It had so much potential . It's a shame really
Gose - 6/19/2012, 3:50 PM
The movie needs Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett
jj2112 - 6/19/2012, 3:50 PM
Engineer smash!!!
SHHH - 6/19/2012, 3:56 PM
Who IS The Albino?
jj2112 - 6/19/2012, 3:58 PM
@Bosswalsh... The problem is not that people did not understand the movie, but that it was so poorly done... It tries to deal with the same issues as 2001 but is a pile of shit. 2001 did not provide answers but was thought-provoking. Prometheus tries to be clever but is clearly a stupid movie. If it turns out that the aliens were just the offspring of a 3 billion year experiment (humanity) and a squid that impregnates and engineer, it will be even stupider.

And I agree, Avatar was horseshit, this was marginally better than Avatar. It had a lot of potential, but the Lindelobster ruined it.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 4:00 PM
Wait, "earth DNA?" Did he just confirm that the corrupted Engineer DNA falling into the water is how humanity was formed? Finally, a straight answer to one of the movie's questions.
Tevii - 6/19/2012, 4:02 PM
Not sure how this was a let down to anyone. this was a great movie.
I think people just wanted more xenomorphs. I think if this gets a sequel (and it should at this rate) then that one will tie it together with Alien better.

REDSTORM - 6/19/2012, 4:04 PM
I loved the movie. :/
jj2112 - 6/19/2012, 4:05 PM
Of course it was Earth DNA. That's just one of the many stupid issues with the movie: engineer falls into water, DNA is corrupted and evolves, creates unicellular life which eventually evolves into fish, then reptiles, then dinosaurs, birds, monkeys and, voilà! eventually humans which resemble their creators. And it all takes billions of years during which the engineers do not evolve at all.
ScabbyJ - 6/19/2012, 4:07 PM
@Grif: I loved this movie
TonyChu - 6/19/2012, 4:08 PM
They really need to explain just why the Engineer in the beginning drank the black ooze.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 4:10 PM
@jj2112. Were we supposed to get all of that info from that scene? That's what I thought all along, but they made everything in this movie so vague, I really couldn't be sure of what anything was supposed to mean. I did actually enjoy the movie overall, but I hate it when movies substitute muddy plotting for actual mystery.
BlackAmerica - 6/19/2012, 4:16 PM
Just tell me were there any xenomorphs in the movie?
jj2112 - 6/19/2012, 4:17 PM
Yeah, what I get from the scene is that the goo is a DNA catalyst which breaks down DNA into the "building blocks" of life. I assume that, given that water contains no DNA (I am not sure what they mean by "Earth DNA") it creates unicellular organisms which eventually evolve into humans.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 4:18 PM
On a side note, I just realized that if I watch videos on my iPhone instead of a computer, I don't have to sit though that damn MMA/ Bud Light commercial.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 4:19 PM
@ BlackAmerica, if that's what you want to call it...
OnLeatherWings - 6/19/2012, 5:09 PM
I loved it. Thought it was great. Asks a lot of questions but isn't that really the point?
CoolantTech - 6/19/2012, 5:14 PM
Its like they set the movie up in away that would allow them to play the sequel off any one of the many confusing themes in Prometheus but they don't know which theme they wanna focus on... they're were wating on our reaction... then they'll plan Prometheus 2 accordingly based on our response.
kingshnake - 6/19/2012, 5:18 PM
Class if the sequel can answer the questions we are left with then Prometheus will be vindicated
p.s. name the sequel after another Greek God please that would be cool
nailbiter111 - 6/19/2012, 5:31 PM
this movie was a 2 star film at best. it's saved from one star status because of it's amazing visuals. BUT the plot holes are endless, the script is atrocious, there is so much underacting going on to major events, and that is just to name a few things. the movie just isn't very good. It thinks it's smarter than what it is.

