This month, I’m sharing more movie pieces!
With Venom just coming out, I get to share some of what I got to work on. While the reviews are certainly disappointing (I haven’t seen it yet), it’s always fun for me to see what stays and what gets left out of any film I work on.
I jumped into Venom midway through, asked by my friend, Production Designer Oliver Scholl to lend a hand. My first assignment was to work on the architectural concept for the Life Foundation, the genetics research group responsible for experimenting with the Symbiote. The Life Foundation building is intended to be in the hills of Sausalito, CA, that you can see from the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve mentioned before that I love to create very organic designs for buildings, the idea was to create something that blended in with the surrounding hills and trees really effortlessly. I started playing first in 3D to explore a bunch of different shapes, and to see how the building could integrate into the landscape.
We started with something very complex and busy, and after several weeks of iterations, we ended up with something much simpler and unassuming and much more minimalistic.Then we started morphing the landscape around it, so that it would blend in with the building, and make it almost disappear into the mountainside.
Taking a different approach, I worked on how the nearby industrial facility. This was key for one of the main battle scenes, as the hero walks down a mountain path to get to the building. Like the Life Foundation, they wanted to keep parts of the architecture integrating into the landscape, and keeping it unassuming.
After I had worked extensively on the exterior, I was asked to do some designs of the inside. Particularly, they wanted me to paint the images that would be hung on the wall in the lobby and exhibit – including the architectural drawing of the whole facility (as it would be drawn before the building was built), and a triptych of images representing the comet that the shuttle went to meet. All these were supposed to be printed in life-size for the actual set.
While I was only intended to do a few pieces, it became clear that more was needed. I enjoyed switching gears from expansive landscapes to effects and details – for example, I visualized some effects for how the Symbiote might attack someone, and even did a few images for posters and promotions. What was intended to be a few quick weeks, this project turned out to be months of fun.