The Color Script is a road map for the entire production. In this scene we are tracking the act 2 where Br. Thomas spends his day exploring the wonders of nature.
I love how the lush green is in stark contrast to the rich reddish tones of the scriptorium.
Art Direction and Visual Development
Michael has worked in animation for over twenty-five years with the most notable studios in the entertainment industry. Even without knowing his name, most of us are already fans of the worlds Michael has helped to create. From as far back as Master of the Universe, to Chip ‘n Dale Adventures, right up through Disney’s Treasure Planet. Just the thought of Michael designing a Cathedral for the Br. Thomas film makes my head spin.
In The Temptation of Br. Thomas three dimensions (stop-motion puppetry) represent the physical world that Br. Thomas lives in. The two dimensions of the stained glass scriptorium (computer graphics) serve as an icon, or window, which allows us a glimpse into the spiritual world where the Apostles, Mary, and the Christ-child reside.
In this image the stained glass Christ-child coos after the stop-motion dragonfly with his hand and for a moment these two worlds almost collide. The Celtic tradition refers to Thin Spaces where the physical and the spiritual world come close enough to touch.
The Color Script is a road map for the entire production. Once complete it will ensure that lighting and set designs for each shot will play to the larger emotional themes in the film.
This is an early snapshot of the role color plays in Br. Thomas. You can see from below how far we’ve come in just a few short weeks. Which means there will be plenty to post in the future!
Mary and the Christ child, flanked by the Apostles, are enclosed in their stained glass niches and from there they watch closely as events transpire. Ultimately it is the light that cascades through these windows that transforms Brother Thomas’ world and the scriptorium where he works.
Most of you are already familiar with the maquette of Br. Thomas. He’s been around for a long time. Actually since 2001, shortly after I had written the initial story treatment for the film. Though there were many attempts at drawn character designs, by myself and other artists at Big Idea, Br. Thomas didn’t exist until he showed up one morning in my home studio.
14” tall, eyes filled with wonder, and staring at a glass-bead dragonfly. I have vague recollections of armature building and pushing clay around, but honestly I felt like Gepetto that morning staring at the little monk for what felt like the first time.