Tuesday, May 7, 2013

From the vault: I Dream of Jeannie

I'm going to try to post a little more regularly by not biting off more than I can chew! So I'll be putting up a random old image or two every week from my archives. 

These are from 2005, one of the first movie projects I worked on, I Dream of Jeannie: the Movie. Actually had a fun script that spent a good third of the running time in ancient Persia. Too bad it never got made. This illo was produced in the days when I was transitioning from pencil and marker and traditional media to Photoshop, so it's a pretty lifeless piece and you can imagine how much painstaking time went into it compared with today's techniques. Still, it was a lot of fun for the time. Enjoy!




Iron Man 3...

I've had the pleasure of seeing the movie twice now, once at the Premiere and once at the Cast & Crew screening, and I couldn't be more pleased. Marvel seems to be able to pull a rabbit out of their hat every time. It's nice to have some small association with such consistent quality storytelling. 

Anyway, I'm going to wait until the Art of Book comes out on the 14th to post any work, but I'll be putting some stuff up here, so keep your bookmarks hot.  There's even a final battle suit design that accidentally got left out of the book, so I'll get to put up some "exclusive" content :)

Stay tuned...

Ray Harryhausen, R.I.P.

Seems like these have been a couple of years of the passing of the greats. After Ralph McQuarrie and John Berkey, now Ray Harryhausen has left us. The Sinbad movies were a highlight of my childhood. They fell into the very limited category of movies that my mother would allow us to stay up for if they were on TV, even on a school night. Very special indeed. Part of the magic that led me to this business in the first place. 

He will be missed, but his impact lives on in all of us who pursue the magic of the movies.

May he rest in peace. 

Or, his skeleton could come to life and move around in herky-jerky movements. He's certainly earned that much.  And I wouldn't put it past him.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Superman "Flyby" - The ROUSER.

The highlight of the project was Superman's cousin Kata-Zor's giant battle mech. The film climaxed with an epic battle between Superman and this Kryptonian battle pod. Despite the numerous logic bombs in the conception of the sequence, it still would have been a cool scene to watch!

These were some early concepts that were rightfully rejected as too "chicken-like," but I enjoyed envisioning some alternative weapon configurations. 



This was the final design. The Rouser needed to start out as a flying battle pod before the legs folded down for walking mode.



Two versions of the interior. Production designer Owen Patterson wanted to represent Kryptonian technology as a backlit glowing green energy. The Mech would be controlled by a motion control scanner that would translate the pilots motions into movement.


When it was considered that the vfx and wirework required for the zero-G gyroscope would be too expensive for every shot, I had to come up with an alternative design that could be achieved practically. 


I've posted this before, but here is the climactic battle. Once again, I wish I could have used a more dramatic angle, but the production designer wanted a clear sense of scale between Superman and the Rouser.


The battle ends when Superman flies circumnavigates the globe before the Rouser can turn around, building up enough momentum to fly through the battle pod. 


Boy did I get a lot of mileage out of that one sketch, huh? Anyway, an interesting project that never saw the light of day.

Superman "Flyby" - Kata-Zor Pod

In J.J. Abrams' script, Superman's Uncle Ty-Zor sent his soldiers to Earth from Krypton to hunt him down. This would have been one of the pods his soldiers arrived in. 

Early Concepts:


Final design:


Cockpit interior: 


Next up, the ROUSER... 


Superman "Flyby" - Kal El Pod

By request, I'm pulling out some oldies but goodies. Just realizing looking at the dates on this work that I'm in the middle of the 10th anniversary of this project! Holy crap time flies. 
This is work I did for Brett Ratner & J.J. Abrams' version of Superman. I was brought on when Owen Patterson brought in a new art department after the previous production led by Arthur Max went down. So ultimately I was tasked with designing the vehicles, taking over where my friend Harald Belker left off. 

The first job was to design the pod that baby Kal-El crash lands at the Kent Farm with (and flies back to Krypton in at the end... you'd have to read the script.) 

We are, of course, time-traveling back to the days of pencil sketches and marker renderings, so bear with me :). 



This one was my favorite version. I like the engine concept. Going to have to use that on something else. 
This was the design that Owen Patterson finally approved. He was looking for something as simple as possible, with no visible external signs of technology. Like a chrome teardrop. Of course, "Flight of the Navigator" was never mentioned. Ever.

The challenge with this one of course was to come up with an interior concept that would accommodate both a baby and fully grown Kryptonian. So I came up with a baby seat. Krypton style. 

 This is how the script envisioned the crash site. Ma and Pa Kent would have been pretty startled in the middle of their breakfast!
Next up, Superman's evil cousin gets a pod too... Dum dum DUUUUM!!!





Friday, February 22, 2013

Another Random Tron Quickie...

Like the title says... At one point we were asked to develop a bunch of background vehicles to populate the freeways of the Grid, but ultimately stylistic choices (and budget constraints, no doubt) left us with a more sparse environment. This one might have been a dump truck or something.

The cab is above the quad wheels, which would have turned as a unit, pivoting from below the cab.