Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Craft Services
Craft Services

Episode 70 · 9 months ago

STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999) Interview with Storyboard Artist Benton Jew

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Parth and Trent talk Phantom Menace with its storyboard artist, Benton Jew. They also talk about Team Deakins. 

Edited by Parth Marathe

This is an odd play for the Trade Federation. We've got the woman, a booth and contact unclive alorm butt split up stow a bolt, separate ships and meat down on the planet. You were right about one thing, Mosta the negotiations. Well, should so part. What have you been eating? Nice to see you, by the way, Trent, we are not in our natural habitats. No, we've retreated to our childhood homes due to Thanksgiving. Giving of thanks. Yes, what are you thankful for? You this podcast. Yep. Other than that, everything else is just that. Everything else is just background noise. I'll just say it's all in shambles. Trent, for dinner, my family and I got take out from an Ethiopian place. It's pretty good. Got Doo tibs, which just chicken, and Mr Watt, which is like lentils, and it was really, really good. Nice I had. The last time I had read meat was or the last time I had a cheeseburger. It was probably like over the summer Va. Five guys and I know for a fact that I threw up in the car afterwards. Souse. Ever since I was briefly Vegetarian Freshman Year of college, my stomach hadn't hasn't been able to come back to like large sums of red meat again and forever. Reason. Today I was craving a burger and me and my friend went to sonic and got burgers and then we played settlers of Katam and it was a pretty nice night. And now we're podcasting past midnight. So it's officially tomorrow and it's officially someday, the day that our episodes come out. So we're talking live basically to the people on day, actually on day of release. Happy Son Happy Church Day everyone. What has happened is that beginning of this, I guess school semester, which is to say September two about now, we were so well planned and I'd edited all of the episodes and we were cruising along through school, and now we've reached the point where we're just like broken. Remember remember like eight months ago when we were like wow, we have all the episodes for the rest of the year planned out, and now we're like fresh out of interviews and now we're going to have to really start exerting ourselves again. It's it's going to be. It's going to be a tough winter break, will put it that way. But in the meantime it's going to be an easy winter break for the listeners because they get to enjoy all of our hard work from the summer in Prequel winter. I mean we start prematurely and Novo on November twenty eight. But let's just say you're in for a ride. Should we? Should we cut into the intro so that we can get these cool cats? They're cool episode. Yeah, let's start the cool introduction music with a cool segue. Cool. Welcome back to craft services, where we talk about Zimmovie. Each week you talk about a film and hopefully have a crew member of that film to talk with us about their experience working on the picture. This week, as stated in our intro, we start prequel winter. Throughout the first week are last week of November and the month of December. We will be talking about the Star Wars prequels, the phantom menace, attack of the clones and revenge of the Sith, and we start this week off with Benton Ju storyboard artist preventive menace, Trent just, you know, just to remind me, this interview was pretty fucking awesome. Yeah, it was really great. He talked about, you know, the specific scenes you worked on fan a menace. He talked about working on skywalker branch. You talked about working with George Lucas. Talked about, you know, collaborating with all the other storyboard artists all the other cool movies we worked on. But speaking of strowbird artist, coincidentally, our attack of the clones guess is also a storyboard artist and our last Jedi guess was also a storyboard artist. Thus far, all of our star wars things have been storeboard ours, except for prevented say and part. Call me crazy. I tease this out in the muppet Solo pod, but don't you think guess a discussion guests are going to make a grand return during prequel winter or on my wrong? Well, I don't want to say it for fear that we won't hunter follow through, but yeah, let's just say I'm pretty confident we're going to have some fun people to be talking with. Yes,...

