Imery Watson shares concept art
|Imery Watson is a concept / previs artist from New Zealand
who worked with Terry Gilliam on some initial artwork for the pitching
of The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Now living and working
in Los Angeles, he has developed a solid cv, working on The Lord
of the Rings, Sweeney Todd, and Alice in Wonderland.
Here, the artist talks to Dreams about his work on Dr Parnassus
and shares his five remarkable paintings. Click on each image for
The job came about quite synergistically. I had always wanted to work with Terry and was just a case of the right time, place and introduction that kicked things off.
I had a great meeting with Terry where he spelled out his plan: to put together a beautiful book to "sell" the beauty and strangeness of the world inside the Imaginarium. The idea was to combine his sketches and composites with some pitch paintings (which is where I came in) as a way to stoke excitement and get funding to make the movie.
Our process was to look through the storyboard sequences that he had drawn up together to identity the ones with the most impact that could be worked up into something special in the time we had. In the end we settled on five paintings.
I really wanted to deliver more than just some pretty images that would have to be thrown out after, something that gave a tangible feeling as to how Terry wanted to film to look and feel, so I made sure there was a pretty rigorous approval process. I would send him a rough as soon as I could and get to work on the next one while I waited for feedback.
One of the great pleasures of the job was some of the great meetings we had that were half conversations and half work. It was satisfying to work as a peer with someone whose work so influenced my own philosophy and work.
The most challenging aspect for me as a concept artist was that rather than be views of the final film, the images I made were really going to be tools for Terry to clarify his vision for the look and feel of the film. Seeing the film, it's really gratifying to see the impact of the work on the final look.
Link to Dr Parnassus homepage within Dreams for many more interviews & features on the picture