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All artwork and text is copyrighted by Frederick Gardner, unless otherwise attributed to the respective copyright owner, it is illegal to publish or print any such artwork or text without written permission by the artist or copyright owners.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Pilgrim Fortress???

The revised script had the pilgrims living in a fortress at Plymouth! 

I tried to keep the new designs simple and historically accurate to the period. I pursued a "rustic elegance" in the look to contrast with the life the turkeys were living in their underground village. These designs were deemed "too cartoony" and we moved in a realistic direction. 

Strong silhouettes were key to bringing "character" to the puritan architecture and furniture in the beginning. Soon, the look would be revised and lean toward the hyper-real.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Puritans & Indians

One of the first things I did when I started designing "Time Turkeys" is ask my friend CS to take a pass at the cast of characters. He did a series of drawings that really raised the bar on the overall look of the film. His designs have a wonderful 50s Disney look to them and they definitely fit the irreverent tone of the film. 

Rough size/Shape Language Study - CS

Secondary Characters - "TIme Turkeys"

The scientists and humans were threatening. I saw the pilgrims as analogous to "starving rats' and the Indians should be shown to live in harmony with their surroundings and the turkeys. CS did exactly that and more!

Theoretical Physicist #1

Theoretical Physicist #2

Mission Scientist

I really loved the designs for the pilgrims. Really pushing their characteristics to resemble sick rats was fitting as they lived in the salvaged remains of the Mayflower. 

Pilgrim Design & CG Model

Indian Chief w/ Breastplate

Indian Chief

"Turkey Poop" War Paint

Indian Brave (w/ Turkey Feather)
Indian Squaw w/ Medicine Stick
This styling did not last long and was revised to a completely different direction.

Designing Time and Space

By far, the most impactful location in "Time Turkeys" (FreeBirds) was the Government Time Travel Facility. I began doing research and sketches on the launch facility in 2009 and work continued for several years after. The initial idea for the Time Travel Facility was it was a underground test chamber. The original production design had the world the turkeys inhabited visually based in the late 1960s. 

Hidden Gov't Farm design

Visibly, the concept for the technology the time facility used was based on the research of Nikola Tesla, supposing the US Government made a secret deal with Tesla after the world adopted Edison's theory for the transmission of electricity. My feeling was, the very existence of a time machine validated an parallel universe. 98% of the world in "Time Turkeys" would be recognizable, the rest would be an altered reality. 

These are very rough thumbnail sketches for the Time Machine launch platform. The shrinking scale of the facility can be seen in the following designs. 

The playfulness of the initial styling was lost in favor of a more realistic direction.

Design inspired by a Pizza Oven and the Hadron Collider

Design inspired by WW2 Airplane Engine and Astrolabe

The vehicles the Government uses in the Time Facility would reflect Tesla's influence and evolution. Helicopter blades are replaced by rotating tentacles of electricity that alter the polarity of a vehicle in relation to the magnetic pull of the Earth. 

Small "Tesla Copter"

Large "Tesla Copter"

The HazMat workers wear electro magnetic boots because of the weightless environment the Time Machine creates during launch. The design possibilities were countless. They carry "grounding forks" to eliminate the risk of electrical shock and can also use them as "cattle prods" (eliminating any risk of notes from the producers or production company for using guns). 

HazMat Worker (Design by CS)

Electro Hazard Suit Designs

HazMat Worker Designs (ver 48) Design - AB

Almost Final Design - AB
Still Not Final
HazMat Worker (Detail) Paint over CG Model by Yashar Kassai


As with most of the other designs, these concepts were lost to the editing process early on. The script would be revised again.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

"Time Turkeys" (aka Freebirds v1.0)

I started working on "Time Turkeys" in 2009 for Reel FX. The original script was far different from the final version and the styling of the film went through many evolutions as Art Directors came and went. 

Here are some of my initial designs from the first version of the script...

Mayflower beached at Plymouth Rock

This view (upper) of the Mayflower was to show how the pilgrims established a foothold at Plymouth Rock. I thought it would add a lot of interest to the Plymouth village if we treated the location like they were castaways, surviving by using the building materials scavenged from their ship. The buildings would be made of hull timbers and decorated with sail, rigging and rope. The true story of the Mayflower is however, it returned to England and was dismantled. These locations were cut, early on, from the script and the Mayflower is never seen in the film.

Mayflower Hull Study 1
Mayflower Hull Study 2

Mayflower Hull Study 3

Blunderbuss Studies

The theory behind the production design was an attention to historical detail (due to the time travel subject matter) and a playful treatment of scale and shapes with stylized textures (as in children's book illustrations) as seen through the turkey's exaggerated point of view. Visually, the story is a tall tale told by our hero, Reggie.

Road-Side Attraction at Gas Station

Gas Station Turkey Display (Details)

Mil Truck Design Exploration 1
Mil Truck Design Exploration 2

Military Truck (Half Track)

Military Truck w/ HazMat Soldier

Poultry Truck Design Exploration 1

Poultry Truck Design Exploration 2

Turkey Farm delivery truck

Samuel L Jackson is the driver?!

Designs were completed for a VisDev test to show the director and the studio the current styling and identify and complexities before production. The test would introduce Reggie at a road-side attraction at a gas station as a military vehicle pulls up to refuel with an ominous crate in the back.