I only posted this article because I was captivated by the visuals.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 5:33 PM
It would have been nice if they'd answered one of the two main questions during the movie. 1) why did the Engineer in the beginning drink the black liquid, and 2) why do the Engineers want to wipe out humanity so badly? I don't want all of the answers spoon fed to me, but basing an entire movie on a certain concept, and then asking viewers to wait 2-4 years for a possible sequel just to get even a hint of a resolution is pretty bold.
Ship - 6/19/2012, 6:53 PM
@Thamorse answer to question No 1. to create or develop life; answer number 2. Cause humans are like cancer (quoting agent Smith- Matrix) in some point we start to Fvcking things up so they need to clean the house. that's My POV.
miguelus - 6/19/2012, 7:03 PM
...people are bitching about this movie is because that's what they are, a bunch of bitches! in my opinion, this movie was awesome and i understood alot things in it. some of you don't because that's how mentally retarded you are. all you want is the same old boring bullshit. hello, it's called prometheus, not alien, so you're not going to get the xenomorph. what's you'll is the beginning evolutional version. BITCH!...
miguelus - 6/19/2012, 7:10 PM
@ship i agree with what you're saying there. even i was smart enough to figured this stuff out during and after i saw the film. kudos for being smart dude. and by the way, ridley scott has intended this to be a two parter, so we're going to a second film of this that will definitely answer some questions that a couple of morons would have, lmao...
Ship - 6/19/2012, 8:08 PM
I hope so, cause when I see the movie finale I got a hangover, really!!! like see the sun the day after drink two bottles of smirnoff, just you and your mrs; Dear lord I really was expecting something more... IDK, just not that, but that was three days ago, now I can dig it. I decide to go again, second opinion!!
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 8:08 PM
Ok, here we go. I've never, in my 28 years of life, gotten into an internet fight because it's kind of pathetic, and I'm not about to start now. Just to clear some things up, my all time favorite movie is Pulp Fiction, and I loved Inception, neither of which are straight forward, but they at least resolved major plot points during the movie. I wasn't confused, infused, diffused, or any kind of other "-fused" by Prometheus. I was able to follow the movie and figured out everything that everyone else did. It was just frustrating that the long build up won't pay off until the proposed sequel. Also, the whole "humans are a cancer" point is a) nonsensical, because the Engineers are from millions of light years away, so what happens on Earth isn't of such great importance to them, and b) if that truly is their sole motivation, that's pretty lame, as that angle was already used in a major sci-fi franchise within the past decade.
Ship - 6/19/2012, 8:34 PM
@thamorse, correctamondo my friend, your point is valid but was just my opinion, the way i see the film, for the "cancer" thing i just recall the smith speech to morpheus, and Yes it's a lame motivation but is the answer I found to your question. Maybe in the sequel the story explain us what the hell we do, perhaps we are an error, a future threat to them, if you see close the second or third wave of life were the dinosaurs and a chain of exogenous events vanish them from earth and that chain of events allow the rise of the mammals. IDK, is just an opinion man peace.
thamorse - 6/19/2012, 8:48 PM
@ Ship, that really wasn't an attack towards you. I also figured that was the motivation when I saw the movie, and immediately thought it was lame while simultaneously hoping that a better motivation would be revealed. My comment was mainly directed to the guys who ironically gloated about how smart they were for understanding a big budget Hollywood movie while also displaying a command of punctuation and capitalization that is tenuous at best.
gaikinger - 6/19/2012, 8:54 PM
great movie...haters here remind me of that fat guy who runs the comic book shop on the Simpsons.
Caveboy0 - 6/19/2012, 9:01 PM
people asking and needing to know why he did it is just kind of confounding to me. why is that important? You talk about the film as if it's called Prometheus: The Answers, but if you fallow the film it clearly examines humanity's curiosity. It asks question for the sake of asking questions and David even brings up that sometimes the answers are not what you wanted. not as special as you want them to be. He himself understands that as a creation purely out of curiosity and perhaps humanities' creation and destruction is just more curiosity. Saying that yes we have a creator, but in a malicious and nihilistic way. We aren't special and we don't matter.

As for actual answers my theory is that since the Engineers are a people and an organization in some form they must have factions. I believe that the ones who created us are not the ones who wish to destroy us. Disagreeing factions of cousre. Perhaps they think creating life was an abomination and not their right or again perhaps it doesn't mean anything and our destruction is just another experiment.

Finally lets not forget the namesake of the movie. Prometheus the greek god who gave man fire or as the film put it, leveled the playing field. I think those engineers that came down to us tried to warn us. Remember that Prometheus was punished for helping man. I assume the Engineers that created us were also punished. At the end of the day though we discover their plan what they warned us about and we find out their effort to destroy us destroyed them. Man's curiosity and search for answers is leading us to our makers and perhaps they want to speak to us. Just our shit luck we find the ones who want to kill us.

