11
Jun
09

The art of Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie”


 

Again the planned week of blog posts has been changed due to being to busy at work to scan and write anything new or to extensive. I was saving this stuff for another time but am excited to be putting it up today regardless. Back in January of 07 I started work on a comedy called Tropic Thunder and met a new buddy named John Warnke, John is a set designer/art Director and has been enjoying a brilliant career. He’s a very funny man and he introduced me to an old 50’s movie called “From Hell it Came”.  It was a fun show to be on but a short one to say the least, I was done after a couple of months and John was on a little longer than me. It was now April and the phone rang,,, It was John W. calling to see if I would like to work on a Bryan Singer WWII movie. WOOOO HOOOOO,,, you betcha and we all met the next day at Lilly Kilvert’s (the Production Designer’s) flat in Hollywood. She was off to Germany the next day to start scouting and all the work John and I were to do would be from LA. A great meeting turned into a very fun but very short project. I think we got 4 maybe 5 weeks in and John W. was off to Europe to join Lilly and I was off to find something new. Our first day waiting to get in the office was a crazy one, standing on the sidewalk we found a long lady’s wig in the gutter,,, a few feet further a large/short lady’s dress and a few feet further giant lady’s high heel shoe’s,, I don’t think these were worn by a lady though!!! HAAA oh the fun of Hollywood! Anyways, some of my big movie goal’s in life were to work on a WWII movie, to work with the Coen Brothers, George Miller, Gillian Armstrong, Peter Weir, Brian Singer, and on a Western (a good one). and with this one I was able to make two checks off of my list. We worked in a little building called the digital Jungle which used to be Eden VFX’s old Building off of Santa Monica Blvd.. John W started on sets and my first project was to research what aircraft Hitler flew in during this time frame of the war. This was harder than I thought to find out and I spent a lot of time on the internet and at the bookstore trying to get all the details right. I found one book that had all the answers and some great photography as well,, sadly the photo’s were old, low res, and in very high contrast obscuring the Id #’s on the side of the plane’s I needed to see.,, Forced to read the whole book the #’s were buried deep in the text far from the pages were the pictures were. Proved to be time well spent because all the info gathered together made for a fun drawing. The Condor was the historical plane used at this time by Hitler, but for production a beautiful tri-motor was available and used in place of. after the plane was done John would give me photo’s sent from Lilly or rough blueprints to do perspective architecture drawings from. here is a sampling of what was drawn up in those those very fun but short weeks. Also a friend of mine named Patrick Lumb was the co production designer but he was exclusively doing his work overseas so we only talked thru others, HAA! Just saw the film for the first time a month or so back and it is clearly one of Singers finest films. The mood lighting, story and beautiful cinematography pulled together by Bryan’s visual style of story telling made this one a favorite film, even more so because I was lucky to be a part of it. The score by maestro John Ottman soars with eloquent themes and heavy tones and saturates every scene with a rich musical atmosphere. Put this one on your list to see if you haven’t already and turn up the surround sound, 

 

Valkyrie_Movie_Poster.0.0.0x0.400x630

OH I can't make out those ID #'s on the plane!!!!

OH I can't make out those ID #'s on the plane!!!!

 

a beautiful model of the Condor by ipms, used for paint scheme reference

a beautiful model of the Condor by ipms, used for paint scheme reference

another view of this beauty

another view of this beauty

 

it looks simple but this was the hardest piece of art to put together

it looks simple but this was the hardest piece of art to put together

 

model kits and die cast models for scale, these came from Bob Alvis's War Eagle hobby shop In Quartz Hill Ca.

model kits and die cast models for scale, these came from Bob Alvis's War Eagle hobby shop In Quartz Hill Ca.

 

one of Lilly's locations to be transformed into a Nazi hallway

one of Lilly's locations to be transformed into a Nazi hallway

a rough to go with the photo

a rough to go with the photo

 

a high ranking soldiers office

a high ranking soldiers office

 

a grand view of one of the larger offices

a grand view of one of the larger offices

 

the last drawing I was working on and didn't finish!! The planes were Spitfires pictured here but loved that they used the P-40's in the final film

the last drawing I was working on and didn't finish!! The planes were Spitfires pictured here but loved that they used the P-40's in the final film

 

 

vehicle research from the tank yard out by Melody Ranch in Canyon Country

vehicle research from the tank yard out by Melody Ranch in Canyon Country

more

more

 

Singer and Cruise on location in the high desert of california

Singer and Cruise on location in the high desert of california

 

a great shot

a great shot

the desert location again

the desert location again

Cruise by the Tri

Cruise by the Tri

 

the mens room for the officers club

the mens room for the officers club

 

 

 

some of the awesome costumes

some of the awesome costumes

13 Responses to “The art of Bryan Singer’s “Valkyrie””


  1. 1 DeanneM
    June 11, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I enjoy WWII movies a lot (which is good, because there have been a lot of them over the years!). This has been on my list, which is full of great stuff I haven’t gotten too, but it’s movin’ on up now!

