|Independence Day (1996) Patrick Tatopoulos with alien concept art and model|
Every Friday I feature artwork from a classic of science fiction cinema. This week's "Flashback Friday" post is on Independence Day (1996)
When developing the aliens for Independence Day director Roland Emmerich decided to make them familiar and completely new. "I wanted them to follow the mythology of what people expect aliens to look like." Emmerich said, "There's a certain kind of popular image that everybody constantly draws and I wanted to stick to that. But on the other hand I thought, that's terribly boring. The first image of the alien is not what you think they typically look like. You later discover, in a surprise, that they're exactly how we think they should appear. We simply disguised them first and then slowly revealed their true appearance."
Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos said he developed the look of the ships first before tackling the aliens because he wanted them to have a cohesive look. During the design process he developed two designs which they both liked and it was Tatopoulos that came up with the idea of combining the two into one. He said, "I wanted the aliens to look like locusts with a reminiscence of a human. They were designed as living exoskeletons, like an oyster, with the pearl, or small alien, inside." While many have compared the biomechanical design to H.R. Giger but he tried to avoid that. Nonetheless he said, "Every time I draw something bio-organic, I hear, 'That's very Giger.' Ah, f***! Giger has been so influential on me. And Giger defined biomechanical. Whenever you do it, you are screwed because it will look like Giger. That's the power of an incredible artist."
Patrick Tatopoulos is a professional production designer and concept artist who's worked on Hollywood films like Godzilla (1998), Stargate (1994) and Super Mario Bros (1983).
Click on the images to enlarge.
Learn more about Patrick Tatopoulos' stunning career at his IMDb page and http://www.tatopoulosstudios.net/.
Click on the links if you want to see more of Patrick Tatopoulos' work or Independence Day artwork on my blog.
Some images and text via Alien Explorations
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Independence Day what do you think of the ?
Official Independence Day Summary
On July 2nd, communications systems worldwide are sent into chaos by a strange atmospheric interference. First thought to be meteors, they are later revealed to be gigantic spacecraft, piloted by a mysterious alien species who have set out to launch an attack throughout the globe.
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Cinematography by Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Production Design by Oliver Scholl and Patrick Tatopoulos
Starring Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch
Release Dates: July 3, 1996 (USA)
Official Site: http://www.id4movie.com
© Copyright 1996 Centropolis Entertainment, 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved
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