...on paper we will have fun, but that fun has not yet been translated into concrete. And so don't, don't, don't count your chickens before they hatch, I guess. So don't guarantee they're going to have any fun on this show in the next month, but it's possible, but don't care. But we can't guarantee that. But let's not delay this interview. Our fans are listeners, are humble, humble people have come. Wait, what if we had a name for the people listen to our show like this? I like the craft he's that was just going to say. I feel like that's the most that's the cleanest. Otherwise we're working with like the sertain the services. So I think craft is let's just sap these. Let's sick with the first thing. I mean, that's pretty good. I feel like that works out nicely. It sounds sounds a little fun. Sure, okay, because we've just for for literally years now, we've just struggled to call them viewers, listeners, the fans at home, etc. And I don't know if we have enough of a fan base to introduce this vocabulary. All Right, Benton Jew yes, Benton Jew enjoy the episode. Stick around towards the end to maybe here something that he told us off air. You know, he didn't say while on the record. Yeah, maybe you'll hear it if you say but we're only I'll I just tell you at the end, but you can't skip till the end. You have to listen to the interview and it's entirety and you can't even do the little fifteen or thirty second forward skip. No will know and then we'll put in a switch ending. So just don't lie to us. We're watching like Santa Clause St Nicholas. He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake. He now our interview. He knows if you've been bad or good. So be good for goodness sake. Hello everybody, and welcome to our interview with Benton Juke. He's the story board artists behind such projects as Dawna, the planet of the Apes, Detective Pikachu, Milan and our film for today, George Lucas's star wars, the phantom menace. Thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you. So, just to start off, how would you say your relationship with film was as a kid? You know all this. was interested in two things as growing up as a kid, comic books and and movies, and especially after Star Wars, you know, got into whole sci Fi thing and making your own films with the with you know, we were young. We've got a super eight camera for Christmas. Meet my brother. I have a twin brother who also is a storyboard artist, and so in addition to drawing comic books, we would make little animated films in our backyard with their super eat camera and the fact that we were able to draw a young age sort of combined those two interests together and it's sort of combined in later life in our professions. So because drawing storeboards is more or less like drawing a comic book, but also you're still above the filmmaking process. So it was kind of kind of like the perfect job for me really. And how did you find yourself storyboarding for the first time in any in any professional or unprofessional way, aside from just doing storyboards for for my own films as a kid? I guess that's kind of where it's started. We would get those, you know, we were in junior high school and star wars came out and we get all those books in the artist Star Wars, the art of a parskets back and you'd we would see all the storyboards by, you know, Joe Johnston, rofable quarry and so forth, and so we would we kind of learned the process that way a lot. But for me the first time I ever get this, did storyboards professionally was for a project called body wars, which was not a movie per se but was a Disney e cut center simulator ride. So it was basically taking place inside the human body, kind of like inner space or fantastic voyage films like that, and it was all kind of point of view going inside the human body do the vain system and a system and blood vessels and going through the heart and everything like that. So that was my first project at Ilm, right out of my art school. So so that was the first in the first actual film project I've ever worked on was ghostbusters, to which happened a few months after I finished...

...body wars. So everything worked out well for me in terms of that. At the time. It because I just finished art school, or was just finishing art school when I got the call to work at Ilm. I got that actually from another story boarders who had seen my work when I was a student at they can in our college, and he was giving a lunch time talk, which would call a brown bag lunch, and he would give a talk and and Hu show's portfolio and then we would show our portfolios to him and you look at ours stuff and I had a lot of stuff that was kind of in a style that's like stand drake or let it start. Were Comic Strip artist at the time and a lot of a lot of young people who were in my age of attending really study guys like that, and so I guess that made me stand out to stand Fleming, the story artists. And so years later, when they called them to work on body wars, he couldn't make it. So he he told the he called the artic and is said, here's the guy who like the stand drake stuff and everything. So they called me and then I interviewed. So that's how I got my first job at island. Now we're talking about Ilm, just so we can get into the main topic of the day. How did you end up getting involved with star wars the phantom menace? What was the story behind that? Well, I think you know, when I first started Ilem, I think everybody knew that there was going to be a sequel at some time. We just didn't know what George is going to pull the true the trigger, and at some point, I guess dug Chang, who is, you know, the creative director Phantom menace, was he was asked to to start collecting concept artist and storyboard artists to work on and every guy in Hollywood who had a portfolo standing their stuff. It's pretty amazing. But obviously I at that point I'd work with Doug for many years at Ilm. I'd worked an island for thirteen years and I guess it's from there for, you know, maybe eleven years by the time. Ten eleven years by the time that minister started coming out and he basically said, you know, I think you're the one is going to have the job. And so basically I was lent from the Ilm r department to the Jack Artimer. Jack is the Lucas Film Company that produced at Menas. So I mean the different entities, but it's part of the part of Lucas Film and and so they created that company, Jack Films, just jet Amanda and it's all of it's George's kids. That's what Jack is at a grand for and so Italy. So they need to destroy where. So I was therefore was lent from Ilm to the ranch, to skywalker ranch and I was working at the SCOW ranch for about a year just doing nothing but phantom and of stuff which is unusual. I think usually when when I'm story boarding stuff, especially when a mid island's usually a very short term thing, you know, working on project for you like whatever, ten, ten months or wherever I was working on it for, is unusual. They wanted to, they wanted to board everything in that so and it wasn't just me it was I was as probably did the bulk of the boards, but also in the cake and admit Tivy Dad and Jay Schuster and Tearl with that Sho and many others. I'll pitched you storeboards as well. Were you just doing storyboards or were you also doing like concept art or something, because ten months just seems like such a long long time, or was it just so extensive? I did a little bit. I you know, there's a few there's a few characters that I helped to create and I think it was an there's an ad that George was that look, there's just all kinds of little small projects that George would do ask us to do drawing wise. So would the direction come straight from George Locus or what was the chain of command and how how would you be asked to to approach a scene and how much direction would you have the way George did it on the Phantom menaces a little bit different than what I would normally do, which was on the phantom menace there we had this huge stack of rough thumbnail boards that were just like the size of a postage stamp and there was a basically a big stack of them that they were drawn by various artists in the office, and then I would just we would just draw those out as a big step from from the big stack and just continues doing the it. Basically what we put the process would be would be that once or twice a week we would meet with George and George would sit at the table with us and you'd basically tell us one part of the story and everybody would do a thumbnail and would say, George, well, is this kind of what you're looking at? Yeah, something like this or some thing like that. So we had this big SIS stack of thumbnails and...

