Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Interview with PACFIC RIM Concept Artist Keith Thompson

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - by Maurice Mitchell 4

"The Epiphyte"
Check out my interview with Pacific Rim concept artist Keith Thompson!

There are many artists and designers that worked together to create the look of Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim.  One of the talented artists working on the film is Keith Thompson and he agreed to a short interview about his time on the film.

Keith Thompson is a professional concept artist who's worked on major motion pictures like Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010)

Check out the rest of the pictures after the jump (click to enlarge).


"Kaiju Onibaba" by Keith Thompson designed by Wayne Barlowe

Maurice Mitchell: Thanks for joining me Keith, tell me what you worked on for the film?
KT: I was lucky enough to jump around a fair bit and explore a few different things.  The official art book is actually a really great cross section of the type of work that went into everything, both in the movie and in the extended universe.  Some of the bigger things I spent a lot of time on were the Shatterdome, the Wall, the cockpit screens and the beings and places revealed at the end of the movie.

MM: Those are some great set pieces. What was the trickiest part of designing ?
KT: Probably the Shatterdome took the most finessing and repeated visits.  It had a whole host of complicated concerns.  It had to be believable in its setting but also have a dynamic and engaging form and silhouette.  It had to be completely unique and an iconic feat of architecture in the world of Pacific Rim, but it also was built into an area of real world topology. 

If I made it too believable and technically thought out it started looking dull and somewhat unengaging (a massive bunker mostly hidden in a mountainside isn't much to look at no matter how well structured and conceivable I tried to make it!)  Working at those scales has a whole host of fun and challenging concerns.

MM: You have a very unique steampunk style. How did your particular art style affect your design on the film?
KT: It changed which things I'd gravitate to.  Sometimes I would work on some parts of the movie and del Toro would realise the aesthetic wasn't quite right for that part of the world and he'd have me take new shots at other things.  Worlds this big almost grow organically. 
Pacific Rim Russian futurist style propaganda poster (one on the right). via http://psycho-ming.blogspot.com

MM: It must have been great working with him. Where can we see your work next?
KT: A few unannounced next-gen games, some upcoming books, a new feature film, and Guillermo del Toro's upcoming TV series The Strain on FX.

See more of Keith Thompson's work at http://www.keiththompsonart.com

Click on the links if you want to see more of Keith Thompson's work and Pacific Rim on my blog.

What do you think of the illustrations?

Official PACIFIC RIM Synopsis
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Brad William Henke, Diego Klattenhoff 
Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro
Production Design by Andrew Neskoromny, Carol Spier

Official Site: http://www.pacificrimmovie.com

Release date: July 11, 2013

© 2013 Copyright Legendary Pictures

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

4 comments:

  1. Really enjoying your site Maurice. I'm sow to discover these things but plenty of wonderful work here to explore. sff

    ReplyDelete
  2. Pretty cool concept art. Have you also seen the art for the new Riddick film?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have and it's stunning. It could rival the designs for "Pitch Black."

    ReplyDelete

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