Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Scenic Sculpting :: Only The Brave (2016)

For the recently released "Only The Brave", I was hired to help recreate an historic tree that was saved from a wildfire by the Granite Mountain Hotshots a week before 19 of them lost their lives in the line of duty. The real tree and its location in Arizona became a memorial and living tribute to the bravery of these men. I was humbled and honored to work with the Construction and Production Design teams to build this monument to them in New Mexico.

The real Juniper tree near Prescott, AZ.
The plan was to create a single tree out of multiple trunks fitted into steel sleeves welded to a massive steel plate.
Mapping the base and the circumference and angles of the steel sleeves.

The rough layout of the foam that would become the single trunk.

Blocking it in...
Getting closer!

An odd "tree" in the New Mexico hillside. The trick with sculpting in foam is ignoring the stark white color and focusing exclusively on the shape and structure. You get that right, and the steps to follow are easier.
The foreman for the site welded this memorial to the 19 Hotshots into the base before it was entirely covered in foam, plastered, and painted.
Pre-plaster steps. A blue "glue" is applied to the foam to keep it from flaking and  help the cement stick along with lathe wrapping the foam.

The change in color from white to blue really begins to define the shapes we were building.
Looking more trunk like every day!

The cement layer gets going and the rough bark texture is etched in the wet material before it hardens.

The paint crew doing what it does best.
It's coming to life.
Best wide shot of the nearly finished tree that I have now that my sculpting work is done. We'll all have to go to the movies to see it for real.
A little preview of the tree and the Granite Mountain Hotshots doing their thing from the movie trailer.

Scenic Sculpting :: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2016)

In the beginning of 2016, I worked with over 2 dozen sculptors on Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2". The primary set pieces I helped build were J'son's ship and elements in the throne room on Ego's planet. Our crew devised new techniques and broke new ground in the level of complexity and detail of the foam work on this one. Great team and great project! (For even more pics of these and other sets, check out Guardian Set Designer Lauren Polizzi's Portfolio HERE)

J'son Space Ship


Throne Room on Ego's Planet

Concept art for the Throne Room. We created on face of a column in real life, that would then be digitized and replicated to create multiple, faceted columns in the scene. The perfect blending of practical and CGI sets.

Stage 1 
Stage 2
Stage 3

Stage 4

Testing it out!
Foam work finished!

A closeup of the crazy hot wire work for the bench on the column! This one took a while to master.

Painter's doing their thing!
Rocket & Baby Groot! The area where the sculptors worked was right next to the Stunts where they used these scale props during practice. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Scenic Sculpting :: Kong: Skull Island (2015)

I joined a team of LA sculptors in Hawaii for "Kong: Skull Island". Our main task was to create a massive bone yard for the film which included, you guessed it, Kong-sized bones! Great project and got to help some very talented artisans on this one.

We had to re-assemble this skull after cutting it into pieces to get it out of the warehouse where it was built and on a truck to location. (NOTE: The skull is red due to spraying on a fire resistant coating to keep the foam underneath from melting when it gets hit by some pyrotechnic effects in the scene)
Yes, that's me on the Kong skull!

Gorgeous backdrop at Kualoa Ranch.

The finished skull after plaster and paint (FYI, that's the Location Manager  posing in the  jaws. We sculptors had completed our mission and were long gone by this point.)