...then we paste all those thumbnails up and we use those as roughs from for the more finished boards that we would do. So it was just, you know, we do that on Wednesday and then and then George would come back and review the boards, you know, on Friday or the next Wednesday. So was it like absolutely amazing to hear George look ats like describe like this elaborate universe like straight out of his mind? Yeah, I mean it was. It was. I think it was all very exciting to all of us because I think, I mean at the time it was so highly anticipated and really a lot of the reason why a lot of people who I work with got involved it look as it was because they were expecting work coming the star wars and so, you know, it was it was an exciting is an exciting thing. We it was something that you knew was going to be big. At Ilm we'd already done some Brown were groundbreaking work on things like, you know, the abyss or terminy in movies, or Jurassic Park or any number of those movies. It's so kind of we I think we, everybody knew was kind of that time because the technology was was catching up with George's imagination at that time. So it seemed like it was it was the right time and we're expecting, we kind of expecting it is going to happen veryly soon. And then so finally it was announced to the company and, you know, totally exciting for the NERDS and all of us at that time. I wasn't even born, but I'm assuming it was different in terms of how you were literally doing story boards just because of the advent of digital technology and everything. But that was also one of the movies that, I guess, pushed a lot of technology forwards. Or were you working with just like normal drawings, or were you working with like digital systems at that point? Most most of the stery woids we did were just pencil and paper, no syntiques or anything like that. And but we, you know, there was wood still work hand in hand with the animatics artists to do the scenes were depended more on camera movement. So we would give them, would give those boards this place holders to the people doing the digital manics. But but for the most part is all all very much old school style doing it. We just we just, we just had a pencil and paper, a big steps of paper. So so what scenes do you remember doing and like how much detail did each one have, and did a have collar and like about how many were expected of you, like for per day or something? Speak on them. You know, you could, industry standing steal t thirty boards. So I think the boards, the scenes that I'm most famous for our the Darth Maul fight at the end. Oh Wow. And you know, because I was the resident Martial Arts Geek there and a lot of the reference that we used, you know, was stuff that was either my recommendation or stuff that I would just bring in and just show it might get people inspired. You know, we come from their own but it's, you know, well, it's look at other films to sort of like gain a broader view of martial arts films and to that. Did you talk with the fight coordinators at all to not really. I kind of wish I I kind of wish I did, but you know, it's through word. Artist says that I wasn't really arguing to do that scene. We kind of. I you could, you could tell some parts of it. You know, obviously had an effect on the SEI coordinator. So and then they you know, I drew a lot of stuff in those very much Chinese martial arts oriented, a lot of jumping and acrobatics, which was very different than the more Japanese movies, Stud stuff that we've seen in the first three films, which is more like a chump Japanese Jumbarrow Felm, it's Samurai, you know. You know slow and really you know, direct, quick strikes were as Kurusawa stuff. Yeah, court saw a stuff, whereas this is more like you know, continuous whirlwind of movement, which is is more in the Hong Kong style which was gaining yoursurgence of the time. And so, you know, I would bring in a lot of films in. You know, there were, you know, like bride with the White Hair or moon warriors or what's fun time China, you know, things like that that that were sort of vogue at the time. And Yeah, so, so I did so so as soon as for that scene, also did the scene with the the pod race and sure, and...

