themistokles on horse by Stephan MArtiniere
themistokles on horse by Stephan MArtiniere

Interview with Stephan Martiniere

storm by Stephan Martiniere

IA : What’s about your relationship with Patrick Tatopoulos and how concepts have evolved and your shared vision for the movie.

SM : Working with Patrick is always a great pleasure. He always has some very interesting ideas from the start and knows very clearly what he wants, but he relies on what I can add to these ideas to really bring them to life. He usually gives me some very loose sketches that I then use as a springboard to push and develop into refined drawings. And of course, sometimes I propose some of my own ideas. We go back and forth tweaking the drawings until Patrick is happy and then I go into a detailed painting. At that point, Patrick totally trusts what I can do and gives me a lot of freedom until I’m about 80-90 percent finished, we then we go through more feedback until it is done.

deck
deck by Stephan Martinere

IA : How would you describe your role as a concept artist for movies?

SM : I have found myself doing very different things conceptually for films over the years, which makes the process always exciting. On Star Wars for example, I was more involved at the beginning of the project during the “blue sky” phase where I had a lot of freedom for exploration. During that phase the Director and Production designer were more interested in broad ideas. On Total Recall my work was more architectural, I was more involved in defining a look for the city. On Knowing it was about creating an elaborate and ambiguous spaceship and alien. For 300 Rise of an Empire I was asked to do two things, the first one was to establish the design of the Persian fleet including the generic ships and Artemisia’s more elaborate one. The process was first to design the overall look then go more granular with details and scales including the sails and hull ornamentation and motifs. These concepts were also key to start defining the colors and materials. The second thing I was asked to work on once the fleet was designed was to paint key scenes to bring the fleet into context and define a mood as well as defining more details, textures and colors for other part of the ships such as the deck and Artemisia’s quarters.

All in all, I would say my main role as concept artist is to simultaneously come up with innovative ideas and offer solutions to specific challenges, all while staying true to a vision.

night fire by Stephan Martinere
night fire by Stephan Martinere

IA : You’ve had to create interior and exterior elements, how are they different or similar?

SM : Creating exterior and interior elements are similar in that they are all part of the same world. For the film, I was mainly working on the exterior scenes and the Persian fleet, while most of the interior elements were for Artemisia’s room on the deck of her ship. They complimented each other. Once the outside of the ship had a clear look and I knew the details, materials and colors, I could transpose that information into the interior space. I knew from the script what was going to be happening in her room, so it gave me ideas to create additional details to make her private quarters personal and unique while keeping the overall style consistent.
storm by Stephan Martiniere

 

Stephan Martiniere Official Website

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