Wednesday, May 18, 2005

So that's where matte painting artists go!

In this post from yesterday in which I kvetched a bit about one of my Daughter's childrens books, I noted that the book has some really nice artwork (that makes Jesus look like Bo Bice, coincidentally enough). It turns out that the book's artist is one Frank Ordaz, who used to paint matte paintings for Industrial Light and Magic. You can see Ordaz's work in such films as, you guessed it, Return of the Jedi.

You know the reactor shaft in the Death Star into which Emperor Palpatine is given an involuntary nudge by his one-time Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, after Vader suddenly realizes that he's gone perhaps a wee bit too far around the bend with this "Dark Side of the Force" thing? That shaft is a matte painting by Frank Ordaz. So you all know his work. And he had others in the movie as well, such as the landing platform on Endor when the AT-AT comes up alongside it after Darth Vader arrives. Cool, eh?

Matte painting artists don't really exist anymore, since digital composition has become all the rage. So Frank Ordaz is doing art for children's books now.

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