|Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) concept art by Jackson Sze|
The artbook Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie is an Amazon bestseller now and that's because the movie rocks and the visuals are like nothing you've ever seen before. One of the concept artists that worked on the movie was kind enough to do an exclusive interview with me and shared some secerets about making the film like how Benicio Del Toro's casting changed the look of "The Collector" and how this movie uses color unlike any other Marvel film.
Jackson Sze is a professional concept artist who's worked on big budget Hollywood films like The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013) and Jack the Giant Slayer (2013).
Click on the images to enlarge
Maurice Mitchell: So, what did you spend more time working on for Guardians of the Galaxy than anything else?
Jackson Sze: I spent a lot of time on the Collector. There was a round of design work done before Benicio Del Toro was cast.
After the casting we did update the design to work better with the actor. Giving him more to play with in terms of hair, makeup and a cape.
MM: It's a truly amazing costume. What were the inspiration for the Collector's eclectic look?
JS: I always look towards what was done in the comics as a starting point when designing these characters for film, and the Collector was no different. The white hair, the dramatic cape, and the sense of power were important to this established character.
When I found out that Benicio Del Toro was cast, and that he wanted to play up the theatricality of the character, I redid the design from scratch. The fur cape and rich fabrics hopefully helped Benicio Del Toro turned the Collector into a memorable character.
MM: James Gunn said that he wanted the movie to have a bright colorful look. Was there ever a sense of how different the color scheme would be over other Marvel films?
JS: Because most of the movie is set in exotic space locations, we were able to push our work into the more colorful realm than say The Avengers, which was very much earth based. Neon lights, strange Cosmic clouds, and Sci Fi effects afforded us the opportunity to really stage our characters in a colorful world.
MM: Was there any specific instruction that Gunn gave the design team?
JS: When James came on board to direct, he had a very clear vision of the tone and color of the film. We were told to go bold with colors, and ground our design work with realistic textures. Throughout the design process, we paid close attention to what James responded to in terms of our art. It wasn't long before our team understood where James wanted to go, and did our best to help him make Guardians of the Galaxy as cool as possible.
|Korath by Jackson Sze|
|Korath by Jackson Sze|
MM: What was the design you're most proud of?
JS: This is going to be a slightly more abstract answer. I am proud to have contributed to the world building of this property. In terms of keyframes, I tried to push the color, lighting, and textures to create an eclectic and fun Sci Fi world people would want to see. Hopefully, taken as a whole, the design work I contributed help strengthen the tone and mood of the film.
MM: You've worked on four Marvel Movies so far. How did you approach working on this film versus the others?
JS: Guardians of the Galaxy was tremendously fun to work on. We were given a chance to build a whole new Sci Fi galaxy. With the Avengers and their individual films, the tone and look is already pretty much set. There are some space and alien precedence set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of Thor and the Chitauri. With that in mind, we explored how fantastical the farther reaches of the galaxy can be. So, in terms of designing GOTG, we did feel like we were navigating through uncharted Marvel territory. Thankfully James Gunn our director had a very clear vision on what he wanted the look and feel to be, and that really helped guide our work.
MM: On another note, you shared a really fun drawing you did for a Starbucks on your Facebook page. How did you end up doing the Starbucks drawing?
JS: We have a Starbucks on the first floor of our building at work. The Baristas knew some of us work at Marvel, and asked if we wanted to draw something on their chalkboard. Previously, the Disney Animation team drew a really fun Elsa from Frozen. I thought it would be great to showcase Groot and Rocket at Starbucks. Anything to help elevate people's awareness of Guardians of the Galaxy!
I have not drawn on a chalkboard since Grade school. There's this liquid chalk medium I didn't know existed. So, that was fun and challenging to use. Hopefully next year we can do something for Avengers: Age of Ultron as well!
MM: Which brings me to my next question: what's next for you?
JS: I am working on Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Ant-Man (2015). Those are proving to be as fun and challenging as any other Marvel Studios film I've been lucky enough to work on! I can't wait to see how they all turn out!
If you want to see more amazing artwork from the film make sure you get a copy of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Art of the Movie.
See more of Jackson Sze's brilliant portfolio at http://www.jacksonsze.com
Click on the links if you want to see more of Jackson Sze's work or Guardians of the Galaxy artwork on my blog.
What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Guardians of the Galaxy what do you think of the look of the film?
Official Guardians of the Galaxy Summary
From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team--the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits--Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand--with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
Directed by James Gunn
Production Design by Charles Wood
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, Benicio del Toro, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close
Release date: August 1, 2014 (USA)
Official Site: http://marvel.com
© Copyright 2014 Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. All rights reserved
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