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Interview with PACIFIC RIM Concept Artist Guy Davis

Learn more about Pacific Rim movieconcept art by Guy Davis!

Pacific Rim had a soft opening and has only made $84 million in the United States, but it's made $224 million worldwide and still hasn't opened in China, Spain and Japan. So, there's still hope for a sequel.

The movie is amazing and has incredible visuals. One of the artists that helped bring the film to life is Guy Davis.

Davis is a Eisner award-winning comic book artist known for his work on Sandman Mystery Theatreand various Hellboy-related comics. He transitioned to Hollywood and worked on major projects like The Amazing Screw-On Head (2006).

Read on to learn what it's like working with Guillermo del Toro, the number of monsters he helped design and see some of his amazing artwork.

Check out the rest of the pictures after the jump (click to enlarge).

All images are from the Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, and Monsters artbook.

How did you get the invitation to be on Guillermo’s core concept team for the film?
I had worked as part of Guillermo’s concept team before on Mountains of Madness, that was the first production he brought me in on, along with concept for his InSANE video game project. When Mountains unfortunately didn’t go forward, he brought the concept team from that to work on Pacific Rim.

What was it like working with director Guillermo del Toro?
We pretty much worked directly with Guillermo who is always really amazing and encouraging to work with. He’s an artist himself and can easily explain what works or doesn’t in the designs, very hands on throughout every step of concept. He’s always open to ideas but also knows what he’s looking for in the designs and would work with us till it was to a design point where he’d show it to the art dept.

I worked on the film for 11 months, when concept was done I moved onto helping out with storyboarding and any remaining designs needed (like the Jaeger bomb backpack) with Francisco Ruiz Velasco. Throughout it was just an incredible experience seeing everything progress and come to life through production and learning how that worked while also getting to work with the amazing concept team that Guillermo brought together.

He certainly made a powerhouse team of concept artists. You jumped around a lot on the film Guy. What took up most of your time?
I mostly worked on the creature concept starting with lots of different ideas and designs for possible Kaiju after Wayne Barlowe’s “Knifehead” was locked in. From the ones that made it to the screen, the two that I did concept for were Otachi and Slattern.

I also worked on some different Kaiju organs for Newt’s lab and the 2nd brain interior of Otachi, the baby kaiju with Francisco and David Meng, the Kaiju “Karloff” with Simon Lee and a Precursor “Bishop” with Keith Thompson.

For props I designed the early Jaeger arm and user control from the film’s intro, the welding back-pack for Raleigh’s construction scene and a few vehicle props that were in the background of the Shatterdome.

Early on I also did a bunch of keyframe line art for other artists to paint over and then helped out with the remaining storyboarding with Francisco Ruiz and Rob McCallum.

From props to Kaiju. What a journey. Was there any design that you found challenging to complete?
I can’t really think of one design that was too difficult to get past, usually if the initial idea/sketch wasn’t working I’d throw it out and try to tackle it from a different direction. I guess just getting the final Kaiju designs locked in was what we worked at the most, lots of sketches for different shapes and types of creatures before Guillermo chose the ones to go forward with.

So where will we see your work next Guy?
Aside from concept for a few unannounced productions, after Pacific Rim I was thrilled to work with Guillermo again on his version of PINOCCHIO and also the upcoming STRAIN.

The Pacific Rim: Man, Machines, and Monsters artbook reprints a lot of the concept from the team, everyone did so much it would be hard to reprint everything but it’s a good overview.

See more of Guy Davis' work at guydavisartworks.com/, guydavisartworks.wordpress.comand guydavisart.tumblr.com

Click on the links if you want to see more of Guy Davis' concept art and Pacific Rim concept art on Film Sketchr.

What do you think of the designs?Would you watch a sequel to Pacific Rim?

Official PACIFIC RIM Synopsis
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes-a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)-who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

Directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins, Jr., Burn Gorman, Larry Joe Campbell, Brad William Henke, Diego Klattenhoff 
Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro
Production Design by Andrew Neskoromny, Carol Spier

Official Site: http://pacificrimmovie.warnerbros.com/

Release date: July 11, 2013

© 2013 Copyright Legendary Pictures

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Write by: Arek - Tuesday, July 30, 2013

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