Thursday, July 8, 2010

Universal Studios Creative

I left Landmark Entertainment Group and went to work for Universal Studios Creative. At Universal they were in the midst of designing a new theme park for Florida called Islands of Adventure. The park was divided into several lands, or islands, and one of those was based upon the work of Theodor Geisel, Dr. Seuss.

The art director and conceptual designer of the island was Wes Cook. Wes was brilliant, and a little bit eccentric too. But his eccentricity was always tolerated because of his brilliance. No one else could have conceived of the island in quite the way that Wes had. Some of his previous work included Sid and Marty Krofft’s H.R. Pufnstuf and the Living Island. For Seuss Landing Wes had designed a whimsical collection of buildings and rides that defied the rules of architecture.

It took senior art director Wes Cook, art director Gary Lee and three show set designers to execute the plans for the buildings. The only problem was that Wes wasn’t happy with the work of the show set designers. Wes wanted me.

When I came on board I immediately became the replacement for two show set designers and in 3-months I did what two people couldn’t do in 6-months. I took the wonderful concepts and designs that Wes had generated and I turned them into drawings that the architects, engineers and model builders could work from.

This is a drawing for the Emporium shop in Seuss Landing. The island was designed without any straight lines and this is an example of the work needed to accomplish that. The twists and turns in the buildings were created in a particular rhythm with each other and those twists and curves had to be reproducible. My drawings showed just how to recreate these shapes and still hide a simple structural shape inside.

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