December 2011 / January 2012
* (April / May 2012) WAYNE BARLOWE AND HIS INFLUENCE ON THE MODERN FILM
* (Dec. '11 / Jan. '12) AARON McBRIDE: "AYE! HERE THERE BE PIRATES!"
* (Sept. / Oct. 2011) BOB PEAK - POSTER ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
* (July / Aug. 2011) "AVENGERS"-2012 CONCEPT ART: CHARLIE WEN & RYAN MEINERDING
* "RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES" CONCEPT ART
* "TORA! TORA! TORA!" CONCEPT ART: ROBERT McCALL
We love art and illustration. The movie poster work of Drew Struzan, Richard Amsel, Frank McCarthy and Bob McGinnis; the cinematic concept depictions of Joe Johnston, Ken Adam, Ralph McQuarrie and Neville Page; the lush character-based comic book world of Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Adam Hughes and everyone in between. Inspired by early masters of light, shape, form and visual structure like Renoir, Rodin and Magritte, contemporary illustrators, cinematographers and directors (James Cameron, Ridley Scott, Clive Barker, David Lynch and Guillermo del Toro are
all accomplished illustrator / painter / artists in their own right)
know that, even above and beyond the written world, early concept
illustrations are the best and most effective way to breathe the
emotional "soul" of a proposed film project into the heart and mind (the very consciousness) of a prospective audience ... not to mention studio execs and financial backers.
Here in GALLERIES we celebrate the all too often unsung heroes who's
work more often than not is seldom seen by the general public.
VISUAL FX ART DIRECTOR
" AYE! HERE THERE BE PIRATES
(... OF THE CARIBBEAN)! "
The ultimate career success of ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) Visual Effects Art Director AARON MCBRIDE is a near cliched example extolling the merits of working one's buns off - though the journey of said buns was perhaps a bit more circuitous than McBride anticipated: the age old "this led to that which led to that which led to this, and now here we finally are" scenario. Like many in the creative arts, McBride's interest in what would emerge as his life's work, began in childhood. As a youngster living outside Mystic Seaport, Connecticut he says, "I grew up drawing".
His interest waned in high school, but was rekindled by animation. “BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991) and THE LITTLE MERMAID (1989) came
out, the Disney renaissance. Filmmaking in general. I
grew up on STAR WARS, but BEAUTY AND THE BEAST inspired me to go back
and start drawing again”. The fire restored he'd major in Animation at the Rhode Island School of Design, then upon graduation do a stint, not as an artist or animator, but as a production assistant at MSNBC under host John Hockenberry, juggling everything from errand running to pre-interviewing guests.
MINORITY REPORT (2002)
A producer there gave him a lead on a freelance position with Colossal Pictures in San Francisco, and McBride leaped at the opportunity. Because it wasn't a steady gig however, he made ends meet doing what many fledgeling artists and designers do - working at the local Kinko's. While paying the bills he knew he still had to keep his illustration skills up, so (as he was no longer in school) he'd attend open drawing studios (where artists pay five dollars to do two hour figure studies) during the evenings. One night the man running one of the studios offered to pass McBride's portfolio on to his stepson, Alex Laurant, who at the time was ILM's Visual Effects Art Director on Steven Spielberg's SAVING PRIVATE RYAN-1998. See where this is leading?
McBride was taken on as an intern at ILM and in time given the opportunity by David Nakabayashi - the FX Art Director on Spielberg's A.I (2001), to do a series of full fledged concept paintings of the submerged theme park seen near the climax of the film; his paintings based on the rough storyboard sketches of Chris Baker. A.I. lead to MINORITY REPORT (2002), which led to HULK (2003), which lead to PETER PAN (2003 -where he did concepts of Captain Hook's Jolly Roger pirate ship), which ultimately lead to Disney/Bruckheimer's first Jack Sparrow adventure PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL - also in 2003.
He's since been Visual FX Art Director on HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE (2009), and ILM's Visual FX Art Director on STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH (2005), IRON MAN (2008), the next three PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN films, IRON MAN 2 (2010), THE AVENGERS (2012), and Art Director on NOAH (2014). Somewhere in there he also managed to find time to write and illustrate the STAR WARS VISIONARIES graphic novel for Dark Horse Comics, as well as crank out a series of very popular covers for STAR WARS: INSIDER magazine.
Long a favorite of the illustration, film industry and fan boy communities, we at the Cottage hope to introduce a wider audience to the artistry of Aaron McBride via a small collection of some of his most famous (or is it infamous?) aqua-marine based character creations from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN franchise.
CEJ - December 2011