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James Cameron Explains The Aliens Poster With All-Black Design


Ripley holding a newt in an image cropped from the replacement poster for James Cameron Aliens.

Most people think this is the poster for aliens, but it wasn’t the first. Director James Cameron told us why.
picture: 20th Century Fox

Did you know that James Cameron used to make movie posters? it’s the truth. In his new bookAnd Tech Noir: The Art of James CameronAnd Director Terminator Avatar And Aliens He talks about his time creating posters for an old movie company called Saturn, not even watching movies because they were so bad, sending pictures he thought were cool. “They are horrific movies,” Cameron said. “I highly recommend that no one watch the movies, like I never did. I could only watch about five minutes before I turned it off.”

io9 was one of a group of journalists who spoke to Cameron about Tech Black, which contains a set of such posters, and we asked him how this experience, if any, affected the posters of his own films, none of which are even made clear. “I’ve never really pushed the marketing departments to go one way or the other [between photos and illustration]Cameron said in a video call. “They showed me things. I think of symbol picture It was one of the places I think they missed, and we actually brought in Dylan Cole, who was one of our designersand dylan Do the one sheets for symbol picture. Believe it or not, we just did it [them] in our design department. So I believe in the single sheet the same way I believed in the book covers of all those science fiction books I’d buy as a kid. If it was a good cover, I bought the book.”

Before Cameron moved on to the next question, he said,There was a funny one paper story on Aliens! I had a strong opinion of that.That’s when he told the story of how to use a single sheet of paper Aliens It just ended up being this.

Aliens original poster, in black only with the word

Why was the original poster for aliens like this? Read below.
picture: 20th Century Fox

So I went into the office of the Chief Marketing Officer at 20th Century Fox, met him on his last day in the office and his desk was full. Cameron started, it was his last meeting before he left his job. “He was sitting at the desk and he had this little green plastic frog with him and he was squeezing a bulb and making it jump around the desk. And I said, ‘What’s with the frog?’ And he said, ‘It’s my stress frog.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, this person victim.”

Then he said, ‘But I have one sheet for you. And he showed this paper. I think you can get it online, a few of them have been leaked. [Note: We weren’t able to confirm which version Cameron is referring to, but if you know, let us know!] It was that horrible kind of mash-Even photography. It looked worse than Roger Corman’s sheet because Roger, like me, believed in good single sheets. Not good movies, but good single papers. And I looked at this thing and I kind of held it in my hands and said, “Oh, let me tell you exactly what I think of this one sheet of paper,” and I kind of slowly crumpled it up. [into] Ball and throw it into the corner. He was working on a stress frog. And I said, “Honestly, if I had a choice between that piece of crap and everything–Black frame, I’ll go with the all black frame. Apparently what happened was I walked out of the office and someone called up and said “He wants everything black!” He didn’t hear what I was saying. So if you ever wondered why there is literally nothing on the one sheet of Aliens, for this reason.”

We’ll have more from Cameron in the coming days. Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameronwho collects Hundreds of pages of drawings from Cameron’s entire life and they are great, coming out next week. Pre-order here.


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