...this classic scene scene with the arguably that two most famous scenes in the whole film. I guess there's a there's so, you know, there's that and then there's also the I can't even remember what it's called anymore. I'm getting olds. What point is that? When he when when Anakin goes through the the that circular space that's kind of like the death star, but it's when he destroys the droid base in his spaceship right right that they're in outer space and it's kind of a curve curve spaceship Oh, yeah, yeah, it's like a Horse Shoe Shit, yeah, the Horse You SHAP. What was that one? That's the starting stroyer. I can't remember it. Trent, you saw it last night, right, yeah, now, it even then. But moving on. So I was wondering how much does your style very depending on the film? How much is my style very? It doesn't really. I mean I would say the only thing that changes might be the level of detail in terms of of how you know, you know, usually that's determined on how quickly we need to get it done or, you know, deadlines, things like that. But I think George, especially with since we're doing a lot of stuff for visual effects, you want to put in a lot of details because they're going they're going to use those to help budget the film. So they would take a furt like the first time we had a first pass of the entire movie. They would go in there and for through every board and and with a marker, you know, like a felt tip daeglo marker, going with each storyboard. And then this one's going to be a puppet, so we're going to color this. This is going to be a matt painting, it's going to be a different color. You know, so that might be colored in pink and everything that's CG would be colored in a different color. So so you so you have had just sort of like in order for Ilm to know what parts are going to be, you know, visual, visually done with CG, and what's style they're going to be using to what what tools are going to be using to do it, you kind of had to have a lot of detail and, you know, just so that that things can be defined if they're if things are too kind of loose and sparse and and doesn't and don't have doesn't have a lot of detail or, you know, information in it. I mean, you know there's something they could could step by you when you're trying to budget film and seeing, well, how much is it going to cost you? We don't, we don't, don't really know because they forgot to draw the they forgot to draw in the crowd, the crowd right, for example. And so it's for something like that, visual effects. But it's good to have detailed, very accurate boards. I wanted to ask how your process is, if at all, changed over time, or if it's just mostly stayed the same, again, like with whether the tools you use or your workflow or anything like that? How you've evolved over the past few year? Most of the stuff I work you know, for a long time I would do I everything. I draws on this. I use a Syntiqua. I don't use papers all anymore. I think the last time I worked in paper and Pencil, I think was was pirates of the Caribbean on stranger tides. That was the last time. That was what was that? Two thousand, like two thousand and eleven, twenty eleven. Yeah, that's probably the last time. At that time I still was using the computer a little bit, but after that film I think I went full on, full digital, full digital for everything, and for a while I did everything and Photoshop, but now I do everything on clips, suit of paint and and, you know, just everything. Having everything in a digital formats just makes things cleaner, because I'm such a slap I have. Used to have storeboards and paper, all of them place, and now's so much it's so much easier. What's the Difference Between Photoshop and Clip Studio paint? There's some, well, there's some. Yeah, clipsudio paint has you can break things down into little pages easier. I mean it's basically a lot of all the same things, but it's just all the tools are in different places and you do these use them in different ways. But for me, the reason why I like it is that, you know, you can break them down things into pages and then you can just put them all together and put them as a pdf and send it off and and then it also has all kinds of tools we can you know, it's it's cheaper than Photoshop. There's a lot of it's it has all the advantages of photoshop and I mean I could use just soon use photoshop as well, but...

I find that clip see it has been working well for me. So, before we get too far away from Star Wars, you said you worked on skywalker ranch for over or for about a year, and I've always been very curious of what exactly goes down there and like what what is it? And there's a level of mystery behind it all. Okay, well, I mean it's very different than say, Ilm, which is a very you know, it's a very work oriented place. You know, you've got the you have all the fun stuff there. You have a model shop and and the Ilmr Department things like that, and it's all very workman like you know. But you go up to the ranch and it's all really nice. Is a really nice you know, have all this art work all of the place by guys like MC why or are our number one. Well, it's a really pleasant place. It looks like a big, you know, old time you know, match in with our Noveau motifs all of the place and it's just a beautiful place. I think the original intent with George was to create a place where where artists could work in a really nice, relaxed atmosphere working. Yeah, working at the ranch was, you know, it's a quiet it's a little quieter environment and that's that's where all the we're all the star wars stuff, you know, happens. It's not just visual effects oriented. So you have a you have a lot of the you know old old archives stuff is abaible to fairly easy as well. They have skywalker ranch there and that they have scutwalker sound and all that stuff is housed up there. So we spoke about your time and Ilm on Trent. Do you have any more star wars related stuff you wanted to ask or can we move on to I should just before we move on. I did you use the original trilogy for inspiration or for reference at all in drawing the fan the phantom menace boards. Well, no, not real. I mean only only if needed, but generally we felt like we're started from scratch. When you're working, when we're work on fat to menace and work, I'm working with the New Jersey. There's not really much that you could use, right. I mean you were working with a new kind of storm troopers. Storm troopers don't look anything alike. The characters aren't the same. So you just you just kind of use what we have. You know what they've already designed up. So you know I'm working with drawings that agree e and or Editivit Dad or whoever has come up with I, or any of the sculptures that they might have made of the various sculptures and even even the live action care you know people. Originally they had refines and WHO's The guy? WHO's The actor from gladiator? I can't Russell Cross a crow. Those guys. They were saying, yeah, draw, Draw Ben and Qui gone like Qui gone as as those guys, and then they would change it before they had them. Had A Russell crows character and like a kind of like a Mohawk with the Little Deley boppers on the side and things like that. So the reference reference we use was, you know, we basically had to forget about everything star wars and basically start, start from scratch with this. You worked on the mummy and mummy returns with Ilm and it says that you were part of the mummy design and creature design and yeah, we're undering. Yeah, we did a ton of mummy designs, you know, the big jaw coming down and just different ways and different looks and different textures that we would have on the mummy. So the group of US would come up without kind the different things they need, and not just that, but also the other characters, like in the second one, for example, they had the Nubis warriors and they had the little munchkin little mummy things and all that are so basically anything creature related. Speaking of you worked early in your career on men in black and then later men in black too, in the creature design department. and Are you hired to just to storyboard or is your job description? You come in and draw monsters every day. Basically my roles as a visual flights art director, and basically you're doing all those things. Who you're doing storyboards, you're doing concept art and you're also then you're also helping solidify the the designs of the artwork by working with the people are in siege in the computer backs department or the Mall Shop, whatever...

