Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: High School Alien Play Spacesuit!

Inside Adam Savage’s Cave: High School Alien Play Spacesuit!

November 17, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


yeah it’s beautiful it’s gorgeous ladies gentlemen Adam Savage here from
tested in my cave and I have an unboxing that I’m really excited about okay one
of the best things that happened in the last year is the North Bergen high
school production of alien I covered this on my Instagram and Twitter feeds
and I got to meet Steven defending the teacher that guided the students to
build that amazing production they then got to put that production on a second
time with some dough from Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver actually got to go
see it and the aliens ruled all over Sigourney which is amazing everything
about the project thrills me obviously as a lover of Ridley Scott’s films and
alien and science fiction in general I love the idea of a high school play
doing something so current but also the the the ethos of building everything
from trash and from recycled stuff and a book reading I did at Barnes & Noble in
New York a few months ago Stephen actually brought one of the helmets to
show me and it’s so beautiful how they got the physical topographic gestures
with the simplest of things like there’s all these little like piping lines on
the real alien helmets they did it with like hemp twine and hot glue which
sounds like a terrible solution to that but from like five feet away
it totally sells at any rate I have started a correspondence with Steven and
the students and I sent them some pieces of some castings I had in my collection
of some alien suit parts and in trade in these three boxes is Cain’s suit from
the North Bergen high school production of alien and I plan to proudly display
this here in the cave right next to my real one I mean my replica of the
original because it needs a home on a mannequin and I’m
just about to unpack it and see all their work for the first time ah okay
here we go I have been so excited like checking the tracking number on this
every single day since Steven told me it was on its way
look I’m always saying that theater is the first art form that would survive an
apocalypse totally intact because we just need to tell these stories and the
idea that these high school students did such an amazing high fidelity job is so
thrilling okay that’s okay letter Adam thanks for all
thanks for waiting for us it takes a bit of maneuvering to accomplish things once
school is closed we packed up the suit with a few extras North Bergen High
School maker lab and Steven Tiffany Steven defend Eenie if anything breaks
comes loose feel free to repair or add to it it’s in the spirit of what we did
smiley face yes okay ooh a lanyard wait a minute I just have to take a look at a
lanyard because you know I have a lanyard collection give me an alien Day
VIP pass well I’m just gonna wear that okay order of operations
that’s the backpack and front pack that I can clearly see is the helmet plus
some other stuff that means this would be the main suit and I’m actually kind
of curious how they did the quilting on the main suit when I actually did the
research to figure out how the alien suit quilting looked it not only took me
tremendous amounts of research to figure out all the specific kinds of fabric
that they used and I did this in conjunction with my friend Steve LaBute
Oh who is the alien suit and builder
extraordinaire he and his wife are just incredible and so it wasn’t a solo
effort by me by any to the imagination however I did
discover that even quilters seem to hate quilting that like quilting one-inch
longitudinal lines in fabric which most of the aliens suit is built out of is an
exhausting process because I did a whole bunch of it so I still want to get to
the soft ones and I think that’s what this is oh my god there’s so many
different thanks Oh gloves okay that there that that looks
like a main suit let’s see this is clearly oh that’s the whole thing this
is the whole suit all they use a packing blanket genius it’s already pre
weathered ah that’s great what a great way to get that worn in used up look Oh
velcro closures for my microphone aren’t I oh man look at that that’s a tank they
got that okay let’s keep on going all right now oh look they’ve got the
lace going and everything that’s awesome all right I assume these are probably
pants I know what you’re thinking you’re
thinking man you are rough at how you open packages do you ever damage
anything while you’re opening it yes I have me at Copa oh my gosh beautiful
look they’ve got the big cricket and knee pads that Mobius put in this
original drawing it’s so great looking and I mean it’s not great looking it
looks like it’s beat to crap but that’s the whole point it’s just perfect
so they just used some some standard like climbing pants it looks like and
they’ve done a bunch of spray paint on them and then hot glued stuff to them
man it’s just like Peter Jackson once told me that he was like if you can’t
bully cajole or bribe your friends into helping you for a couple of weekends to
make your first film then you have no business being a filmmaker which is
exactly the right ethos right you just so you got to go got to go grab your
