, this time penned by Ron Cobb.
My problem with designing Nostromo's interiors, the control bridge, corridors, auto doc (or med lab), bulkhead doors, the food deck, etc., was that I grew up with a deep fascination for astronomy, astrophysics, and most of all, aerospace flight. My design approach has always been that of a frustrated engineer (as well as a frustrated writer when it came to cinema design). I tend to subscribe to the idea that form follows function. If I'm to arrive at a cinematic spacecraft design that seamlessly preserves, as in this case, the drama of the script, the audience has to experience it as something impressive and believable.
My method for designing the Nostromo interiors was to emulate the engineering of the entire landing shuttle as though it were real, from the interior to the exterior and back again. So, while I was not supposed to be spending any time deriving exterior designs from my all-encompassing technique, I did produce them if only as a personal guide to making the interior sets more interesting,
Later, when we were all in London at Shepperton studios with Ridley Scott as director, and deadlines for completing set and model construction were rapidly approaching, the choice as to which Chris Foss design would be used as Nostromo's exterior was yet to be made.
Finally, Brian Johnson the special effects supervisor under pressure to build the large Nostromo model, went into the deserted art department and, out of frustration, grabbed all the Chris Foss designs off the wall and took them to Bray studios. There he would choose the design himself in order to have enough time to build the damn thing.
Well I soon found out that Brian found and took all of my exterior design sketches as well. About a month later I was told that Brian had used my sketch, Nostromo A (see Nostromo B for comparison), as the basis for the model, even to the extent that it was painted yellow. Ridley found the color a bit garish and had it repainted grey.
The truth of the matter is, as Chris said, we both influenced each other, I think I borrowed from him more than he borrowed from me.http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/324661/alien_the_history_of_the_nostromo_by_ron_cobb.html