Produce concept artwork for film
Feng Zhu taps into his extensive film pipeline experience and creates a production painting for a Star Wars project
Feng Zhu creates a Star Wars production painting.
when I was asked by the ImagineFX team to paint a Star Wars-themed scene, I jumped at the chance. The ice planet Hoth has always been one of my favourite planets in the Star Wars universe, and I have fond memories of playing with the Imperial shuttle toy back in the 1980s. Thus, I decided to combine them both into a single themed painting for this workshop.
Production paintings are common in the early stages of film production. They are used in the pre-green light stage to help visualise films for investments. They also help set the mood, styling and design direction for the project. Directors, actors, production designers, executives and illustrators all use production paintings, to ensure they’re all on the same page.
In this workshop I’ll take a short description from an imaginary script and visualise the scene. The descriptions reads: “A small group of unidentified individuals discover the remains of a crashed Imperial shuttle on Hoth.”
I start production paintings by listing the five “Ws.” They are “what, when, where, who and why?” You don’t need to answer all of the “W” questions, but the painting should contain information that enables the viewers to see those elements. For this painting, they are as follows. What – a crash-landed Imperial Shuttle; when – a few hours before sunset; where – Hoth; who – a small group (their allegiance is unknown); and why – this part is left for the viewer to decide.
Having these topics enable you to start the basic production painting with a goal in mind. This is particularly important when working with tight deadlines.