Once we officially began production, the producers started to break down the script. But according to Benjamin Price, partner at The Hive, breaking down a Motion Comic script is slightly different than a regular movie script. For example, there is no need to organize the usual aspects like wardrobe, hair and makeup, which must all be determined early on. Because the turnaround is so fast, we needed to get right into designing the overall look of the movie during the breakdown process.
Matt Hill is our art director. He’s not only extremely talented, but a perfect fit for The Alchemist Agenda since he has traveled to many of the locations and is well versed in many of the martial arts and weapons used in the story. In the first week, The Hive gave Matt several key scenes to experiment with. Then they presented me with several art styles. And that visceral reaction I was hoping for was immediate. Here are some examples of Matt’s early sketches. I love the use of background color for the mood of the scene while keeping the subject in black and white for focus. Usually the opposite is done, and I felt this gave it a distinctive vibe. The next step was for Matt to create character models for the two leads. I gave him magazine references with specific body shapes, hairstyles and wardrobe. Matt came back with multiple options that required only a few rounds of refinement.