    It sounds like an interesting look inside Hitler’s regime, which has always, in a way, fascinated me how so many could have been dragged along with a madman.

    Heading out for the day (see comment on previous post), it’s my day off.😀

  2. 2 deg
    June 11, 2009 at 8:05 am

    Too cool, dude! I have this film in my Netflix queue, but I may have to go and get it somewhere else as it has been out for so long. And I REALLY want to see this film for oodles of reasons. And, as I collect ’em, this has got to be one of THEE best movie-poster designs I have seen in a loooooong time. I only hang sci-fi and/or fantasy-based stuff though, too bad. Many this same graphic designer will do a good genre film some day, hopefully.

    Cool ya got on the show, can’t wait to finally see it!🙂

    LLP,
    deg

  3. 3 deg
    June 11, 2009 at 8:06 am

    That Condor model is killer too!

  4. 4 Jonathan Burke
    June 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Wow, I wanted to see this already but now I want to see this more!😀

  5. 5 Triton
    June 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

    That Condor model is just beautiful and would have been wonderful to see on film. Because of the age of these World War II warbirds, I was wondering if real planes were used in “Valkyrie”, such as the tri-motor, Junkers Ju 52, or if green screen and CGI Luftwaffe aircraft were used.

    “Valkyrie” was a very pleasant surprise and highly recommended. Even though we know the historical outcome of the events, Director Bryan Singer does generate a great deal of suspense in the film. Enthusiastic thumbs up!

    Are the interior set drawings based on the appearance and dimensions of the actual historic locations at the time? Such as the Wolf’s Lair etc.

  6. 6 Matt Boardman
    June 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Nice! I didn’t know you got to work on this movie! I loved it! I go gaga for anything WWII and have been so facinated by it since 4th grade. This is a fantasic, yet tragic story that Bryan Singer did a great job telling in that masterful way he has of telling stories. John Ottman’s score was brilliant! I’ve always been impressed with him since his score for X-Men 2.

    Ok, now I’m pumped up and want to see it again! It’s too bad you only got a short time on this project, but it sounded like it was fun!

  7. 7 Lt. Washburn
    June 11, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Great work. You mention how you wanted to work on different genres of film. Was it fun for you when Star Trek would do something in those veins? Like time travel/strange planet/holodeck stories?

  8. 8 Freak
    June 12, 2009 at 4:55 am

    Never knew you where on the Tropical Thunder film, would love to know what you did on that.

    I love War films but WWII has always fasinated me. It was suck a bad time and yet so many great inventions where created that are still being used to day. Radar and the jet engine come to mind.

    As for this film, I manged to get a copy so I will be sitting down with the misses this weekend to watch it.

  9. 9 CR Fraser
    June 13, 2009 at 6:08 am

    I am very interested in the July plot and collect autographs of the resisters. I just wanted to thankyou for your part in producing a very accurate and respectful tribute to some very brave and for the most part honourable men. A high level of accuracy and research extended to unifroms, vehicles, equipment, sets and casting. Many films would not have bothered. Thanks for your part in pulling off an excellent film.
    Colin

  10. June 13, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hello Mr. Eaves,

    I have read your blog often admired and can tell you that your work is inspiring and that I as a hobby artist have enormous admiration for all your works all represent a lot.
    I also wish you much success and I hope that my website once you want to view digital paintings
    I in my spare hours are set as a form of relaxation.

    With Kind Regards,

    Dutch Visionary Artist

  11. June 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

    Saw this last night, eh. Excellent film, IMO. Was cool (and good to know) that there were so many in Germany still with relational minds. Made it all the more sorrowful to see them not accomplish their mission/goal.
    Was kinda sad not to see the Condor too. Seems they just used a Junker Ju-52, if I recall correctly and am not mistaken. I like that bird too (built a prac of it), but would have liked to see the Condor.

    Still, according to Wikipedia the 52 was used earlier on as Hitler’s transport, and retained as a back-up to the Condor:

    Hitler’s personal transport

    Main article: Die Fliegerstaffel des Fuehrers

    Hitler used a Lufthansa Ju 52 for campaigning the 1932 German election, preferring flying to transport via train. After he became German Chancellor in 1933, Hans Baur became his personal pilot, and Hitler was provided with a personal Ju 52. Named Immelmann after the World War I ace Max Immelmann, it carried the designation D-2600. As his power and importance grew, Hitler’s personal air force grew to nearly 50 aircraft, based at Berlin Tempelhof Airport and made up of mainly Ju 52s, which also flew other members of his cabinet and war staff. In September 1939 at Baur’s suggestion, his personal Ju 52 Immelman II was replaced by the four-engine Focke-Wolfe Fw 200 Condor, although Immelman II remained his back-up aircraft for the rest of World War II.

    So they were only fudging it a bit, creating at least a plausible anachronism. Maybe the Condor was down for service, eh.😀

    LLP,
    deg

  12. June 15, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Oh yeah, was kinda bummed I didn’t see your name in the creds, eh.

    PLL,
    deg


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