nome – alaska

11 01 2009

the problem was the color in BALTO. about 80% of the movie took place in the snow. if you are not careful you end up with a lot of white and some dull blueish colors, the atmosphere becomes cold and the audience starts freezing. that’s what steven spielberg was afraid of – the audience would not be able to develop warm feelings towards the characters.


I had painted my designs like usual in those days with feltpen and a bit of gouache, in a small size, 21 x 11 cm. the final backgrounds were usually painted in gouache. but with the soft blends in the snow areas that seemed to be impossible. so we decided – let’s try to paint it in oil. they had done it in BAMBI, why not try it as well. COLIN STIMPSON, the art director, was a brilliant oil painter, so were a few others in the background team. it took some weeks to train everybody. lots of test paintings were done, some of them little masterpieces.
for the final backgrounds nearly all of the snow scenes were painted in oil, as well as some of the interiors with soft blends. all other less problematic interiors were painted traditionally in gouache. in some of the next posts I will show some of the final backgrounds.




3 responses

13 01 2009
jung etienne

The part I enjoy the most in “Balto” are the backgrounds made in a more realistic and “adult” approach.It’s not like the disney style made at the same time.( the early 90′ ?)

13 01 2009

BALTO was produced from 1992 to 1994. the choice of a more realistic look was because it was about something that had really happened in alaska in early 1925, when a diphteria epidemic threatened the isolated, icebound city of nome. to get the serum from the nearest city of anchorage by plane was impossible, so the only way to get it from there was by train to nenana and from there with several sled dog teams to nome. the final team lead by a gunnar kaasen and his lead dog BALTO made history, when they finally, after 20 musher teams and almost 700 miles covered, arrived in nome. the historic event is honored yearly by the so called IDITAROD RACE, where sled dog teams cover the same distance in a competing race.

24 01 2009

I love you at the Alex Nino event! My day today was just to hunt for your book, but can’t find one:)

I hope that you will do workshops here in Manila:)
I’m gonna take online classes for set design and concepts because I just can’t find schools that teach the fundamentals of what you do. I really want to do your kind of work and just meeting you in the flesh was thrilling sir!

I did some layout and even interior design..but it’s not making me closer to what you’re doing:{ I’m learning through dvds nowadays but it would be awesome to be in a class of a true master!

Hoping for your classes in the future, sir!

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