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How does Alien reflects the signature of Ridley Scott?
Sir Ridley Scott (born 30 November 1937) is an English film director and producer. Following his commercial breakthrough with the science-fiction horror film Alien (1979), his best known works include the neo-noir dystopian science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), historical drama and Best Picture Oscar winner Gladiator (2000), and science fiction film The Martian (2015).
Sir Scott uses cinematography techniques to reflect his signature in Alien. In the first scene, there was a panning of the planets which stopped in front of the Nostromo spaceship. This shot was very important because it tells us the location at which it was been set. Also there were long takes of rooms, kitchens and corridors in the first scene but there was no human presence in there. This was effective because it makes the audience think that maybe the humans are being put into hibernation machine. There were establishing shot of the alien mother ship which had the alien eggs in it. This establishing shot was very significant because from that shot we could tell how big it was and also we could presume it had crushed as it could only give signals. There were low angle shot of the crew members as they encountered the alien each. This tells us that although they had technologies to take out the aliens they were still in a vulnerable position against the alien. There were extreme close ups of the face of the alien, his teeth and how wide his mouth opens whenever it was assassinating the crew members. This creates a terror atmosphere in the minds of the audience and it keeps them engaged. These ideas Scott used in Alien are derived from Mr. Alfred Hitchcock films for example ‘The Psycho’ who is well known to be the ‘Master of Suspense’. The use of lightening and colors in Alien was very prolific, an example could be in the scene where one of the crew members were looking for the cat and the alien killed him. The alien was in the dark the colors in the scene was mainly dark blue which foreshadows sorrow.
Sir Scott uses Mise-en Scene techniques to reflect his signature in Alien. The costume that the characters wore in the film showed the positions which they held in the ship so for example Dallas wore a captain jacket and without telling you could see for yourself that his costume is giving away the information that should be said. This was very effective as it kept the audience engaged. Also the spacesuit which the crew members wore when they went to the space ship was informative in the aspect of the audience. This tells the audience more about the absence of oxygen on the planet and how a spacesuit is needed for humans to go there. It helps create a more realistic atmosphere for the audience to watch. The Mise-en Scene in the first of the film was very confusing and everything felt congested, the ship was not in an ordinary shape and the doors were also in weird shape and sizes the interior doorways are oddly shaped. This was very effective as it hints the audience that there’s going to be a problems that would come in small and big sizes. In addition, the doorways were covered in machinery this tells the audience how much of technology advancement had happened in 2079 in the film. With the design of the ship helps make the film more dramatic in the sense by making it possible for the alien to blend in to the background of the ship and making it harder to spot.
Moreover, sound is used as an effective tool by Sir Scott to create a meaning in Alien. The beeping sounds and firing sirens of the ship warning of self-destruction was and effective way, the director was able to change up the moods and switch up tension with it. This was effective as it made the audience feel a sense of anxiety and can aide in relating to the characters in the film so viewers can feel the urgency. The alien didn’t speak and only done primordial sounds prior to killing the cast. There is sound accompanied with everything that goes in the film because the film is set in the future computers, doors etc. bare special sound effects. The use of high pitch sounds whenever the alien attacks one of the crew members was very important. It makes the audience feel scared this technique was referenced from Mr. Hitchcock who uses this to in his films ie.The Psycho. The use of non-diegetic sounds used to create tension an example could be when one of the crew members was looking for the cat
Editorial abilities used in alien were very effective and was relatable. Sir Scott uses cross fades techniques to as a transitioning tool in Alien, this was portrayed in the scene where one of the crew members was waking up from his hyper sleep. The cross fades were thrilling because it makes the fluidity of the scene very natural. This idea he got was also from Mr. Alfred Hitchcock who was one of the first people to feature that technique in his film called ‘The Vertigo’. The pace of the shot really speeds up whenever the alien was in elimination mode. The focuses on the teeth at the same time the face of the victim and is really fast which makes it difficult to think the assassination has happened but no knowing that happened makes it intriguing.

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