Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Interview with Dwight Lockhart

September 18, 2009

I recently caught up with Dwight Lockhart of; an artist with over 35 years of airbrushing experience and creator of high-end signs, displays, props, and ads. More specifically, Dwight has done more than a few customized Bond-related pieces for his clients.

What is your favorite Bond film?
One of my favorite Bond films is Octopussy. I am a huge fan of
Faberge, so much that I have hand crafted two “House of Lockhart Eggs” for my wife.

Hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart, paying tribute to Faberge

Hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart, paying tribute to Faberge

Another hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart

Another hand-crafted egg, by Dwight Lockhart

Who is your favorite Bond actor?
I like the way Daniel Craig plays Bond; full-tilt really, like you
think it would be in real life.

What is your favorite prop from a James Bond film?
Since I hand-crafted two golden guns for a client, I am fond of them, but I think Little Nellie is the best Bond prop because it is real. Could you imagine having one and the skills to pilot it? Too cool!

What is your favorite Bond film location?
In Never Say Never Again, the Nassau location looked pretty exotic
and fantastic to me.

What’s the process you go through when making a James Bond-themed glass table top? How long does it usually take you?
The gun barrel coffee table was easy once I decided on what image to do; I created the art file from scratch in Photoshop, then contour-cut it on my digital printer out of glass-etch decal material in reverse and applied it to the underside of the glass. Elapsed time: 3 hours.

Crafted gun barrel-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted gun barrel-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted "Golden Gun"-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted "Golden Gun"-themed coffee table, by Dwight Lockhart

What went into making those Bond display cases? And how about the signs/posters?
[For the You Only Live Twice display case]: My wife Debbie cast an acrylic, plastic martini in a real martini glass for use with a Little Nellie model and a miniature You Only Live Twice poster.

"You Only Live Twice" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"You Only Live Twice" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

[For the Octopussy display case:] I sent a 007 logo to China to have a large crystal laser-etched in the center, then stood it on a color-shifting LED base that rotated slowly. I also added broken crystal chips inside the cabinet and another Bond film poster.

Custom "Octopussy" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Octopussy" custom display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Each display case featured assorted items we created to carry the
theme through out the room.

Custom "Diamonds Are Forever" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Custom "Diamonds Are Forever" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Golden Gun" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

"Golden Gun" display case, by Dwight Lockhart

Your artwork is extremely detailed and exceptional. Did you receive training in that field, or did it come naturally? What got you into this business?
I have been an airbrush artist and sculptor for 35 years. I was at an auto show when I was 12-years-old and watched an airbrush artist creating hand-painted t-Shirts. That did it for me; I started drawing and painting from that day to today. I totally love it, even though I have had no formal training… I just learned as I went along. I owe a debt of gratitude to the many clients I have had over the years, who have challenged me to create something unique for them.

Custom "James Bond Lounge", by Dwight Lockhart

Custom "James Bond Lounge", by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted Bond film poster, by Dwight Lockhart

Crafted Bond film poster, by Dwight Lockhart

Special thanks go out to Dwight Lockhart for providing pictures of his exceptional work, and taking the time to answer a few questions. For more information about Dwight Lockhart and his work, check out Keep up the great work, Dwight!


Interview with Josh Gilbert

June 16, 2009

Josh Gilbert, of Shok Xone Studios, has recently answered some questions regarding his newest piece of art – a “Risico” fan poster.

How long have you been creating art?

Since roughly the time I could pick up a pencil and move it around on my own. The earliest piece of part I recall making was a drawing that wound up in the local paper when I was five.

What got you interested in it and how did you start out?

There are various artistic backgrounds on both sides of the family, so I guess there’s a certain genetic predisposition. My sister is a tattoo artist living in Portland, OR; my father studied art in high school and spends part of his time as a blues musician (and we share the distinction of having our artwork stolen while it’s on display). I connected to comic books at an early age – thanks in part to my aunt, from whom I inherited a hefty collection for my 18th birthday – and mimicked the style growing up. I briefly entertained the ambition of being a comic book artist, and still do in some ways.

Do any artists, in particular, inspire you?

I’m a big fan of the DC Animated Universe (Batman, Justice League, etc.), so Bruce Timm’s character designs are high on my list of favorites. The Sin City movie turned me in the direction of Frank Miller’s graphic novels, so I’ve taken a lot of influence from his stark black-and-white artwork, as well as James O’Barr’s The Crow. I was very impressed with the work of the late Michael Turner; I once collected the first few volumes of Witchblade, and I own a limited edition hardcover of Fathom.

