a) Giger reaches a Hyde Park Hotel
On the 14th of February, 1978, Giger takes the plane with a first class seat from Zurich to London, rather than have to go through the trouble of a long journey by train.
A liveried chauffer from Twentieth Century Fox came to collect him from the airport to a hotel that he knew to be The Hyde Park Hotel.
He stood in the lobby with his black leather suitcase in one hand and a plastic brief-case in the other, feeling very out of place.
The commissionaires staired at him as if they thought he had got the hotel mixed up with a museum, but as soon as he mentions the magic words "Twentieth Century Fox,", they whisk him up to a huge bedroom.
b) Meeting at Lexington Street
Later he is taken off to Lexington Street where Ridley Scott and his colleagues are already waiting for him.
They have an interpreter especially for him, but unfortunately he is one who is no more familiar with words such as 'aeronautics' any more than Giger was, and so turned out to be useless in the complicated discussions again.
Giger is introduced to John Mollo who has made the astronauts clothing from designs by Moebius. to Les Dilley who would serve as art director and won as Oscar for his work in Star Wars, to Michael Seymour the production designer who had also prepared some papier-maché models of the space ship called the Nostromo and then finally to Peter Beale, who was one of Twentieth Century Fox's executives
d) Intense discussions about Giger's importance
However, Beale had heard from Giger's lawyer and didn't seem to be at all happy about the fee that Giger was asking for.
Giger tried to explain to Beal that the star role, for which immense salaries are paid in other films, will be going to the big Alien beast. The film would stand or fall by the quality of this monster.
He stated too that his was was very meticulous, very important and that he would have to be paid accordingly. Beale however didn't seem to take in Giger's arguments.
Indeed it would not be until Gordon Carroll explained to Beale in a discussion that would last three hours that Giger was simply not prepared to accept a salary that would be payed to a high grade secretary in Switzerland.
They finally reach a compromise and Giger is then engaged, but he still does not sign the contract because there are some points about second rights that need clarification.
Ridley would then explain to Giger what was needed urgently before his next visit and they let him go.
- HR Giger :
14th February 1978. Zurich to London by air, first class. A liveried
chauffer from Twentieth Century Fox meets me at the airport and takes me
straight to the Hyde Park Hotel. With my black leather suitcase in one
hand and a plastic brief-case in the other, I feel very out of place in
this famous hotel. The commissionaires stair at me as if they thought
I'd got the hotel mixed up with a museum. But as soon as I utter the
magic words "Twentieth Century Fox", they
whisk me up to a huge bedroom. Then I'm taken off to Lexington Street,
where Scott and his colleagues are already waiting for me. They have got
an interpreter specially for me. Unfortunately he is no more familiar
with terms like 'aeronautics' than I am. So there's no point in his
staying with us very long. My future colleagues are introduced to me:
John Mollo, who has made the astronauts' clothing from designs by
Moebius; Les Dilley, an art director who got an Oscar for his work on
Star Wars; Michael Seymour, the production designer, who has already
prepared plans and papier-maché models of the space-ship Nostromo from
Ron Cobb's designs, and finally Peter Beale, one of Twentieth Century
Fox's European Production Executives. He has already heard from my
lawyer and doesn't seem to be at all happy about the fee that I've
asked. I try to explain to him that the star role, for which immense
salaries are paid in other films, will be going this time to Alien III.
The film is going to stand or fall by the quality of this monster. I
tell him too that my work is very meticulous, and very important, and
that I have to be paid accordingly
Beale doesn't seem to take in my arguments at all. It's not until Carroll explains to him, in a discussion that lasts three hours, that I'm simply not prepared to accept the salary that would be payed to a high grade secretary in Switzerland, we finally compromise. I am engaged. But still don't sign the contract, because there are some points to it about second rights, that need clarification. Scott now explains what is needed urgently before my next visit, and then they let me go. (Giger's Alien, p12)