...it is, and making sure that they be the sculptures or whatever. It looks like. You're drawings when you're doing art direction, or you might be just working as an illustrator, which might include storboys. It might be concept arding. You be working with another person WHO's working as a vision x art director. So sometimes you're working just as as a risk, you know, for other art directors, or you might be art directing yourself and others. Just to close out the monster discussion of it all, do you want to ask about Scooby Doo? Sure you are uncredited on Scooby Dooo. Two monsters unleashed. I know that's a that's specific, but I was wondering why you uncredited and what what your work on that was. Yeah, I'd leave they basically just ask us to to design all the classics Scooby Dooo Characters crack them out really fast. We just had black constant cans on paper. And colored pencils and just the strew them out that way. The reason why people sometimes get credits and sometimes they don't know it's it's really kind of actually kind of a mystery to all of us. Usually it's a producers or you know of Your Department or in your department maybe thesial fets producer, or or might be the art were there, director is or the production signer. Imagine they have a hard power, a large part in it. Imagine it's also depends on how many hours maybe that you've put into it. But it's really weird. I've worked on projects where I've hardly done anything and I've gotten a credit and I've definitely done a lot where I've done a shitload of stuff. It's like hey, you know credit, you know so yeah, it's one of those things. There's no there's no guaranteed credits, especially through a little line. It seems people who people, you know, the bigger fish, the people who are at the front, whose names are in the front of the movie. It's much, I think it's a much bigger deal with them and they have to have their names up there, but with us it's really the discretion of the producer of that particular whatever it is we're for, your boss was so so. Historically, when drawing on Pencil and paper, would you do like, would you have a bunch of a racer marks, or would you just like do a bunch of different trials on new sheets of paper, or would you get it right the first time? Definitely done not getting it the first time. You know, there's I use my racer more than I use my pencil. I mean, I'm really I'm not joking. It's just you, you, you're going it over over and over and over again until it's right and and that's them. I guess that's why digital might be a bit easier. Yeah, I mean you don't. You know it. Basically you can raise things or you do things on separate layers and without ruining whatever it is that's underneath or whenever like that. So so, you know, the digital tools of are, you know, far superior now. Makes it makes it so much easier. But but yeah, the old days, if you had that one drawing there and if you spilled coffee on it, you're screwed. You're screwed. J You had to do it over again, even if you raced your wrong. You know, you had to do it over again. But you know, I miss I don't Miss Having Pencil on paper anymore because but you know, it is it is kind of Nice to have something that's physical, having having original artwork, like when I'm doing comics and stuff like that, it's always seems to night nice to have a piece of original artwork that you could sell or whatever it is. I suppose if they if they allowed you to, but but is it's nice to have something that's more than just a digital thing. Something about it, some something about whole thing, something in your hand. One of the movie that I'm a very big fan of is dawn of the plane of the apes, and I was wondering what that was like and what Maver met reeves is like to work with, like in comparison to other directors, like a style and everything. Matt just seems like a guy who you can have a lot of confidence in terms of his opinions and things like that. I mean that's that's the first thing. I didn't get to work with him, you know. I mean I'll work with them, but but I didn't get I don't think I got to know them as much as they did. Some of the other directors. But you know, he seems like pretty a pretty cool guy and was and we, you know, they flew us, you know, into Louisiana to work on it and we're actually working on an old mass of facility inside. Oh Wow, they they turned it into basically a film studio. It's I mean side NASA stuff left over from it that they have like a big fuel booster thing right in front. And so basically we worked inside of a great big Nassas Studio, but then also working in New Orleans was, you know, our hotels were in New Orleans and freight in the middle of things and it's one...

