Thursday, July 5, 2012

Exclusive: Concept Artist George Hull Shares His Thoughts on 'The Amazing Spider-Man'

Thursday, July 5, 2012 - by Maurice Mitchell 4

The Amazing Spider-Man set a record grossing $35 million opening day. George Hull (The Matrix Reloaded/Revolutions, Battleship) was asked by the late production designer J. Michael Riva to design a few major set pieces of the film. He "touched on" several things but primarily designed the Oscorp Tower, the Lizard's doomsday device and props, and the Oscorp laboratory/web rooms.

Since the film was very grounded in reality, he said there weren't too many crazy designs. "The film was fairly modest in its conceptual design. That is there weren't giant robots or over the top environments to create." He said, "The items were very specific and I had a lot of notes dictating how the designs should work within the story beats."
Despite this modest design there were a lot of problem solving and limitations, and it reminded him of his Industrial Design background. "When you design products for  the real world application, looking cool is only half of it, there are a lot of restrictions." Hull said. "But I had recently finish a few very high concept design projects like Battleship and Cloud Atlas, so I enjoyed the change."
 
"As a conceptual thinker, I am always looking for artistic challenges in some way. Sometimes a film maker and story asks for fantastic set pieces, landscapes, machines, etc. But not every film is like that and it would be boring if that were the case. For example, on the Amazing Spiderman, one of the items I was tasked with was to make the Oscorp tower look cool, elegant, but not too sci-fi or fantastic. It needed to have certain staging platforms, ramps etc. for a fight sequence. So I did a lot of revisions making that work for the production designer.

"Then the challenge comes in flexing my architectural muscles and turning my stylist brain off for a while. I would say to myself  'well if there isn't a huge aesthetic challenge (blue sky architectural or prop design) , then I will push myself in other ways.' I worked more 3-D on this film than I usually do, so I could fly around tower and offer exciting camera perspectives, or get into the set design specifics more than a concept artist typically does."
The production designer, J. Michael Riva, recently passed away and George shared his thoughts on working with him. "Working with Mike Riva was a huge, huge plus. I worked with him on Iron Man and Spiderman" Hull sadly added "I need to say he was truly an immense talent and an amazingly friendly human being."
You can see more of George Hull's work envisioning a futuristic Seoul Korea in the movie THE CLOUD ATLAS. Then in March 2013, he's worked on the movie ELYSIUM from District 9 director Neil Blookamp.

Be sure to check out more The Amazing Spider-Man illustrations and more of George Hull's portfolio at ghull.com 

What do you think of the illustrations?

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About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

4 comments:

  1. The illustrations are great! Haven't seen the film yet but this makes me want to more! It's interesting to learn all the different things a conceptual designer's job can entail! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Leisel, from what I've heard they have to wear a lot of hats.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember when I was little watching Spiderman cartoons and rooting for spidey.  I guess I trusted Spiderman because he was the good guy and I wanted to be like him, spinning webs and catching thieves. Thanks for the excellent artwork, I'll have to go see the movie now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Spacerguy I think we all dream of Spidey. That's why he's so great. Hull does great work.

    ReplyDelete

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