Pro­duce con­cept art­work for film

Feng Zhu taps into his ex­ten­sive film pipe­line ex­pe­ri­ence and cre­ates a pro­duc­tion paint­ing for a Star Wars project

ImagineFX - - Issue 129 Christmas 2015 -

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.

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