Monday, June 23, 2008

Six questions for Eric Patrick

What was your most recent job in the movie industry, or what are you working on now?

Right now I'm wrapping up the last few weeks of shooting for "Living Proof" where I functioned as the art department coordinator. It's a film starring Harry Connick Jr. about a real doctor who found a new treatment for breast cancer. It also stars Bernadette Peters, Amanda Bynes, and Jennifer Coolidge. During pre-production, the director, Dan Ireland mentioned that he was going to sketch out some storyboards so I quickly let him know that I had experience with that type of illustration. Since then I've earned the credit as the production's storyboard artist and boarded many key scenes for the film.

What's the coolest part about your job?

I get to work with the director (and the director of photography sometimes) to map out the way the film will be shot and really get inside their head to tap into their creative vision. It's particularly gratifying to overhear a member of the crew taking a look at a scene that I have boarded and yell, "oh, I get it now!" It's very fulfilling to know that the work that I do helps everyone get a solid understanding of what the final product should look like.

What is your main career goal?

I want to do it all when it comes to illustration. I'm really sharpening my storyboard skills but I'm also using digital programs like Photoshop to create visually compelling concept illustrations. A production designer I have worked with has asked me to do concept illustrations for a project he has coming up. It's a horror film with a metaphysical twist, so I get to draw some really creepy stuff, and when is that not fun? For now I would like to be the go-to guy for production illustrations and storyboards in northwest Louisiana.

What single experience has proved most valuable?

Wow. Tough question. Not fair. If I could qualify that a little, the single experience since moving to Louisiana to be an illustrator and storyboard artist for the film industry is this: I was working as a featured extra on a film shooting in Shreveport and the costume designer walked past me during a little down time and saw some sketches of mine. Next thing I knew I was being paid to help with wardrobe concept illustrations. From there one thing has led to another, all the way until right now.

In what movie or show can we see your work? Highlight a scene you like.

In the Avi Arad film "Robosapien" that wrapped in New Orleans in May, there are several times when my work is featured. In the film there is a car (I call it the "Frankencar") that was custom made from several different car bodies. The production designer and I sat down and I illustrated what he wanted the car to ultimately look like. The car in the film is EXACTLY what I drew. Kudos to the guys who built it! Also, there is a kitchen scene where I painted a mural of fish and bubbles and flowers. Very "day-glow" trippy, but if you see the movie it will make sense.

What's your favorite movie of all time and why? (You must choose one.)

Aww come on! Ok, ok, if I have to pick one, I would have to say the first Chronicles of Narnia film, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." It was my favorite book as a kid and they actually added to the book in the film and made it BETTER. At least in my opinion. I could watch that movie over and over again. It made me an instant fan of Tilda Swinton.

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