There are some concept artist interviews I've had to hold onto until the Art of Iron Man 3 book was released today. Now that it's come out, I can share the first one: Rob McKinnon.
He was actually one of the first artists cool enough to agree to an interview for my blog back in 2009. How time flies!
Robert McKinnon is a professional concept artist for such big-budget films as Inception (2010), Terminator Salvation (2009) and Total Recall (2012).
He's a huge comic book fan and that comes through in this interview. Read on to find out the amazing designs for Iron Man 3 and what made him feel like crying like a little girl. In a good way...
Click on the images to enlarge.
Did you jump at the chance to work on a Marvel film?
I was initially approached by Marvel to work on the Avengers, but due to contractual obligations on another film, I was unable to join the team.
Which was a shame too, as I had a Captain America helmet I would have loved to have worn to work everyday! Later on, Desma Murphy, a phenomenal Art Director and colleague, recommended me to Bill Brzeki, the IM3 Production Designer, who brought me on board.
I love Bill and Desma. They're awesome people who make the challenges of concept art work fun. And who could say no to working for Shane Black who created the Lethal Weapon Series?! On an Iron Man movie no less!
You worked on robot designs for Transformers: Dark of the Moon, when it came to Iron Man 3 what did you design?
I initially started out working with Set Designer David Moreau on Stark's garage and Hall of Armor sets. I did a lot of digital sketches generating ideas and concepts.
Eventually it led me to working on architectural renovation concept work on Stark's Malibu house which led to visually developing the scene where it's attacked. That was a very exciting sequence I did in a parallel process with Marvel's Visdev team.
From there, I worked on various concepts all over the film. I was either designing or dressing sets or visually developing story sequences with the Art Directors. I had a complete blast working with an amazing and talented group of people.
While every design you do for a movie is a thrill, was there something special you remember designing for this film?
The helicopters that attack Stark's house are my favorites. Initially, the helicopters were going to be helo-jacked Army Apache gunships. However, there was a pretty cool design opportunity here. So we decided to come up with gunships disguised as civilian news and tour copters. It was fun, but very challenging. These copters had to be armed to the teeth, but couldn't be exposed until the moment of a surprise attack.
So I came up with the concept that the cabin doors crack open like stabilizer wings exposing the mounted armament. I thought if they could pull this off, it would be a kick a$$ moment in the film.
|Movie Still from Iron Man 3|
I saw it in the trailer, and I teared up like a little girl with a skinned knee! There's nothing like watching a drawing or painting come to life.
Even after 10 years in this biz, I'm still awed by it.
Having worked on your first Marvel film, what did you take away from the experience?
Iron Man is among the most beloved, respected, and celebrated Superhero characters created by Marvel Legend Stan Lee. To be a part of this amazing team and successful franchise is not only a humbling experience, but in many ways, a childhood dream come true.
Iron Man 3 is really going to blow the fans away. The blood, sweat, and tears of the entire cast and crew have seen to that!
Thanks Robert! You can see more of his work including Iron Man 3, Tron: Legacy and an NSFW image from Total Recall at krop.com/robmckinnon.
The next Iron Man 3 interview is coming on Thursday, so check back then!
Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” pits brash-but-brilliant industrialist Tony Stark/Iron Man against an enemy whose reach knows no bounds. When Stark finds his personal world destroyed at his enemy's hands, he embarks on a harrowing quest to find those responsible. This journey, at every turn, will test his mettle. With his back against the wall, Stark is left to survive by his own devices, relying on his ingenuity and instincts to protect those closest to him. As he fights his way back, Stark discovers the answer to the question that has secretly haunted him: does the man make the suit or does the suit make the man?
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley, Marvel’s “Iron Man 3” is directed by Shane Black from a screenplay by Drew Pearce & Shane Black and is based on Marvel’s iconic Super Hero Iron Man, who first appeared on the pages of “Tales of Suspense” (#39) in 1963 and had his solo comic book debut with “The Invincible Iron Man” (#1) in May of 1968.
“Iron Man 3” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures and DMG Entertainment. Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige is producing and Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Charles Newirth, Victoria Alonso, Stephen Broussard, Alan Fine, Stan Lee and Dan Mintz are executive producers. The film releases May 3, 2013, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
Directed by: Shane Black
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Stephanie Szostak, James Badge Dale with Jon Favreau and Ben Kingsley
Official website: http://marvel.com/ironman3
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Tweet the Official Hashtag: #IronMan3
Follow IRON MAN 3 on Twitter:@Iron_Man
What do you think of the concept art? Are you planning to watch Iron Man 3?
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