moments 8

10 11 2009

moments 8

a few interesting compositions collected from live action feature films.


ken adam

6 11 2009

SIR KEN ADAM was born 1921 in berlin, germany. being jewish/german he relocated in 1933 to england with his family. after the second worldwar he started to work in the film industry, educated as an architect. in the mid-fifties he worked in hollywood on AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS and BEN HUR. it was there where he met his mentor WILLIAM CAMERON MENZIES. the 1957 released and directed by JACQUES TOURNEURNIGHT OF THE DEMON ( one of my favorite films ) was his first major hollywood credit. it was in 1962 when his long lasting work on the JAMES BOND films started, with DR. NO. he designed all BOND films until MOONRAKER in 1979. inbetween in 1963 he was the production designer for STANLEY KUBRICK’SDR. STRANGELOVE: OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB. as well he was responsible for the look of another favorite of mine, the 1965 THE IPCRESS FILE. later GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, and – again with KUBRICK – BARRY LYNDON, for which he won his first OSCAR. these are only a few of the highlights I mentioned. ken adam is an amazing drawing artist with an unlimited imagination as you can see in the following sketches.

ken adam046
ken adam047
ken adam048
ken adam comp

© ken adam


12 10 2009

JOHN WATKISS did a lot of designwork inclusive storyboards on the 2004 released SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. recently he worked on the new version of SHERLOCK HOLMES and you can see some of the artwork after the film comes out. john moved back to brighton about a year and a half back. he’s currently working on a lot of personal stuff, a DAVY CROCKET- project for WB, and a very large project for the Estate of Robert E. Howard. there is a lot more to see on his website.
following some of his ‘sky captain’ storyboards.


© Brooklyn Films II/Paramount Pictures/john watkiss

moments 7

26 09 2009

TURNER PICTURES released in 1992 a very well done documentary WHEN THE LION ROARS, the history of MGM. six hours on a three VHS tape set. the following mosaic with forgotten memories from the early days of filmmaking is my inspiration for the weekend.

forgotten mosaic 909 web

© TURNER pictures/MGM


22 09 2009

JOHANNES VERMEER, 1632 – 1675, is today considered as one of the greatest painters of the DUTCH GOLDEN AGE. that was not so during his lifetime, maybe because he only created a relatively small amount of paintings. he is best known for his masterly treatment and use of light, and for a special color, he used in most of his work – the VERMEER GREEN. DELFT in the netherlands, where vermeer lived, was at that time the center of optical experimentation and lens-making, what suggests that vermeer used a CAMERA OBSCURA in composing his pictures and handling colors and values. his portrayed figures are perfectly embedded in their environment, the atmosphere is peaceful and has a mysterious feel.

one of vermeer’s most well known paintings is THE GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING. the film with the same title, released 2003, is one of my favorites. directed by PETER WEBBER, art direction BEN VAN OS, costume design DIEN VAN STRAALEN and – cinematography EDUARDO SERRA. eduardo serra was the cinematographer of the 1997 WINGS OF THE DOVE as well. the visuals in the vermeer film are stunning, the whole film looks like vermeer’s painting come alive.
I combined some scenes of the film with a few of vermeer’s paintings to show you, how well films can be done completely without tons of special effects.

pearl 1

pearl 2

pearl 3
pearl 4

© archer street productions

lone wolf and cub

22 06 2009

SAM MENDES directed this july 2002 dreamworks release – ROAD TO PERDITION. some critics called it one of the greatest achievements of film-making of this decade. it is not only the good story and perfect acting that makes this film special to me. as source of inspiration mendes and cinematographer CONRAD HALL drew from the paintings of EDWARD HOPPER, especially his NEW YORK MOVIE from 1939. the film has numerous very unusual shots and amazing compositions, with an interesting depth of field use. a big influence for a lot of shots were the panels in the graphic novel, illustrated by RICHARD PIERS RAYNER. I should not forget to mention the outstanding work in this film of production designer DENNIS GASSNER and costume designer ALBERT WOLSKY.

road to perdition

EdwardHopperNewYorkMovie1939 copy

rd to perd.comic

© edward hopper
© richard piers rayner/max allan collins


28 05 2009

LA PASSION DE JEANNE D’ARC was produced a silent film in france in 1928, directed by CARL THEODOR DREYER. even for today standards the film is a masterpiece, in acting – especially the main role played by RENEE JEANNE FALCONETTI, as well as for the visuals. the camera concentrates mainly on the actor’s facial features. dreyer shot a lot of the film in close-up and did not allow his actors to wear makeup, the better to tell the story through their expressions. this choice was made possible through use of the newly developed PANCHROMATIC FILM. for years the original versiion of the film was believed to be lost after a fire destroyed the master negative. only in 1981 another complete print of dreyer’s version was found. this version is now available on DVD. I highly recommend this film, as you can see in these few screen captures, there are ‘real’ characters portrayed in this film. it is a piece of art.

jeanne d'arc comp

you can order the DVD here