Documenting Dennis.




According to the Internet Movie Database (my go-to for movie information), Dennis Lowe has worked in visual effects for over (cough-cough) years… earning film credits in the camera and electrical department, as producer, cinematographer, editor, and director in a career spanning over 50 films! Despite that heady list of accomplishments, he strikes me as the kind of fellow you’d enjoy getting to know in the local, trading stories and sipping pints until last call. He is certainly very accommodating to courteous fans who inquire about just one facet of his life’s work.


Fans of ALIEN (1979) know Dennis from his work on the special effects team. In the days when practical effects were the rule of the day, guys like him pulled off some incredible feats that help viewers suspend disbelief and get lost in the fateful story of the Nostromo and its crew of seven tug jockeys. But Dennis’s work goes far beyond that, and I would like to share that with you.


Dennis’s website has a wealth of information about his work, including videos and images from his many and varied projects. It includes:


His paintings!



His sculpture!


His photography:



And there is information about his work in experimental and straight films, as well as a history of the early years of Pinewood Studios. (So much celluloid magic has sprung forth from those buildings!)


Pinewood Studios, c. 1950.



Did you know that Dennis (with Nick Pollock) developed a motion control camera system that was used in several productions? You can read about it on the site!



The site includes information about the Falmouth School of Art and The National Film School (of which Dennis is an alumnus), as well as his extensive biography. It is also one of the best sources for ALIEN information found on The Network! There, you will find all seven of the “ALIEN Makers” videos, an awesome gathering of memories from the people Dennis worked with, as well as some interesting fans (whose names you’ll recognize), to boot!


Through his web pages, it is easy to slip into their memories, to enjoy the laughter and imagine warm friendships, to envision the hard work and the long hours, the deadlines and the exhaustive but victorious feeling of creating a science fiction work unlike any before it! It was a unique experience, no doubt, and one that took its toll. Just take a look at these photos: what else but the production of ALIEN would drive a man to grace his fancy Bristol 401 with a Giger nightmare as a mascot?


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The beauty of learning about how the movie came together is coming to understand how these folks brought all of this to life through their varied experiences, artistic strengths, and sheer willpower… a work of cinematic art that has endured for 40 years and is showing no signs of fading away! Here is a little taste of the ALIEN behind-the-scenes information to be found at Dennis’s treasure-trove of a website:




Oh, and lest you think ol’ Dennis is spending his retirement with his feet up on the coffee table, have a look at the ceramic mosaic on which he is working!


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I hope you enjoy your visit to Dennis’s website! And why not drop him a line while you’re there? Tell him ‘The Nostromo Files‘ sent ya!


All images are the property of Dennis Lowe.



Thank you, Dennis, for your work in film all of these years and for your interest in preserving the memories of the days of ALIEN through your videos, your photographs, and the details you share with all of us.







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