Next in our fan creatives series is e-ripley, I found her blog when I joined tumbr. She makes amazing gifs and I had always wondered what drives her to express her passion for the Alien Franchise through gif making.
Clara Fei-Fei/ @muthur9000 : When did you start your Tumblr?
e-ripley : I’m here since 2010.
CF: What fandoms are you into?
e-ripley : Mostly into Tomb Raider, Alien, Indiana Jones, Dishonored, Batman universe, horror movies and video games in general.
CF: How long does it take to make a gif or gif set?
e-ripley : It depends. Sometimes you have a perfect “base” (good balance of darkness and lightness in the shot, not much of “difficult” colors, lack of grainy shots, good work of editor of the movie) and to coloring, it takes 15 secs. And sometimes you spend 20 mins on one single gif. Same for whole sets. Sometimes it takes 4 hours for 10 gifs, and sometimes it’s 15 mins.
If the set is more “creative” with some idea, quotes, manip or anything it can take your whole day. Or even more, because you need to find a font that you think will be good with your gifs, you need to find video files (with good quality, and the scene that would fit your idea. So it’s kinda exhausting sometimes.
Not to say that I can make a set of gifs in 20 mins and then spend 2 hours to set them in the “right” order, so they look good together, next to each other. There’s no such thing as randomness in it. And often you end up making 40 gifs for 10-gifs-set and you have to decide which is staying.
Of course, some parts of a process are almost automatic (a lot of practice). But as some kind of artist (and I believe that making gifs is a form of art) you always want your gifs looks really good.
And for me as a perfectionist, there’s a lot of struggle in it.
CF: Generally what parts do you like to focus on?
e-ripley : From the technical side, I love static shots (and unusual angles), wide spaces, vibrant colors. and from the artistic side, I’m always trying to catch a mood, aesthetic, from my point of view of course.
CF: I know your blog through the Alien fandom, when did you first get into Alien?
e-ripley : Well I’ve seen Alien (1979) when I was 5 yo for the first time. It was very scary back then for me. Right now it’s not scary at all but I still enjoy the atmosphere of the movie every time I rewatch it, even tho I watched it for a thousand times and know all scenes and lines by heart.
There was once a day when I just watched Alien (1979) all day on repeat, it’s hard to explain, I felt that way.
CF: Out of the movies which is your favourite and why?
e-ripley : It’s actually kinda difficult to choose between 1 and 2, they both are extremely good. but I’ll say Alien (1979). I love that it feels… personal? If that makes any sense. It gives you a feeling of presence, along with Ellen. Also, Prometheus, because it brought more depth to the Alien universe and some perspective.
CF: Who would you say is your favourite character in the series and why?
e-ripley : Ellen Ripley. There’s a lot of amazing, different, badass characters in the Alien franchise. But if I have to choose one – Ellen Ripley. Do I really need to say why?? She’s real. She’s the woman. Smart, fierce, kind, confident, sassy, real badass. She was one of my role models since I was a kid.
CF: Which breed of the Xenomorph is your favourite and why?
e-ripley : Classic xenomorph. Because of all that shit that Ash said. Also, it’s pretty sad to me we know/saw very little about the deacon, I was very curious about this creature, with such “parents” as engineer and trilobite.
CF: What did you think about the prequels and alien covenant?
e-ripley : I love it a lot, especially Prometheus. I love questions that were asked, and the ways they were answered (not all of them but still). Ridley is an atheist and he loves to explore religious themes, I’m an agnostic, and his point of view in such matter is quite interesting to me.
I also love David’s story.
CF: If you could change anything in them what would you do?
e-ripley : I know it was part of a plan to keep engineers mysterious, even in Covenant. But I would add at least some more visuals about them. Ridley’s really good with visuals as an instrument of storytelling. And there was a lot of really good stuff in deleted scenes from Prometheus. But they cut it off because they wanted to keep the pace in the movie and I get why but it’s still sad because it’s a good material for this universe, for the depth.
Also, there’s a deleted scene from Covenant I wish they would put in the movie. With Daniels hunt alien on the Covenant, alone.
CF: What did you think about Neil Blomkamp’s Alien 5?
e-ripley : I love his sci-fi movies and I think he can make a really good Alien movie. I saw his concept arts and they’re amazing! I think Ripley, Hicks and Newt deserve more than they got in Alien 3. A proper story, sequel, and an end.
CF: What do you think about Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant sequel being a war of the worlds?
e-ripley : First of all I think right now it’s too soon to make any suggestions. I watch how Ridley works for many years, and particularly with Alien franchise, and I see this journey of a story, it changes. What we were told on early stages of the movie can be pretty far from what it will be in the end, even the concept of the movie itself.
I trust Ridley, I love his vision, his storytelling. He knows and feels Alien universe better than anyone because he created the very substance of it. And I think it’s really important to let him finish the story he wanted to tell.
As for battles of aliens, humans and engineers… I would watch it.
CF: I know you like Alien Isolation, what about it is so appealing to you?
e-ripley : This game includes everything best from the Alien universe. I love it continues with this 70s vision of a future. Alien(s) movies aesthetic, good sound, suspense mood. It’s a first-person game, so it gives you intense experience. New characters but they are connected with the original one, a lot of easter eggs and features from Alien (1979). Alien AI is pretty good, best for survival horror game so far in my opinion. The game has good dynamic, different types of enemies, stealth is quite a challenge (especially on a higher difficulty). It has a very good balance of everything.
Also amazing voice actors from the original movie.
CF: What would you like to see done for alien movies/games in the future?
e-ripley : As much as I love Ripley family and I’ll always love to see anything about them I think that’s a good idea to tell different stories, with new characters, new locations, new alien species, expand alien universe, continue to explore human and robotics nature, asking philosophical questions (what Ridley actually do).
I always wanted to know and actually see what’s going on in Weyland-Yutani Corp (on Earth), I mean routine, people who work there, with some subplot, intrigues, like with Burke and Ransome (Alien: Isolation).
Also, I would love to see a new version of Alien vs. Predator or any kind of encounter of these characters and their universes.
CF: What don’t you like about the fandom that you wish would change?
e-ripley : I would love to see people form their own opinions, not based on someone else’s opinion, some site’s ratings (like Tumblr, rotten tomatoes, IMDB or any other). Not be affected by “popular opinion”. But instead, watch it and decide for themselves. And it can apply to any fandom actually.
CF: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions 🙂
You can some of her work here or on her Tumblr