Concept Art Development |
The beginning of art collaboration is always bare and basic, especially in a new collaboration. Here we go with early Artemis Eternal sketches from our artist Christopher Shy. These are all development on solely one piece of art.
Firming up a concept via pencil sketch allows for us to ensure we're on the same page before we advance into detail. The point is to avoid wasting time backtracking on a work that has already seen days of painting. If you're a director, this behavior will save you money and make it easier for top-tier artists to work with you. It will also keep your talent from hating you and making infographics about how much you suck at feedback and workflow. Designers will especially thank you for this.
I'm not sure what you see when you look at these lines. For my part, I can imagine the final and potential for the emotion each might bring and how it plays into the context of the film's story and aspects that will aid me in developing the production aesthetic, as well as conveying more of the story to you at this stage. Depending on how visual and imaginative you are or experienced with development, you might begin to get some emotion from basic sketches. Of course they might look like extremely early work to you and very bare, which they are: One reason why sketches aren't usually aired and especially not out of context of a finished work. Of course we're making an exception here. No benefit of hindsight for you this time!
The last sketch probably evokes something familiar to you, likely because it's contextual to your previous experience with genre art and film advertising in that it recalls "montage" comic and anime covers.
We scrapped all of these.
Also discarded are the ones not pictured. None of this is a waste, however: the feedback about what was working and what was not moves us forward. Chris began to splash color into his next round of sketches while exploring a new take on blocking and composition. The following are still very early sketches, but more advanced in developing palette and a sense of mood.
We scrapped all of these.
Also discarded are the ones not pictured. None of this is a waste, however: the feedback about what was working and what was not moves us forward. We're working on the final piece now.
Each stop on the Artemis Eternal production map is unbelievably complex. Sometimes noticeably so due to the work involved (often times involving new experiences). Sometimes, however, the complexity is not noticeable because it's workflow I've done for years and I don't comment on what comes second nature. Most of my work within the art department falls under the automatic category. However, for those who will benefit from detail, here is the workflow on concept art:
- luck out at SDCC and bump into an artist whose work seems ideal (saved time on research)
- meet-and-greet with Chris, discover it's a fit
- estimate costs for art
- further budget research
- create budget
- pre-order style fundraising
- fundraising met (Wingmen Francis, Ben, Sean, M.Sto!)
- materials sent to Chris (reference images, relevant scripting, short description of what I'm looking for in the piece, relevant notes from the Bible of the world)
- series of pencil sketches delivered
- feedback and discussion, Chris has a feeling about a different take
- series of color sketches delivered
- feedback and discussion, brainstorming, Chris suggests a different composition, I fill in the idea with details from the world
- color sketch
- approval to move forward on new direction: we both like it
- more defined color painting on final piece
- more-defined color painting of final piece
- more-detailed feedback
…And so on until all notes have been addressed and the final piece is finished and delivered. This is essentially how concepting and building costume, props, set design, web design etc. flows, with different nuances depending on the leg of the project.
Greg and I usually work a little faster since we've been collaborating for a while now.
Paced and incremental success is something I embraced years ago: As opposed to the instant gratification of the Internet and blogging, deeper, long-form storytelling and specifically filmmaking in general is a long endeavor. Pace works for us because we don't have a steady staff and overhead bureaucracy budget (thus I do more myself and delegate less throughout dev and preparation). Incremental successes allow for us to grow steadily and for me to get to know you, the core community, in a manageable and meaningful way. I also have more time to familiarize production talent with Artemis, which is useful in recruiting on a project that isn't the biggest payday in town.
For ambitious, youthful filmmakers working at visual, genre narrative without corporate backing: Make peace with pace. Although, I'm certainly happy as the pace quickens. Production will zoom by once it arrives. Plan well.
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