Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Exclusive Interview: TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Storyboard Artist Ed Natividad Talks Art of Destruction

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - by Maurice Mitchell 0

Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) storyboards by Ed Natividad
Transformers 4 has had mixed reviews, but it's now a worldwide hit and China's number one movie of all time. Michael Bay originally said he might not come back for another film, but when he saw the lines for Transformers: The Ride he changed his mind. He set out to "make a ride for the audience." In fact, as artist Ed Natividad explains in this exclusive interview, the ride inspired more than just the director's return.

Natividad is a professional concept illustrator and storyboard artist who's worked on Hollywood blockbusters like Oblivion (2013), The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and Man of Steel (2013)

Click on the images to enlarge.

Maurice Mitchell: It's great to talk to you again Ed! So, how did you get the job storyboarding for Transformers 4?
Ed Natividad: I've been working with Michael since Armageddon as both a conceptual designer and storyboard artist. On Age of Extinction, I started developing designs for the new characters as well as key frames for imagery he wanted to try. It wasn't until a month into the project when we started to explore some action sequences.

For inspiration, Michael sent me to Universal Studios to experience Transformers: The Ride, which was insightful and a dramatic example of a continuous shot layered with 3D elements throughout.

M.M: Michael Bay is known for his high energy style of film-making. How did that change the way you worked?
E.D: Basically, with any Transformers movie, push the level of destruction by 70% over any other film and don't design anything that looks cute or benign. If you're still there after 2 weeks, you have achieved this to some degree.

M.M: You're one of the few film artists that do both concept design and storyboarding. Which do you prefer? How are the two disciplines different?
E.D.: Because my background is in Transportation Design, I still gravitate towards the concept design, especially with the advancements in 3d modeling and animation. With storyboarding, I try to leave any "industrial" design out of the process so I can concentrate on the composition of the shot or the entire sequence.

Storyboarding keeps me drawing on paper, which is important to me. Both concept design and storyboarding should be developed in conjunction, for it is often one informs the other.

I seldom storyboard these days,but drawing robots kicking the s**t out of each other is always a pleasure.

M.M: Were there any challenging scenes while boarding this film?
E.D.: There wasn't any particular scene which was an obstacle because at some point, the Pre Vis Team, Unit 11, was able to present the sequence closer to the final product which included extremely complex camera moves and mechanical transformations.

M.M.: Previs has become essential these days. What would you say to aspiring storyboard artists?
E.D.: If I can recommend anything to up and coming board artists, learn to present you boards in animatic form if you haven't already. It is not always the preferred way to storyboard, but at least you will have that additional skill which can only be an asset, especially when working along side Pre Vis.

M.M.: I know you worked on Jupiter Ascending (2015) and the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2015). What's next for you after that?
E.D.: After my current project....a vacation.

Well deserved. See more of Ed Natividad's wonderful portfolio at EdNatividad.com

Click on the links if you want to see more of Ed Natividad's work or Transformers: Age of Extinction artwork on my blog.

What do you think of the storyboards? If you've seen Transformers: Age of Extinction what do you think of the action scenes?

Official Transformers: Age of Extinction Summary
"A mechanic (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter (Nicola Peltz) make a discovery that brings down Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official (Kelsey Grammer) – on them. A semi-reboot of the series featuring a new human cast and both new and returning Transformers characters. Peter Cullen will once gain voice Optimus Prime."
Directed by Michael Bay
Cinematography by Amir Mokri
Production Design by Jeffrey Beecroft
Starring: Wahlberg, Kelsey Grammar, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci and Jack Reynor.
Official Site: http://www.transformersmovie.com/
Release Dates: June 19, 2014 (Hong Kong), June 27, 2014 (United States)
© Copyright 2014 Paramount Pictures, di Bonaventura Pictures, Hasbro, China Movie Channel, Jiaflix Enterprises, Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved

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About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

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