friends so these are some I think these are oh yeah these are the gloves for the
costume they look great the original gloves were actually hockey gloves that’s just packing okay oh my poor word
boots looks like they might actually be my size see insert looks like they’re
close to my size nice boots excellent all right that’s one box away
no I’m gonna do that one last okay what is this this is Oh No they said aliens hands from their
xenomorph costume dude I know exactly the shelf this will live on look at that
always beautiful look at that what they did I mean again up close there’s
nothing super remarkable going on it’s beads of hot glue and some camping mat
and some rope and some black paint and a glove but from a distance they’ve got
some real character out of this oh that’s amazing
all right oh oh oh this is some part of the set okay awesome any lab surgical
work okay and then what is this thing okay this is another part of set
dressing from the show again again it’s just it’s so great oh this might be a
motion tracker that’s what it feels like looks like it could be a motion tracker
whoa fabulous oh my god you guys yeah I know I didn’t
realize that we’d made the trade and then it meant that school was closed and
I had to go in well the school is closed let’s see here oh this is amazing I
don’t have this in my collection this is super important bit of alien alien
historiography it is the drinking bird the drinking bird this is the bird that
you see drinking at the beginning when the Nostromo is waking up and totally
separately it is the same kind of bird that homer simpson uses to keep pressing
the Return button when he’s working from home on the nuclear plant and when the
bird fails and the nuclear plant blows up home respond says stupid bird which
is one of my favorite Simpsons lines ever oh that’s great I have all I
amazingly I do not have the drinking bird in my alien
shelf I know it’s an oversight thank you for helping me correct it let’s see here
what else we got – Adam thank you for your support and for inspiration North
Bergen High School maker lab the hot glue gun I’m a little verklempt right
now that you guys that BEC gets a pride of place on the bathroom wall yeah I
mean bub something to hang this cuz that’s an incredible artifact you have
sent that I right really appreciate that that’s magnificent Wow oh it’s Christmas
oh I guess it was just my birthday alright let’s see here this is the
backpack trying to see this oh yeah so this is well the whole thing is that
yeah let’s turn this and use it as a table Wow
oh look at that they’ve got 200 I’ve got it upside down I said okay Oh oh my god
it’s the Dallas oh look at that they’ve got the two tanks the stuff on the side
all the big details are there including the front sort of samurai armor and
they’ve using a little velcro here to put it on so the person steps into it I
mean you know I’m putting this on in a second yeah there so we’re all clear I
am totally putting this on in just a second all right here we go this is that
the piece do is just on the mother lode this I mean it took me 14 years to
finish my alien suit and one of the most difficult things was trying to figure
out how to how to make the helmet it’s such an amazing and weird and wonderful
shape again like I said famously originally drawn by Jean Giraud Mobius
one of the great illustrators and designers and history one of my all-time
heroes and then built by Academy award-winning costume designer John
Marlowe and his tormentor Don Malo if you look his IMDB up he’s done a
murderer’s row of all your favorite science fiction and other kinds of
movies and Steven told me that the only thing they spent an actual money on for
this costume was the plastic globe light look at that look at this that’s twine
and hot glue and it looks amazing okay we’re gonna put the costume on Gunter
our cameraman who’s holding the camera waved the camera Gunther he has to go
somewhere in just a few minutes so I’m gonna put this costume on so we can get
him out of here oh I’m so excited to be putting on this
beautiful piece of the genius turns out I’m not too much larger than a high
school student which is good to know oh I forgot to put the boots on oh the
shoes fit they fit perfectly okay here we go
see that one is wait wait wait yeah we’re almost there we’re almost
there uh all right let’s get the yeah oh right there’s a little clamp here where
is it that’s it that’s probably for the helmet to connect to so it stays on and
so it is right boom look at that they put it on the front and the back so it
keeps on when the actor is wearing it you can still hear me okay
my mics all right all right dudes look at this magnificent wonderful addition
to my collection of incredible costumes this is North Bergen High School’s
magnificent recycled build of Dallas’s suit from their production of alien I am
so proud to be the caretaker of this amazing piece of art that Steven Tiffany
and his kids put together this year I really appreciate you guys sending this
to be part of my collection and I will take excellent care of it in fact I’m
going to display it next to my cane suit oh it is hot in here you
guys must have been sweating balls thank you guys this is out of room tested
signing out the next time you see the suit it’ll be on a mannequin