These are some concept pieces I did for the Dark Knight while I was in New Zealand, working on “30 Days of Night”.
Ahhh, Spider-Man 4. Of all the projects I’ve worked on, I get asked about this more often than anything else.
I hope that one day I can, (or somebody can), finally tell the whole story of Sam Raimi’s ‘abandoned’ fourth Spidey movie.
Until then, out of respect for Sam, (and fear that he’d send Bruce Campbell to come after me with a chainsaw…), and everyone that worked on, or contributed to, this project, let me just say this:
It would’ve been one absolutely kick ass movie. Seriously. We were working on some crazy- cool stuff, because everyone, from top to bottom, felt that Spidey 3 was a bit of a ‘missed opportunity’, and we all really wanted to help Sam take SM4 to another level so he could end the series on a high note.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, but I did get to spend a few years working on “OZ, The Great and Powerful”, which was just amazing…
but that’s a whole ‘nother post.
Anyway, Sam is almost superstitious about releasing any storyboards for anything, (go back and look at every “The Art Of” book for every movie he’s ever done… you know what’s not gonna be there? Anywhere? That’s right: storyboards), I don’t really know why- but that’s just how he feels about it.
So, having said that, here are some ‘boards I can share, (without pissing Sam off), from the mysterious Spider-Man 4.
(*As a bonus, I put an ‘audition’ piece at the bottom that I did for the late, great J. Michael Riva, (RIP), who asked me to join him on the reboot, not long after SM4 shut down. Two days before I was to start on the reboot, (which, to be honest, I was a bit conflicted about…), Sam called me in for what- would- eventually become OZ… so that was it for me, Sam and Spidey.
Oz The Great and Powerful
It’s been well established, (on this very blog), how Mr. Raimi really doesn’t like to release storyboards form any of his films. Don’t believe me? Go try to find some online. Go ahead… try it right now. I’ll wait.
See? Not very many at all, huh?
I went through and found a handful of frames that, being completely out of context, I think I can post without pissing off, or otherwise upsetting Sam.
I’m a little nervous, because if I’m wrong, I know he’s gonna send Campbell after me again…
I don’t think I’m fully recovered from the last time.
I’m not gonna say anything about the box office numbers, because that’s got nothin’ to do with me. I will say, however, that a whole lot of really talented people worked their asses off on the film, (check out some of the amazing concept art that’s showing up elsewhere online), and I think that alone deserves a pass from the shit talkin’ that’s so commonplace on the good ol’ interwebs.
That said, here’s some storyboards…
Another collaboration with the great David Slade. Unfortunately, not as much time to work together as with "30 Days of Night" because poor David got swallowed up almost immediately by the madness that was Twilight.
30 Days of Night
I'll always have a soft spot for this film; not only because I loved the movie itself, but also because I had such an amazing experience working on it.
I was already a big fan of the book, so I was really excited when I got the call to come in and meet with the director, David Slade, about working on the movie. I was already well aware of David's work: his debut, an amazing independent film called 'Hard Candy', (if you haven't already seen it- STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND GO WATCH IT NOW), made a huge splash and really left an impression. It's the only movie I've ever seen where multiple theatergoers literally passed out at every screening I saw. (You'll know where when you see it...) It's also Ellen Page's first feature- and she's just... just see the movie, and prepare to get freaked out...
but I digress.
On the way to my interview, I got into a fender bender and was almost an hour and a half late! Fortunately, David and I hit it off famously and I got the gig.
After about a month working on 'boards here in LA, I was fortunate enough to to have the opportunity to go to Auckland, New Zealand for the summer, (or winter, as the case may be when you're in NZ), to work on site during preproduction! It was just a great experience, and I absolutely loved New Zealand!
I also got to spend some real time in Wellington, at the WETA Workshop! It was just mind blowing... considering how big a fan I am of their work. What an amazing place.
I understand that it was a pretty difficult and demanding shoot, (night shoots, extreme cold, etc), but I had to come back to the states right as production hit full swing... but I did get to go back down to NZ that fall for a few more weeks, which was great.
All things considered, I thought the movie was great, (although I'd love to see a "Director's Cut' released one day...), it was the first 'big' movie I had worked on, and to have that kind of experience was just fantastic. I had such a blast!
This was a blast to work on.
Still haven't been on the damn ride yet, though.
John Malkovich playing Blackbeard, with a pilot directed by the brilliant David Slade? What's not to like?