I was given specific limits, especially as the book was going to be structured around the incredible pictures. As I have said, I would have eagerly taken the time to bring an encyclopaedic vision to the book, but that might have defeated the binding. The publishers naturally wanted to appeal to the fan as much as the obsessive like me! But I think we managed a pretty decent depth.
Describe the inclusion of the supplemental materials (photographs, inserts, etc.).
As I mentioned, Fox allowed us to go throughout their archive, Sir Ridley also gave access to his personal collection. From there, we were really endeavouring to show things that had never been seen before; not easy with a film as famed as Alien! Then, I thought I had seen every picture available, but marvelled at how much there was undiscovered. I especially like the rare relaxed shots where Ridley almost seems to be enjoy himself. And those contrived publicity shots, with the cast unable to hide their discomfort. It was such a voyage of discovery for me. The publishers then had the idea of adding what they called "artefacts", those inserts of diagrams and logos. I like the fact they give the book a dimension that can't be replicated in digital form — you can't put a book like this on a Kindle. It's a celebration of the idea of a book.
How did your approach the presentation, specifically giving readers something they had not read or seen (e.g. Alien Quadrology) before?
You've hit upon the biggest challenge. In setting out I really worried what there was left to say about the film? Especially, as you say the Alien Quadrilogy (now on blu-ray called the Alien Anthology) is so definitive. Then I thought, why is still valid to publish new biographies of Charles Dickens or Albert Einstein or Sir Ridley Scott? That was the key, treat this as a biography of Alien, not just in being a remarkable making-of story, but in thinking about what it is like watching the film. So much of the Alien legend is about the sheer experience of seeing it, I wanted to invest some of that into it. There is such a fascinating contrast between the tough creation of the film and the glorious reputation it has. Hopefully, in this, I have found something new to say. And at the very least, the array of pictures are a true winner.