Ridley Scott reveals Prometheus secrets to T3
title: Ridley Scott interview: Part 2 - Prometheus 3D & Rumours / url: Ridley-Scott-interview-Part-2--Prometheus-3D--Rumours
Did you see shooting in 3D as a challenge?
[Ridley Scott] It was really straightforward. The idea of 3D being useful to this kind of subject is absolute – the fact that I had a cameraman like Dariusz Wolski, and I’m pretty good at knowing what I want, visually and everything else, by the time you put the two of us together, it was pretty straightforward. We shot this in 82 days. Shooting 3D, editing 3D and it comes out in 3D; it’s not a problem.
Problem is, you get a screen, and in the screen you have something hanging in the foreground. You then have a f*cking committee of 40 people – including the leading actor – saying whether or not to show what’s there or not. I say, “I hate them, get rid of them,” or, “I’ll leave them, f*ck off.” And that’s it, because otherwise you have a long conversation about this. It’s bizarre. You’ve got to know what you want.
Your movies often have very specific, physically horrific scenes – in Hannibal the brain-eating sequence, in Alien the chest-bursting of John Hurt, in Prometheus it's the medpod. Is this something you always plan?
[RS] I’m a sick f*cker… No, it's a challenge. With the John Hurt scene, I read the script and was told in no uncertain terms by [screenwriters] Dan O’Bannon and Ron Shusett that it’s not subtle. “Wow, what the f*cking sh*t is coming out his chest?! Holy sh*t, it’s a worm!” So, I’m going, “That’s disgusting.” But actually it was the crossroads of information in the play which this had to be.
Where’s he going to give birth from? I can think of other places, but it’s going to be less attractive. For it to burst out of his chest was a gobsmacking, shocking experience, and my thought was always, “He’s going to split sinew, bone and separate the ribcage into a birth.” That’s what the birth is. So when the storyline insists – because the good engines insist – when you get moving on a track like that, you know you’re on to something. You don’t want to change it.
That’s why I think dropping that stuff in earlier, with Shaw saying, “I can’t conceive,” was absolutely the right thing to do. Because they then relate to each other, consummate and the following day, by god, she’s pregnant – and once she’s pregnant, I have to see it, I have to see what that is. It’s extreme, galloping DNA, whatever that is that’s creating this monstrous thing growing inside of her. David says, “You look three months' pregnant”; in 25 minutes she now looks eight months' pregnant – that’s inconceivable for us, because we don’t understand it. But I think it’s probably way up there somewhere, it’s entirely feasible. You’ve got to show it, you’ve got to do it.
With the secrecy surrounding Prometheus, do you have a favourite rumour that popped up over the time that made you laugh?
[RS] No – I mean, we anticipated that there might be. Because the film was so important 30 years ago, we knew that when we started doing the movie it was going to create some definite groundswell. And therefore you want to be secretive, because why do you want to know the play before you see the play? So that was all kind of fairly logical and pretty easy to control. Today, if I hand you a script, your name’s going to be right across every page, so if it comes out and your page is there, you’re going to get your knees whacked in the carpark.
[Damon Lindelof] That’s not a euphemism.
[RS] We don’t f*ck about. I think we also were pretty professional at anticipation and rather than putting out the usual form of advertising – because I’m deeply entrenched in advertising still – we started thinking we should be using viral TV and Twitter. There’s all those people on Twitter and if we put out stuff that doesn’t mention the movie, that’s going to be really interesting – all of Twitter's going to go, “What the… agghhh?!” Then suddenly some bright spark goes, “Wait a minute, biking! Weyland Yutani!” and then you’re off and running. So we anticipated stuff rather than closing it down.