07 November 2008

I'm In The Del Toro Exhibit!

The exhibit Diseccionando Fantasías: Los Secretos de Guillermo Del Toro (Dissecting Fantasies: The Secrets of Guillermo Del Toro officially launched yesterday in Alicante, Spain, after months of hard work by organizers Carlos Durbán Colubi and Daniel Dìez. I wish I could be there--not only am I a major fan of del Toro the man and the artist, not only are Carlos and Daniel lovely people whom I wish lived close by so I could hang out with them--I've got art in the show!

Of course, nothing I've done can compare to the fantastic renderings of William Stout, a frequent Del Toro collaborator (among many other achievements in film and comics) who created the gorgeous exhibit poster posted here to the left.

Carlos contacted me some months ago about providing some storyboards from the film Mimic to the exhibit--an assignment I took on nearly a dozen years ago. It was painful gig, truth be told--I was brought in at the 11th hour by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures to quickly crank out a few scenes for proposed reshoots on this troubled production, which was Del Toro's second feature and first time dealing with the trials of the American studio system (even though the film was being shot in Toronto--"Hollywood North", as they say).

I pumped out something ridiculous like 50+ drawings in under 24 hours, with only a few days after that to tighten the lines, improve perspective, correct likeness, add some much-needed details and tone, etc. before they were faxed to Bob Weinstein for approval. But I've never regarded the Mimic boards (a few of them are posted here) as anything remotely approaching my best work.
Unearthing the pages many years later, I was surprised to find they didn't look nearly as bad as I remembered them. My art style has loosened up and changed a bit, but I resisted the urge to cheat too much for the show, save for fixing up a few minor errors here and there and quickly re-inking every panel top-to-bottom, mostly because the pencils had faded over time.

I should take an annoying autobiographical pause here to mention that this is not the first time my work has been featured in such an exhibit. Storyboard artists work in a curious nether-region--they're either regarded as "fine" artists nor lauded like comic book/graphic novel illustrators--so it's rare that such work is displayed beyond a production office, or, at best, a DVD supplement. In 1997, I was featured in the exhibition "Designing For The Screen" hosted at Toronto's Design Exchange, sponsored by The Toronto International Film Festival Group.

Check out the event's site here. Carlos will eventually provide some photos which I'll post here and on my Facebook page. There are plans to bring the show to North America, and I'm going to help out any way I can.
Interested in seeing the show? Start making some noise!