James Cameron explains a poster of an alien movie, all black design

Ripley holds Newt in a picture cut from James Cameron's alternate poster for Aliens.

Most people think of this as a poster for aliens, but it was not the first poster. Director James Cameron told us why.
Picture: 20th Century Fox

Did you know that James Cameron made movie posters? The truth is. In his new book, Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, director Terminator, Avatar, i Aliens he talks about his time creating posters for an old film company called Saturn, he didn’t even watch movies because they were so bad, and he just sent pictures he thought were cool. “It’s a horrible movie,” Cameron said. “I strongly recommend that no one ever watch movies, as I never did. I could only watch for five minutes before I turned it off. ”

io9 was one of a group of reporters who talked to Cameron about it Tech Black, which contains a bunch of these posters, and we asked him how, if at all, that experience affected the posters for his films, none of which are even illustrated. “I’ve never forced marketing departments to go one way or another [between photos and illustration]”Cameron said during a video call. “It simply came to our notice then. I’m thinking further Avatar I think they missed it, and we actually brought in Dylan Cole, who was one of our designers, and Dylan did those sheets for Avatar. Believe it or not, we literally are [them] in our own design department. So I believe in one paper in the same way I believed in the covers of all those science fiction books I bought as a child. If it was a good cover, I bought the book. ”

Before Cameron moved on to the next question, he was encouraged and said:There was one funny one story on the list Aliens!! I had a firm opinion on that.And then he told the story of how one paper was for Aliens in the end just this.

Original poster for aliens, which is only black with the word 'Aliens'

Why was the original poster for Aliens just this? Read below.
Picture: 20th Century Fox

So I went to the head of marketing for 20th Century Fox, I literally met him on the last day in the office and his office was all packed. I was his last meeting before he left work, ”Cameron began. “He was sitting at the table and he had this little green plastic frog and he squeezed the light bulb and made her jump on the table. And I said, ‘What about the frog?’ And he said, ‘That’s my stress frog.’ I’m like, ‘OK, this guy is a victim. ‘”

“Then he said, ‘But I have one sheet for you.’ And he showed this one sheet. I think you can get it online, a few of them somehow leaked. [Note: We weren’t able to confirm which version Cameron is referring to, but if you know, let us know!] And it was this horrible kind of porridge-up photography. He looked worse than Roger Corman because, like me, Roger believed in good papers. Not good movies, but good 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,’ and I was just slowly crumpling it up somehow [into] ball and threw it into the corner. And he worked on the stress frog. And I said, ‘Honestly, if I had a choice between that shit and just …black frame, I would take a completely black frame. ‘ And apparently it happened that I came out of the office, and he called someone and said ‘He wants everything black!’ He didn’t hear what I was saying. So, if you’ve ever wondered why there was literally nothing on one sheet Aliens, Consequently.”

We’ll have more from Cameron in the coming days. Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, which compiles hundreds of pages of drawings from Cameron’s entire life and it’s amazing, coming out next week. Order here.

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Naveen Kumar

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