This week in ask DC Collectibles, we’ve decided to go a bit behind the scenes with our work on the Man of Steel statues, so all of your action figure questions with have to wait until next time!
Before we get to it however, one of them (the Jor-El statue) was just seen on Late Night with Jimmy Kimmel!
Check it out at:
Like everyone else we were excited to hear about this movie when it got announced. We were even more jazzed about it when we got the chance to actually visit the set, take a look at the costumes, various props, and even watch some of the filming in progress. When we returned from that trip, we immediately began looking for the ideal sculpting studio to work with in order to capture the amazing stuff we had seen.
Luckily we didn't have to look much farther than just up the street, and decided once again to use talented team over at Gentle Giant to get it right!
We spoke to longtime product guru Paulie Schrier, their Senior Director of Creative Services, about this project:
Jim: What unique challenges did you have working on these statues from the Man of Steel movie?
Paulie: Gentle Giant Studios has always aimed for accurate and fine sculptural detail - but DC Collectibles’ Man of Steel line takes this level of quality to new highs. Tight production timelines and evolving production designs are par for the course on all blockbuster feature films, but working as closely as we did with DC Collectibles (and they with the filmmakers), we had all the assets we could ever want from Man of Steel.
Jim: Did it differ from any other movie project? Our teams have worked well together before…
Paulie: This is a huge movie, not just because of its budget, but rather because Superman is one of the most beloved super heroes of all time. We felt a special responsibility to get the sculptural homage to this incarnation of the Man of Steel right in line with both the character's classic tradition and this modern evolution.
Jim: What are the major advantages of using the actual digital files that the filmmakers used when sculpting digitally on the Superman Movie?
Paulie: With any project, having access to the filmmakers’ production assets begins the process of creating accurate and authentic collectibles, but it only begins it. Our digital sculptors use these production assets as a starting point to construct poses and moments full of potential kinetics, gesture and feeling.
Jim: We knew you guys would nail the likeness as usual, did you do any scanning of the actors for this film?
Paulie: Absolutely. We scanned all talent for VFX, and also did some large-scale LIDAR capture of the Smallville set in Ohio.
Jim: How many sculptors did you have working on this project?
Paulie: At all times there were three or four immensely talented artists working on these fine pieces.
Jim: Do you use different sculptors for different parts of each figure?
Paulie: Sometimes. Some gals rock at armor. Some guys have a talent for drapery. We definitely try to pair sculptors up with something that lies in their field of expertise. Most of our folks are triple threats, though. They all possess an impressive array of multi-disciplinary skills when it comes to crafting digital realities.
Jim: Since DC Collectibles and Gentle Giant are in the same town, did you find that helped the approval process go faster?
Paulie: Having the DC Collectibles team close was critical to our rapid success in getting these highly detailed items completed on time and with an extra level of detail. We had daily meetings, worked with production and our Art Direction team at DC Collectibles, and made required revisions in really fast cycles. More than just being close, all parties were very engaged on these pieces, multiple heads working out issues—and making great art.
Jim: Are you still excited to see the movie after handling the assets after all this time?
Paulie: We can't wait. We're all fans here, so we would be going regardless of having worked on it, but having worked on it—we're invested!
Jim: Are you looking forward to collaborating with DC Collectibles in the future? Is that a loaded question or what?
Paulie: Gentle Giant and DC Collectibles have pushed the bar yet higher with this Man of Steel line. We look forward to the next challenge! Bring it ON!
Jim: You got it!
Jim Fletcher, DC Collectibles' Director of Creative Services, kneels before Zod.