...of the fun I think, one of the fun parts of my job when they do take us on location with them you see and to see all the stuff, although, you know, we go on a lot of scouts, you know, with with Matt and the crew, to see in so you're seeing like an old it's an old glad I think it's a glass factory of some sort where cold has a showdown with Yeah Yees, this big fight. It's easier, and or the House that they were in, which is really just like right behind my hope where my hotel was. It's just regular house and in the neighborhood and they're able to change things digital later. So, you know, working and working in Rolins was actually a lot of fun it. Was it a common occurrence for them to fly you out and what would would the objective be to like ask you your opinion, like does this match the boards, or would it to be to draw additional boards? You're asking the reason. Why, would think why they would fly you out for location. Sometimes, yeah, you do. Well, you do need to be there with the director. I mean it's or rather it's easier to do stuff with you when you're there with the director and go on go on location scouts and things like that. And also, I guess there's also tax credit things that they have are an issue with the fat that's why they move a lot of these things. And you know, Louisiana was a hot bit of filmmaking for a while and different different places at different times. Seem to go back and forth on that. But I have a quick question. Sorry. What was it unique to star wars to be interacting with the director directly, or is that a common occurrent? NOSERE I it's very common, you know. I mean I always work with directly with director. Right now I'm working with Nicky Carl on a on a project and you know, I worked with her on on Lulan and you know, you have you build a relationship with a lot of directors. They they know that you know their style and they know the way that you communicate with them and it's it's a lot it's a lot easier then, you know, when you when you have somebody they to work with. And so sometimes this is a few directors that I've worked with multiple times and I work work closely with a lot of them. So so yeah, I wanted to ask you've worked on a lot of stuff that have large amounts of visual effects and you said that they look to your boards to figure out what visual effects tools or whatever they're going to use. But I was wondering, does do you ever think about that aspect of it, like, is that ever incorporated into what you draw the like dealing with all these visual effects? Are Are you just sort of keeping on story? When I was working at Ilm, most of the boards are going to be visual effect sports. So and they are specifically for those sports. When I'm when when I moved to Los Angeles on eleven, basically for my first when I'm going at Los Angeles and did regular storyboards as opposed to visual effects storyboards, then it is then what I'm doing is more story or but there's, yeah, there's a difference. There's visual effects or boards and in them as regular storyboards, and I actually find it more fun to work on Non Visual Effects Boards because you're just you're dealing with the story in the drama and and the camera angles to make something like interesting, whereas with visual effects boards are there for clarity's sake and where things are. And you know that at that time was is like a lot of stuff that where things are and how to make it easier for for them to make, you know, to give you the the effect that they need and keep it under budget. You know, even you know you find the cheap way of going around certain things where you were, you know, save them a visual effect shot if you if you don't need to do a visual shift shot here. So you're conscious of your usually conscious of trying to save the money somehow if that's asking for you know, and and finding ways to make it, you know, interesting, but without without using that chatter. You know, you clarity without having to do it an effects shot. So sometimes you're finding ways to avoid doing an effects shot and other ways he's it's, it's yeah. So so, in reference to that, say, if it's the pod racing and you're told, Hey, do it with the crowd in the background, are you gonna draw a bunch of like Zany original characters? Are you just going to do place holders and like,...