I think the film does take some thought and patience, but at the same time it is not as tightly scripted as it could have been. It is not a complete package, but to call it shit because you want to know some meaningless fanboy question or want to see more xenomorphs is just missing the point. It is far from a master piece and yet i still feel like it's a fantastic film. It interested me on many levels and perhaps not every character was interesting or entertaining, but enough were to keep me going. At the very least with all the criticisms I expected the film to slow down or get bored, but I didn't. The film had excelling pacing and for what people call a "sloppy" plot and in several ways it is toward the end it still keeps going with my full attention. Thematically again it isn't as tightly woven as it should have been, but every idea it threw out there was fair game. It was a valid question whether its general philosophy or religion. It had a lot of ideas and a lot of questions and I could talk about so many things about the movie that I am baffled to hear people call it a stupid film. Something that makes me think so much and excites me of the possibilities and embraces science fiction in a way that is almost wondrous as it is dark and morbid. I loved the film flaws and all.

The sequel has potential to not only be the better film but make Prometheus a better film. I don't need answers to how something works or dealing too much in fixing the problems with Prometheus, but I do want some resolution to certain themes as well as motivations of the engineers. Those are important answers and even a clever non answer is fine with me. As long as they don't bend to the bitching fan boys and hap hazardly connect it to the truly tired Alien franchise and some how include more xenomorphs would just be a let down. This is set up as a new direction and I want it to go further from the Alien franchise personally. I can see this becoming bigger and and i love the scope and I want to see more not for answers because I think that shits on what will surely be an interesting journey.
Tainted87 - 6/19/2012, 9:23 PM
We live in an internet society. Everything is right there at our fingertips to be accessed through a broadband connection. We want answers to come as promptly as our questions are asked. We want problems solved at an equally fast pace. We are impatient.

Ridley Scott can do whatever he wants with the series, whether he makes a trilogy out of his continuity or leaves it all open - Alien was his innovation to begin with, along with Dan O'Bannon who isn't among us to frown at the Total Recall remake. If you don't like it, don't watch it. The ideas are what make the movie for me.
Nexus6 - 6/19/2012, 9:25 PM
I just thought it was a fun film, I enjoyed it!
gaikinger - 6/19/2012, 9:48 PM
their is not going to be a sequel to Prometheus unless Scott lives another twenty years and wants to return to it. Scott has many films lined up right now including Blade Runner 2. An extended version will be made available on dvd and blu ray but thats it.
Humby - 6/19/2012, 9:54 PM
The fact that it didn't answer the questions it asked didn't particularly bother me. Why did they create us? It doesn't effect the story that occurs on LV-223, so it doesn't matter. What matters is that they DID create us, and the characters make that important discovery. Why they created us is left for the audience to interpret. Why did they want to destroy us? Again it doesn't affect the events on LV-223 so it doesn't matter. That can be left for the sequel if they chose to do so...

The movie had other issues, the biggest 3 being:

1) The black goo was a weak and inconsistent plot device.

2) The alien abortion scene was horribly unrealistic and Shaw then proceeded to continue her action scenes, practically as if nothing had happened.

3) It needed fewer useless characters (and scenes), and more intriguing discussion/dialogue between the characters we care about.

Yes, I had some smaller quibbles about the motivations of the characters, contradictions with other movies in the series, etc. But those didn't really effect my overall thoughts on the movie. The big 3 problems however made this movie a 7/10 for me. Maybe even a 6. It could have been much better if the plot was stripped to its bones and the important ideas/scenes were expanded upon.
Shadowelfz - 6/19/2012, 10:04 PM
This scene really creeped me out for some reason. More so than anything else. Perhaps it was because of the idea that life can be so arbitrarily created by some alien species for some purpose we cannot fathom.

Regardless if aliens made us, God made us or we evolved over successive generations it is disturbing how arbitrary life really is.
Nexus6 - 6/19/2012, 11:36 PM
of course it needed to answer questions, so do a lot of films. I enjoyed it. Everything Humby said is spot on on! Yeah, there are many unanswered questions, this film just gets picked apart. Do you think Predator, one of the most badass mofos in the Universe really couldn't kill Danny Glover?;)
DioFoRio - 6/19/2012, 11:54 PM
if a bomb attached to a toilet seat while Mr. Glover is taking a shit doesn't kill him.....then no, the Predator doesn't stand a chance.
Nexus6 - 6/20/2012, 12:00 AM
^^^he speaks the truth you know!;)
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