Gentlemen Broncos – Title Sequence

Gentlenmen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlenmen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Gentlemen Broncos - Title Sequence

Ian Albinson over at the excellent artofthetitle.com got in touch with me the other day asking me to help identify the original artists and books that were used in the title sequence of the 2009 Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) Comedy “Gentlemen Broncos“. You can view a movie of the the whole sequence here: http://is.gd/dbKfK

In total of 24 books were used by production designer Richard A Wright in creating the title sequence, and I’ve included a small selection here. A few of the designs look familiar, but I must confess I don’t actually know for sure and wondered whether any readers can help out?

Some notes on the featured images:

Top: This looks either like a Frank Frazetta or possibly Peter Andrew Jones – not sure though!

2nd Top: I was thinking this has an echo of Peter Elson ? looks like a 70′s cover

3rd Top: A really well rendered painting, an older cover I think – early 60s’?

4th Top: This reminds me somewhat of StarWars concept artist Ralph Mcquarrie – late 70′s?

5th Top: No idea here! cool though…

6th Top: Again this looks slightly older – a 60′s cover?

7th Top: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this one browsing through the extensive Flickr Sci-Fi-Books Pool but alas I didn’t favourite it.

Please do post a comment if you are familiar with any of the covers featured above or from the movie.  Also, do make a point to check out Ian’s site – a superb read & inspiration resource: http://www.artofthetitle.com/

Finally here’s a link to the trailer for Gentlemen Broncos staring the excellent Sam Rockwell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdpFpfIBkXc

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

The World of the Dark Crystal

A selection of imagery scanned from “The World of the Dark Crystal” a 2003 compendium of conceptual art, design and illustration produced for Jim Henson’s 1982 fantasy movie masterpiece “The Dark Crystal”.

For those of you not familiar with the story of the Dark Crystal – it’s a powerful and dramatic tale of a lost world and Jen, a young ‘Gefling’ who set out on perilous quest against sinisterm dark forces. 28 years after it’s original release the award winning Dark Crystal is firmly embedded as a true cult classic and even to this day a is a tour de force in special effects featuring breathtaking animatronics and puppetry… The whole film just oozes quality – there’s never been anything quite like it since – a remarkable odyssey suitable for adults and children alike, although I have to be honest, parts of it still freak me out!

I’d really like to write more here but I’m once again I’m a little time restricted, I think I’ll post here and then revisit again soon – anyway I’m guessing that most of you a familiar with the film. If not – wow! – your in for a treat! I recommend the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD with excellent special features http://is.gd/cTgLX or the BluRay version http://is.gd/cTgXX

The award winning design as shown here is the work of Devon based English Fantasy Artist Brian Froud, who in addition to producing of 20 illustrative book has also lent his considerable fantasy artist talent to several other famous film projects including as Labyrinth (1985) and Peter Pan (2003).

Ok so some notes on the Images I’ve featured from top to bottom (some spoliers here!):

Top: A conceptual sketch of an ‘Ur-Ru’. The Ur-Ru are the ying to the Skeksis yang, Ur-Ru represent light and good, the Skeksis dark and evil. Each Ur-Ru is inextricably linked to it’s Skeksis counterpart, both share a divided soul and are part of the higher being known as the ‘urSkeks’. This omnipotent super-race was violently spilt apart in an attempt to harvested the full power of the planets three suns known as “The Grand Conjuction”

2nd Top: A conceptual sketch of a ‘Skeksis’. For me creature and costume design doesn’t get much better than Skeksis – it’s not that the regal/Afghan hound looking Ur-Ru aren’t beautifully designed too (they are!) – there’s something memorably horrific about the Skekis, their shrill voices and bloated, twisted bodies wrapped inside fantastically elaborate but rotting clothing!

3rd Top: A perfect example of the fallen decadence – “skekEkt the Ornamentalist who made clothes above all for himself, rich fabrics that dripped jewels, the death of a 100 birds for 1 cloak. He first discovered the art of anointing the skin with a paste of clotted blood and diamond powder, to restore the sparkle of youth.”

4th Top: Another superior sketch, check the ruff, ruched sleeves and carefully balanced Tri-Spectacle action! “skekOk the Scroll-Keeper kept the record of the Skeksis; he was the smallest finest-featured, least honest of them all. He wrote and and rewrote his accounts, and kept changing them one or another of his shifting allies, The truth was soon lost.”

5th Top: A close up detail sketch of Skeksis head. A fair visual description would be to say the Skeksis are a kind of avian reptile, perhaps like an Archaeopteryx but also taking the most heavy visual cue from the Vulture .

6th Top: The contorted chaos of “The Castle of the Skeksis”.

7th Top: A design for the floor plan of the Crystal Chamber, the symbols of the original 18 urSkeks can be seen around the edge whilst the crystal hangs above the inner ring…

8th top & Bottom: Concept drawings for Jen the Gelfling, his costume and accessories – love the man bag!

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For more on Brian Froud visit his official website: http://www.worldoffroud.com/ or read more about him over at Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Froud

And finally, for nostalgia purposes here’s a youtube video of the original 1982 trailer…

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Tim Hildebrandt – Barbarella

Tim_Hildebrandt_Barbarella

The stunning Barbarella, as visualised by the late Tim Hildebrandt an America illustrator who worked with his brother Greg (as “The Brothers Hildebrandt”) producing art  for many famous film, book and comic franchises; StarWars, Tolkien and Harry Potter and many more.

Check out “The Brothers Hilbert” official site for a full sample of their collective portfolio http://www.brothershildebrandt.com/ and of particular interest there is this really slick set of Star Wars Illustrations http://www.brothershildebrandt.com/starwars.htm

Many thanks to Sérgio for the lead on this, I’ll definitely be posting more Hildebrandt art…

Also if you fancy a quick brush up on Barbarella, if only to remind yourself of just how amazing Jane Fonda looks in the sumper-camp 1968 classic! check the original trailer here http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3858367257/

District 9 (Gif Loop)

Here’s something I’ve not featured for a while, a bandwidth-crunching animated GIF!

This frenzied loop is ripped from Neill Blomkamp’s magnificent “District 9” (2009), for my money the best allround, accessible Sci-Fi flick since Jim Cameron’s “Aliens” (1986). The great thing about District 9 is that it’s a Sci-fi film that spans way beyond the confines of just one genre, it’s an absolutely fascinating blend of docudrama, social commentary, cutting edge Sci-fi, and (sporadic) breakneck action – add to this the very finest Peter’s Jackson “splatterhouse” FX then lace with wry black humour – superb! I also think a very good indicator for it’s greatness is the fact that most of my friends enjoyed it, and (unlike myself) most of them aren’t geeks!

I’ll say nothing about the featured footage, just in case you’ve still not seen it! anyway you should – available at Amazon http://bit.ly/bwBWiO << treat yourself to the Blu-Ray I reckon….