...how much creative freedom are you given for like little things in the background? Yeah, so little things in the background are just you know, that's one of those things like you might be saving if you if you're doing some really crazy creatures and credus they're the end they are more originally budgeted for. That could cost a lot of money. So you had to do you do have to be kind of conscious of that. But other times they might say, Hey, you know, go for it, go wild on this particular shot, and you do that when it's when it's deep. But you know you were doing effects stuff. That's a lot of that is part of the worry. You know you do. You don't want to, at least at that time when effects were a lot more difficult to do and more more expensive. So only do it where it's needed. The right kind of effect for the right kind of thing. Okay. Yeah, so I'm a big fan of the rush hour trilogy and you worked on rush hour three and you just said that you're a big fan of martial arts stuff. So, yeah, what you do that? Where you working on fight scenes? They're or like just you know, I wish I was actually on that one. I was working more with the art director as a concept artist. So is doing a lot of flow chap stuff of the sets. But occasionally they knew that I storeboarded. So when they needed storyboards in a in a tight pinch, they they would say they would call me in to help them out a little bit. So I did a little bit of storeboarding on, I think there's a scene where they're there in the sewer and there's another scene where they're where the brother breaks into the to the kind of you and type of place and m yeah, and all that. So so I did a little bit, but I didn't get to work directly with Jackie, which would have been that would have been a dream for them, the holy grail. That would have been the holy grail. But but mostly I was working on what the sets look like. But I did do a little bit of storyboarding so it is that. Mainly what concept artist do is draw the sets and how like. Obviously it's different storyboarding. But how are the what are the responsibilities for concept artist broadly? Well, the cut. Yeah, the concept artist is there. They're going to be doing kind of like the sometimes a lot of the key frames on key moments, or they might be doing just a set, you know, in an illustrated form of the might be doing like a creature or character, MMM, you know, or costume. So you know they're going to be doing the full color stuff. stuboardartists mainly deal with with action where the camera is. That's that's mainly more but we're invalled in, you know, and doing it and doing it over and over again. But but with if you're the type of artist who likes to kind of like really pick on the details and the stuff in color and things like that, to concept there's probably more for you. Trent. Do you want to ask the bigger up? Yeah, sure, okay, so this is the big of Whu. No, final question. What is the last great thing you watched? And it can be a first viewing or or revisit last great thing that I watched? Yeah, or at least or could be the last thing you watched or blessed. Yeah, and be bad. I can also it could be a thing you didn't like. You know, there's too many. There's too many depend you know, depends on look, what what genre? The last left that left in impact that hit home. You know, there's a little film that was called a ghost story. Those kind of an indie kind of no, those kind of David Lowry, he's doing the green night, right, right. I really like that film alive. I thought it was it was able to do a lot of things with like not a lot, but it was. What it is is very can kind of a cerebra film to you know, talked about existence and in life and things like that. Maybe in a way with this kind of silly looking ghosts, you know, with a w is this the a twenty four film with Casey Affleck? Yeah, I mean, yeah, I like this movie, you know, but then I like old like old martial arts films, things like that. I mean, m crunching Tiger or dragon are you know, come drink with me. Was An old king who film from the S. It was like it's kind of like a Chinese version of is their version of good bad in the ugly was kind of but but with a female photagonist, you know, in terms of female action action thing, action character, actresses, actors. You know, the Chinese we're doing in Hong Kong for years before anything. They've been doing it...

...since, since the since the silent era, you know. You know they taught there's a lot of talk about the these kickass female characters and you just you can go back to the to the old old Hong Kong films from it's called Red night to because the way Hong Kong was back in those days was that the male act a lot of them came from one of them came from Chinese opera, and the the male actors who worked in that kind of look down on films. It okay, well, let the woman take take that role, even though it's for a male and so they had to learn how to do stunts and things like that. So the whole action fighting thing was in those days started as a female thing. It just kind of interesting. I didn't know that. So I said have one quick last question. So what did you think when you saw the phantom menace and when was the last time you saw it, and do you do intentionally watch all of the films that you board for or do you intentionally not watch them? I don't over the last time, I say, the saw Santo Menace. I mean I definitely I certainly remember the time, the first time I saw it. You know, it's kind of again, it was kind of a mixed bag for me. I think on a on a technical basis, it was. It was groundbreaking, more than the think a lot of people given credit for. But there's a lot of things that are, you know, story wise that I think of been talked about it and run over. You know, obviously there's things I would do in it differently, you know, if I was a director, but but I'm not. So, you know, what can you do? But I don't. But I think there are there are a lot of things were really good in it. I mean I like to seems said that I was involved in. I liked that, the fact that they were, you know, having a higher energy in the fight scenes, you know, and even jarge are you look at how you know, I mean what a poorly conceived character, but it is still at that time, you know, to do a photorealistuly CG, fully CG character interacting with human characters. For you know that many minutes was was was groundbreaking. Yeah, I mean I wish that the character had been conceived better, but but you know, doing something like that, it's not an easy thing and make it look, you know, convincing. I mean it's much easy to do that now, but that back in those days, to make something photorealistic, that it can walk around with a live action person and and and fit in, was a lot more difficult. Trent, do you want? Do want to close this out? Are Sure? Thank you so much to Argust Benton, Jews storyboard artist on such films the Star Wars, Fan to menace, Donald Plant, the detective Pigachu Mulan and many more. Thanks for being here. We really appreciate your time. Thank you as lot of fun. Gee Whiz, parth, wasn't that a great interview? One of my favorites. That's say, it's pretty great. Call me crazy, but aren't you excited to discuss star wars episode one, the Phantom Menace, where things all began chronologically? I'm excited to rewatch this move. I don't think I've rewatched this movie in like years. This is the sort of movie that me and front of the show's Act Basil would turn on aut a sleepover after like forty minutes of deliberation, and then we'd like wait, let's give the prequels another chance, and then we'd be asleep with the first fifteen minutes, because it takes a while to warm up. I'm intrigued to see how my thoughts change. But anyways, our interview. I thought that was pretty awesome, and to the fact that we alluded to Benton Jew told us that darth maul was originally going to be female. Yes, remember that, Trent? Yeah, I remember. He said that like as soon as we got off the air and we were like shit, that was one of the most interesting things you've said. Not that he didn't say a lot of interesting things along the way, but come on, buttars Maul, but it's Darth Maul with BOOBS, question mark. All right, Trent, enough of that, enough of your male gaze. Okay, but darth Maul Sands boobs is still pretty cool and I'm excited to talk about him next week. Yes, were I feel like star wars like needs like a cool female villain. They do, don't they? They have like Kashka, not Kashik. That's the fucking wookie planet them. They have they have like a bald lady or something in like the animated show. Oh,...

