Check out Brazil concept art and storyboards by Norman Garwood and Terry Gilliam!
Every Friday, I try and share artwork from a classic science fiction film or television show. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Brazil (1985).
While Gilliam often storyboards his own films he employs various designers to help him finalize his vision. Garwood first worked with Gilliam on Time Bandits and the two collaborated to create the brilliant look of the film which was originally called, "The Ministry of Torture or Brazil: How I Learned to Live with the System."
The movie has inspired dozens of films from Delicatessen (1991), The City of Lost Children (1995), Coen brothers' The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), and Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998). Even Batman (1989) was influenced by it since cinematographer Roger Pratt worked on both films and production designer Anton Furst studied the film for his designs.
Norman Garwood is a professional production designer who's worked on Academy Award nominated films like Glory (1989) and Hook (1991) and classics like The Princess Bride.
Check out the rest of the images after the jump and read how the art department came up with the film's unique look (click to enlarge).
There are many things in the first draft of the script that didn't make it to the final film including a scene where Sam dreams he's dragging a woman from a vast field covered in eyeballs and fights "Forces of Darkness" and a nine-foot-tall samurai warrior. After a fierce battle he removes the mask and discovers the warrior has his face. While the scene was cut from the film we do have his storyboard and drawings of the samurai.
In an interview with Wide Angle Closeup Norman Garwood talked about designing for Brazil.
"The look of BRAZIL, it really did evolve. I mean, I started to look at a lot of '30s and '40s, more '30s magazines. There was a sort of Deco feel which we wanted, and then it was these inventions that you would find in the '30s books, it was almost like 'the shape of the world to come,' what people thought armored vehicles would look like in the 21st century, and what airplanes would look like. That was a great source of inspiration, early magazines. And then it was just taking that and building upon that. But things like machinery and equipment, that kind of just evolved really.
"First of all, Terry found this thing with the ducting, just sort of ducting going through a room or whatever, and then the ducting then grew and grew because we thought, 'What if there was ducting not just in the poor areas? What if we put it everywhere?' Like Central Services just in the end put the ducting everywhere and if it was in a smart restaurant then it would be 'poshed up' ducting with mirror balls, sort of squares on it. So it just really grew and grew." - Garwood
"The clerks' pool where Sam would work before he got promoted, again I didn't want to have any color [to portray] the mundaneness of it all. Everyone would just go to do their work, and the only bit of pleasure would be to try to tune in on their TV monitors an old film or something — that was the little bit of sparkle in their very gray lives." - Garwood
The Ministry Offices by Norman Garwood
"The Ministry offices, that was a big build, at Lee International. Terry and I actually went to locations [looking] for that but everywhere we looked we couldn't find it. We were basically looking in France because the apartment building where Sam lives, the exteriors for that, were shot in Marne la Vallée, that sort of post-modernistic block. So where he walked, that was locations obviously, and then the balcony and the actual interiors to [Sam's] apartment was a build. The Ministerial building, we gave up with in the end and I said, 'Why don't I build it? It would be easier.' So I came up with that big set with the steps and then we revamped that into the second office when Sam is promoted." - Garwood
The Liberal Club by Norman Garwood
"That was a great location and the people there were, I think it was a sort of a transcendental organization. They were not reluctant but they were slightly concerned that we wanted to come and build this restaurant in the middle of their hallway and then blow it up. But when we finished the set they were so taken with it, they sort of inquired whether it could be left, because they really liked the whole idea of this restaurant! But we couldn't." - Garwood
See more of Norman Garwood's work at http://normangarwood.blogspot.com/
Images via Criterion and The Red List
Click on the links if you want to see more of Norman Garwood's work or Brazil on my blog.
What do you think of the designs? If you've seen Brazil what did you think?
Official Brazil Synopsis
Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro and Michael Palin star in this landmark cult classic about a government clerk in a future world who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity.
Directed by Terry Gilliam
Starring Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Kim Greist
Cinematography by Roger Pratt
Production Design by Norman Garwood
Release date(s): 20 February 1985 (France), 22 February 1985 (UK)
© Copyright 1985 Embassy International Pictures N.V., Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox