more cats

19 10 2008

a small team, the two directors SIMON WELLS and PHIL NIBBELINK together with SHELLEY PAGE, had been working on the animated adaptation of the musical CATS for a few months when I joined the group. the plan was somehow to combine built miniature models together with traditional animation. CG was at that time, 1991, in the very early beginnings. simon had designed an environment and shelley had supervised the model building. I only saw pictures and was very impressed, it looked very real with a lot of detail and had a convincing atmosphere. here are some of the pictures…

but steven spielberg wanted to see a more destroyed environment during the ‘blitz’, so I started fresh with my designs. following are a few I developed together with andrew lloyd webber’s stage designer for the musical CATS, john napier. we even toured the ugliest areas in london, I did hundreds of reference photos to make the BG studies as real as possible. it was amazing, behind all the sightseeing tourist areas there were these ‘backyards’, a hidden world of trash and destruction. I still have a map of ‘my real london’ where I marked this reference world. I am sure nothing exists anymore, after 17 years!

and we needed to test the 3-D look with a new model. unfortunately the last model-set had been pretty expensive, there was nothing left in the budget. so I improvised and built the whole thing myself. we found a very expensive model car from the forties and I had to destroy it with a big hammer, very sad! otherwise it was just styrofoam, some small toy pieces and plaster. we tested it on an oxberry stand, was not exactly what I had in mind – but it looked ok. here are some pictures…

©AMBLIN, universal pictures



One response

24 10 2008

I love how the black and white background was made. The overall environment suggests a more “run down” feel.

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