|The Fifth Element (1997) concept art by Sylvain Despretz|
Check out The Fifth Element concept art by Sylvain Despretz!
Sylvain Despretz is a freelance director-screenwriter who was a professional concept and storyboard artist on Hollywood films like TRON: Legacy (2010), Mission: Impossible III (2006) and the unmade live-action Akira movie. But he hated being an artist in the film industry. Even though he mentored with the great Mœbius and was called the "best in the business" he described himself as a "day laborer."
However, his artwork is still astonishingly good and he shares some of them on his website. Read on to get a peek into The Fifth Element designs and find out why Despretz says storyboard artists are like "waiters."
Click on the images to enlarge
"Storyboards, for anyone who wonders, are little drawings often used by the hundreds or the thousands, like a rough and tumble comic strip that depicts part or the whole of a movie." Despretz told The Whispered, "It is used ahead of filming to plan and budget, and mostly to help the director prepare the shots mentally. At best, I was a film student who got paid for his long internship.
"I did this to gain proximity, but I dropped further and further away, so close to my goal. I was working next to some of the greatest living movie directors: Sidney Lumet, Roman Polanski, Ridley Scott, Tim Burton, David Fincher, and many more lesser known giants. And the closer I stood, the smaller I had to make myself, like a mouse trying to steal a piece of cheese. It was surreal after a while. Then I said, 'this is your life, man: a glorified waiter.' Just as in politics, proximity to power is not power; quite the opposite in fact."
He longed to get out of the industry saying, "I had a good run, but the people who hired me were always keeping me in my place, subtly and kindly, but undoubtedly. It was a bit labyrinthine, and I did get lost in the tunnels for a while, because once you do a job, and do it well, getting out of it becomes sticky." Finally, he got a job directing commercials and feature films and hasn't looked back.
Well, we can still look back at his time developing artwork for directors like Ridley Scott and Luc Besson.
See more of Sylvain Despretz' marvelous portfolio at http://www.metaprogram.net
Click on the links if you want to see more of Sylvain Despretz' work or The Fifth Element on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen The Fifth Element what did you think? Do you agree storyboard artists are held back in the industry?
Official The Fifth Element Summary
"New York cab driver Korben Dallas didn't mean to be a hero, but he just picked up the kind of fare that only comes along every five thousand years: A perfect beauty, a perfect being, a perfect weapon. Now, together, they must save the world. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson's outrageous sci-fi adventure, an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable twenty-third century world."
Directed by Luc Besson
Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast
Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/thefifthelement/
Release Dates: May 7, 1997
© Copyright 1997 Gaumont Film Company, Columbia Pictures. All rights reserved