What are your aspirations as an artist?

I’d love to be doing movie poster or DVD cover design on a professional basis. I’ve been a lover of movies for as long as I can remember. I think my dream job boils down to either writing movies, or advertising them.

What drove you to create the “Risico” poster?

The knowledge of the inevitable near-future production of Bond 23… I tried to carry on the visual tradition set by the low-key poster campaigns for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, complete with the 007 logo overladen with the title text. I also wanted some hint that the franchise was returning to some of its earlier roots (as indicated in interviews with Daniel Craig and the producers), hence the tag line’s claim of “business as usual.”

Designing movie posters is a hobby of mine I’ve indulged in since 2001. I’ve mostly designed posters for film adaptations that don’t exist (yet), like the aforementioned Fathom, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, and the video game Halo. On occasion I’ve developed a poster for a real project only for my design to be mistaken for the real deal – such an occurrence happened earlier this year after I produced an alternate design for Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, which then hopped around the Internet under the guise of an “international one-sheet.” That whole mess still makes me smile.

What materials or programs did you use to make the poster?

I used several promotional images from Casino Royale to create Daniel Craig’s pose. The head was from an unused shot intended for the teaser poster (in which a darkly lit James Bond fingers a pistol atop a poker table), so the lighting was perfect for what I had in mind. The body was from another still from Casino Royale.

The background is a stock image of Rome – there’s no particular reason for it being Rome other than “Risico” taking place in Italy, though after Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace took place in Venice and Siena, maybe Bond is in for a change of scenery. Add a few cloud stock images (clouds can easily double for fog or even fire with some simple tweaking), mix together in Photoshop, and voila.

How long did the poster take to finish?

About five to six hours. I usually render these fan posters in low-resolution, so they don’t take especially long to crank out.

How were you introduced to the world of James Bond?

I saw my first Bond movie beginning-to-end when my dad took me to see The World Is Not Enough. The movie wasn’t all that great, but from the moment I saw the gun barrel opening, I knew I was getting acquainted with something cool. That, and Garbage’s theme song is probably my favorite of the series.

What’s your favorite James Bond film?

Classically speaking, Sean Connery’s Goldfinger is the fan favorite, and a template against which all other Bonds are judged, and that’s about where I stand. My favorite modern Bond is easily Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale, with Pierce Brosnan’s Goldeneye a close second. I typically steer clear of the Roger Moore era.

Are you familiar with Ian Fleming’s short-story, “Risico”?

Only in that it’s one of the last original story titles not yet used as the title of a Bond film, which is why I used it here. “Risico” was a rumored title for Quantum of Solace, and it had a certain simple, striking quality to it that I liked, like Goldfinger or Dr. No; a title that didn’t need to express the theme of the movie or make a strange play on words.

What are your opinions on Daniel Craig’s take as James Bond?

It was going to be difficult to outshine Pierce Brosnan, but Craig has done it in spades. However much he doesn’t look like the classic image of James Bond, blond hair and all he still embodies the smooth-talking ass-kicker Bond has always been. Credit is due of course to Timothy Dalton, who was ahead of his time as a meaner, darker James Bond, but Craig has taken that baton and run farther with it (and clubbed a few more bad guys with it along the way).

The fact that the writers of the Craig series have brought Bond’s world back to reality – relatively speaking, of course – helps a great deal; the Moore films and later Brosnan films, especially Die Another Day, became far more concerned with convenient gadgets and eye-rolling double entendres than just telling a straightforward thrilling spy movie. In that vein, clearly the series has taken some cues from The Bourne Identity series, which personally I’ve welcomed, as that series has helped bring back the notion that an action film can be thrilling and intellectually stimulating at the same time. That said, would I welcome the reintroduction of Q-Branch and Moneypenny? Of course, but keep them on a leash, please.

Do you plan on doing any more Bond-related art in the future?

While working on the “Risico” poster, I had a idea to create an alternate version with the title “The Property of a Lady,” which is another Ian Fleming title that hasn’t been used for a film yet.

"Risico" - A fan poster by Josh Gilbert

"Risico" - A fan poster by Josh Gilbert

Special thanks to Mr. Gilbert for taking his time to answer my questions! This poster is very professional looking, and I look forward to seeing what else he’ll contribute to the James Bond fan art world!

