One Step Beyond: The Making of Alien Resurrection is a 2003 making-of documentary directed by Charles de Lauzirika that details the production of the 1997 film Alien Resurrection. Created for the Alien Quadrilogy DVD release, it uses extensive interviews with the film's cast and crew, as well as a wealth of behind the scenes footage, to detail the development, filming and release of the movie.
The documentary is divided into ten separate chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of the film's production.
From the Ashes: Reviving the Story
The first chapter covers the Joss Whedon's ideas for continuing the Alien series with Ellen Ripley, despite her demise at the end of the third film.
French Twist: Direction and Design
The second chapter covers the hiring of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Unlike the previous films, production on Alien Resurrection was largely trouble-free, a situation largely credited to Jeunet's willingness to work with 20th Century Fox and give the studio what it wanted.
Under the Skin: Casting and Characterization
The third chapter covers the cast and how they got their roles, with Sigourney Weaver explaining how the film gave her a chance to put a new spin on the Ripely character.
Death from Below: Fox Studios, Los Angeles, 1996
The fourth chapter covers the re-hiring of H. R. Giger to create new designs for a quadruped Xenomorph, and shows some of his weird and, in some cases, radical ideas.
In the Zone: The Basketball Scene
The fifth chapter gives the full story of the behind-the-back basketball shot, which Sigourney Weaver accomplished for real without the assistance of any special effects trickery.
Unnatural Mutation: Creature Design
Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. discuss the design of the Xenomorphs in the film, including the more complex, more articulate Eggs. Also covered is the Newborn, which was brought to life with one of the most complex animatronics ever created, and Jeunet's original insistence that the creature include obvious genitals designed as a mix of both sexes.
Genetic Composition: Music
The seventh chapter focusses on John Frizzell composing duties, which, like the overall production compared to the others before it, were completed with little frustration or stress.
Virtual Aliens: Computer Generated Imagery
The eighth chapter covers the CGI work used to show the Aliens in parts of the film, the first time such technology had been used to portray the creatures (not counting a single brief shot of the Dragon's head cracking in Alien 3).
A Matter of Scale: Miniature Photography
The ninth chapter covers the miniature effects work done on the film with lots of behind the scenes footage of the models being filmed.
Critical Juncture: Reaction to the Film
The final chapter covers the response to the film, which many of the cast and crew admit was mixed. Despite this, the film was very successful in Jeunet's home country of France. The documentary closes with some thoughts from the cast and crew on where the series might go in the future.
With the release of the Alien Anthology Blu-ray set in 2010, several previously-unreleased "Enhancement Pods", essentially deleted scenes taken from the main documentary, were made available for the first time. These cover a wide range of topics, many of which are already mentioned in the documentary itself, and provide minor additional details and trivia.
- Costuming the Betty Crew
- Intentionally Uncomfortable Costumes
- Creating Ripley's New Look
- Downsizing the Design
- Dueling Design Sensibilities
- Breaking the Language Barrier
- The Storyboard Bible
- Preparing for Action
- Winona Ryder Answers the Call
- Surviving the Shoot
- Swimming with Aliens
- The Art of Slime
- The Cloning Process
- Considering Giger's Legacy
- Newborn Dick Removal
- The Evolution of the Alien
- Designing the Newborn
- Becoming a Film Composer
- The Burden of Temp Music
- Animating Underwater Aliens
- VFX: Knifing Ripley's Hand
- VFX: Shooting Miniature
- Abandoning the Bug Opening
- Ending After Ending After Ending
- Remembering the Premiere
- Future Franchise Directions