The art of an Empire
Stormy seas Stephan Martinière explains how he gave 300: Rise of an Empire its distinctive aesthetic
When Stephan Martinière was asked to come up with concepts for the new movie 300: Rise of an Empire, he immediately had a clear vision of how he thought the sequel should look and feel.
“Conceptually,” Stephan says, “it was important to keep a monochromatic feel. I was very interested in exploring a colour palette that mixed black, dark grey and greens to bring a stormy and ominous feel to the scenes. Storm, the battle scene painting, is a good example.”
The Dallas-based creative is a 25-year veteran of the entertainment industry, having worked for Disney, DreamWorks and Universal on projects such as TRON: Legacy, Star Trek and Star Wars: Episode II and III, picking up a string of art’s top awards along the way. Stephan was approached by longterm collaborator and Rise of an Empire production designer Patrick Tatopoulos to join the project.
“I was asked to do two things: establish the design of the Persian fleet – including the generic ships and Artemisia’s more elaborate one; and to paint key scenes bringing the fleet into context and defining a mood, details, textures and colours for other parts of the ships, such as the deck and Artemisia’s quarters.”
To see more great concept work from Stephan’s time on the film, visit
www.martiniere.com. 300: Rise of an Empire is out on DVD and Blu-ray in June.
Stephan portrays Athenian hero Themistocles as he charges the Persian warriors on a horse, among the ropes and mayhem of the raging sea battle. Stephan wanted to combine an historically believable Persian ship, with fantasy elements.
This battle scene, set in a raging storm, was one of the key moments in the movie. Stephan created it with a stormy, muted colour palette.