This and That

Making a CG Sequence with a studio crew:

This was a unique opportunity (Thank you, Nina Rappaport) to be the stylist and animation director on a test that was created to put Wild Brain in the running as the go-to studio for the producers of a Feature Film of Kavalier and Clay, the smash hit novel by Michael Chabon.

For this project I did a few roles:

Concept Design:

From the novel and research of the time-period I began to thumbnail bits of the imagery suggested in the chapter we decided we’d concentrate on.  In this sequence we follow the hero in a dream: flying over the metropolis of his imagination, chasing his love over rooftops at night.

Character Designer & Art Director

I created designs that could capture the look and feeling we were aiming for, which were later cleaned up by studio artists for character sheets that could be shared with the cg modelers.

Concept Cover for fictional 1940 era comic book by Kavalier & Clay

Luna Moth - Kavalier & Clay's primary female character. Joe came up with her largely on his own after meeting Rosa Saks.

Luna Moth – Kavalier & Clay’s primary female character.

Early Sketches – Visualizing the sequence

Storyboard – 

The producer gave me a section of the novel she wanted to focus on, and I interpreted the prose into images that could convey the spirit of the description of the main character’s love interest — as seen in a dream, appearing as the hero’s comic book creation, “Luna Moth”.

The hero witnesses her then chases her over the rooftops of the city at night.

Earlier tests looked at how we might build the whole chase, as described in the book’s chosen chapter. In the dream, Sammy is flying over the city after his object of desire. Sammy was later dropped from the test in favor of focusing our animator, the talented Jeff Vacanti on Luna alone. If you just have the one animator and a limited time to deliver the animation, you’ll want to optimize the project to get the most quality work from that skilled artist.

The whole process is tricky but enjoyable and certainly a challenge with all of it’s inherent rules and limitations. The time period of the novel was so much fun to inhabit for awhile. I’d like be able to work again on that world of the imagined post WW2 America someday. So many possibilities.

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