...nice, banded universe. Okay, well, they're gone. Two. Oh, and stole that Star Wars attack of the clone, season three, episode eighteen. Sorry, guys, outside of the nine Star Wars, skywalker Saga plus rogue one, plus Solo Star Wars story, I really messed one of them all. I really have trouble caring about star wars spinoff material. I agree. I've seen like one season of the Mandalorian and it wasn't really for me. I don't like. No disrespects, but I've watched a few episodes of the Mandalorian and obviously it's very well made and I'm glad that a star wars property is doing well and I like Bubfette as much as the next guy. But like, what's everyone losing their shit about? Is it just the baby YODA factor, because that's kind of what it seems chalked up to. If you want, if you go into any target across the world, it's just baby YODA merchandise. Kind of. I think people need to get it into their brains that star wars is made for children and it's that's okay and that it's not some really dark, deep thing, like it's okay that it's made for children, but it is made for children and we need to stop pretending that it needs to be taken seriously. Yeah. Well, parth, the Phantom menace is considered pretty bad. Objectively, we want to it's considered even worse. Star Wars episode two, attack of the clons, next week's topic, well, the week after next week's topic. Yeah, but who are we at liberty to say? Who are we going to have? You know we've got we've got mark sexton. H Well, I was going to say. I was going to say who the discussion guests for speak. No, not to. I just don't want to. I don't want to promise something and then for it to not come true. Okay, but I will say our first two discussion guests, while we are first potential discussion guests, while we love them, I'm really excited for the way our revenge of the sit discussion is going to go. And let's just say, crossover, crossover, cross the crossover. Potentially, I could potentially happen and be Youre Adical, but we are not at liberty to disclose. We could crossover with the team deacons. Pot maybe it's that fuck tea deacons, dude, fuck team deacons. Actually, I don't think Dad, my dad, but was listening to one of our episodes and was like, Oh, who's deconds? Why do you hate him so much? And it's like, oh, he's only one of the most acclaimed cinematographers and visual artists of our generation. But see, my mom matter. My Mom took me aside after listening to one of the episodes the other day and she was like, Trent, are you trying to shoot your career in the foot by going after Roger Deacons like a week after week? She was like don't you think that's counterintuitive to I I feel like this is our way. We're punching up so they have to notice us. Yes, is that we're just say I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, im so sorry. If we were just sending him Fan Mail, who would ignore us? But if that's just like, amone else hate mail? Yeah, and then he'll have to at least file or restraining order and then at least he's writing us back. If you're a fan of the show, I I would like it. Nay, I would strongly encourage you to write up team deacons and say that you challenge them to come talk craft services. If you're a listener and you're listening to this, here's my challenge. Go. Yeah, but anyways, it is two hundred and twenty almost and yeah, part you're the kidder. I'm I'll be the kid at the sleepover who says that it's tomorrow. Now. I think it's. I think it's time we end this pod. Huh. Yeah, let's go to bed. Is that a crazy idea? Just before we go to bed? How about we just tell our listeners that they should go to our Social Media Instagram, twitter, follow us, like us, like all of our post share them. If you could, I'd be really nice. Go to apple podcasts, write a review, rate is five stars. Follow us on spotify or really does help. Or even just tell your friends about the show, because, yes, people like to talk about film. We have cool guests and our cool guests have cool stories about even cooler people. So I'm just saying, MMM, part the mark sex in interview is going to hit so hard. It is the Tom Cruise stuff. Come on, it's too good. It's too mark sexton was loose with what he was given away. Yeah, that's that that's one way to look at it. Okay, I'd say craft services, loyal come patrons. Good night from night five, from trys front and part of the host of the show. Love. We love you, especially if you listen to the end, compared to everyone else who logged out ninety five percent of the way through. Fuck you. And if you're from the...

...team deacons legal seam by trying to do reconnaissance mission, we know that you're spying and we're listening right back. We are able to predict your every move because we've been just observing your career for years and taking notes. So Watch your fucking back. Fuck team deacons. Good night. Good night.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (109)