In case you didn’t catch the links, check out his sites:

Behind the Scenes ::: "Quantum of Solace" – RECUT [Part I]

May 26, 2009

“Juzza”, of, recently answered some of my questions about his Quantum of Solace – RECUT fan media project…

First of all, what did you think of “Quantum of Solace”? Did you want to make a recut of the film because you disliked it? Or perhaps just wanted to fool around with the footage?

I enjoyed Quantum of Solace but in my opinion it did have one serious flaw which was the editing, something that has been highlighted by many people.  I’m all for new styles and ideas but not at the expense of losing the suspense for a scene.  The first time I saw the movie I thought M had been shot but it is only after subsequent viewings was I able to determine that Bond had dragged her to the floor and out of danger whilst at the same time throwing a chair at Mitchell.  Stand out piece for me was the car chase at the start of the movie, I love how the music plays as the camera sweeps towards the mountain side and when the action starts the music stops and all we can hear is the sounds of the cars racing.  It is only as Bond exits the tunnel does the music start playing again and really adds to the adrenaline.

There are two reasons why I re-cut the movie.  Firstly, it gave me an excuse to edit another Bond movie and secondly I was able to incorporate this into a project brief for my Degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media.

Can you explain the process that you went through in order to create a totally new gunbarrel sequence?

First thing I needed to do was rip a HD copy of the movie which I did by installing Linux on my PS3 and dumping a copy of the film over the network directly onto my PC.  This took about 12 hours and I ended up with a 45Gb iso image.  From there, I ripped the content and found the stream that contained the main movie (about 21Gb) and then converted this to a high quality HD file in the MP4 format (this also took about 12 hours).  Then I used various applications to rip frame-by-frame the gun barrel sequence and then cleaned up each individual frame in Photoshop until I had Bond walking on a pure white background.  I then reconstructed the footage using the edited images to a high quality uncompressed AVI file.  As I wanted reflection inside the gun barrel (like the Casino Royale version) the only way I knew this could be achieved would be with a 3D application.  I looked at Maya, 3DSMAX and eventually settled on Blender after watching a trailer for ‘Big Buck Bunny’.  Open Source or not, if people were able to create such high quality footage using Blender then it was good enough for me.  So I spent a few days learning Blender until I was comfortable enough to use it for what I wanted to achieve.  The gun barrel and blood sequence were all completed in 3D.

How was the brief work with Rich Douglas? He’s quite a well-known name in the Bond fan media world.

During the development stage I was using a clean version of the gun barrel from Die Another Day.  Although this worked, I was never really that keen on this version and had hoped to replace it with another at some point.  I went retro and tried some from the Connery and Moore era and although it worked it just didn’t feel right with Arnold’s score.  So I contacted a couple of people who I know had composed their own Bond music and asked if they had any gun barrel pieces I could use.  To my pleasant surprise, Rich Douglas went one better and composed a brand new piece just for my gun barrel sequence.  Not only is it unique but Rich really understands the style of the movie so it works perfectly with Arnold’s score.

What are some other bits of the film that you would like to “recut”?

There are three aspects of the movie I plan on changing.  Although I don’t have a big problem with it, the gun barrel at the end of the movie just seemed odd.  I felt the way it was incorporated into Casino Royale worked and after that we would go back to the traditional Bond of gun barrel at the start of the movie.  Therefore, I wanted to see how it looked so I created my own and added it to the start of Quantum of Solace.

The other two aspects are regarding the title sequence.  Firstly, I think the way it appeared in the film was weak and the titles themselves were not very interesting.

I plan on moving the title sequence to appear after Bond has shot Mitchell and then creating my own title sequence hopefully to compliment the main feature with symbolic images.

Will you be doing any Bond-related fan projects in the future?

There are a couple.  One project I started on was giving Never Say Never Again the EON vibe but for many reasons I never got to finish it.  Now that it is released on Blu-Ray I think I would like to re-visit this again.  One of the major problems I encountered last time was the ripped movie had a lot of gate weaving which meant when editing frame-by-frame not every frame matched the alignment of the previous one.  Since this movie has been re-mastered on Blu-Ray and is effectively a digital print all those previous problems will have gone.

The second project is a tribute to the work of John Barry and is a mash-up sound track of his Bond work.  All I need to do is edit in the visuals.

Click below to view Juzza’s first “Quantum of Solace” RECUT installment:

JUZZAMEISTER.CO.UK ::: “Quantum of Solace” Gunbarrel – RECUT

Special thanks to “Juzza” for taking the time to answering my quesitons. I look forward to seeing more of his Bond-related work.