Friday, February 8, 2008

The City

Yesterday my roommate at work was watching the 1982 Thames documentary. Towards the end there is this scene where Dick and Roy posed themselves in front of Roy's gigantic drawing of the city. You can see that it would take up an entire wall. Roy did this and a lot of his other work for the Thief after hours and on weekends, on top of the work he did during the day on commercials or title sequences.

I found this photo of the drawing on Michael Sporn's blog:This drawing was used as a map to help them figure out the geography of the film's story. It was also used as a style guide for the backgrounds and parts of it where copied into BGs that made it into the film, the scene "Mouth to Mountain" for example, that we've mentioned in earlier posts.


Carl Gover said...

Without doubt, Roy's quite extraordinary drawing of the city should really be the centrepiece of a special museum or exhibition devoted entirely to the story of "The Thief"'s 30 year production.

Anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing this truly gigantic drawing is always totally overwhelmed by its incredible detail and architectural accuracy. We tend to take computer generated architectural walk-throughs for granted these days but Roy created this absolute marvel out of his head - just like the 13th Century scholars who created the amazing Mappa Mundi (a treasure of the medieval age) - from their imagination. The main difference of course is that Roy's could be relied upon just like a satellite navigation system.

MANDREWS said...

This is amazing, the detail the design, its a work of art I wish there was a high res version somewhere I could stare at and drool over for hours.

Mandrews out

Holger said...

It would be nice to be able to see some of the artwork again. A lot of it is not only beautiful to look at but also very impressive in it's size. The field sizes for any average scene alone, what was it? - 25 field, scope?
The biggest cels that I've seen ever on any film were from a scene of the Thief in the cart in the War machine, just before it turns into the wooden airplane. The cart rotates and fills up the screen, acting as a wipe. I'm sure we will talk more about it when we get to that part, but the cels where at least 3x4 feet!

Matt J said...

Do you know what became of all the artwork genereated by the THIEF production? Did the Completion Bond Company claim ownership of it?
I suspect much of it as dipersed amongst empoyees when the production was stopped?

Holger said...

Somebody told me recently that most of it sits in a warehouse in LA. Some animation was lost in the far east, where it was sent for clean-up, but that should have been post-Williams art I should hope.

Brian said...

I'm fairly confident most of the surviving artwork is held in a Disney warehouse facility in Los Angeles - don't ask me how it got there, it'd probably be like Sydney Greenstreet describing the provenance of the Maltese Falcon. It's anybody's guess as to how much of the artwork was 'lost' or damaged in the final few mad days in the Camden Bunker, but there was certainly no official dispersal of artwork - quite the opposite, I think the incoming owners were very keen that every last cel was accounted for. Dick I would imagine had contractual duties regarding securing the artwork for them, but I have a sneaking feeling that had he not been so legally restricted, he would have happily left nothing for them but scorched earth and smoking ruins.