Syd Mead and "The Phantom Menace"


Mark Kuettner (mkuett@hotmail.com)
Mon, 25 Jan 1999 08:26:49 PST


>> Syd Mead is a noted American conceptual designer who's been
illustrating
>> for sci-fi and genre movies for decades now. He's always had a liking
>> for anime too, so when the opportunity arose for him to ump into one
of
>> his favorites (Yamato) he took it, and the Japanese business suits
loved
>> having an American sci-fi illustrator ontheir staff. If only his
designs
>> forthe show didn't suck!
>

He does have a solid background though. I have been reading "Future
Noir: The Making of Blade Runner", and he has experience in car
design, hired for providing enviroments around the concept cars, and
the airline industry. Blade Runner has a huge following in Japan, so
the Japanese are only to eager to work with him, I would think. BTW,
he was paid $1500 a DAY for BR, which was back in the early eighties,
so you can only imagine what he is charging for Gundam!!!

> I've never liked any of his work... what he does that's good is
almost
>always derivative of something else, and the rest of his work seems
>conspicuously 'stuck in the 1950s, with a 1990's flair'.

1950's? George Lucas has made a lot of his spaceship design for "The
Phantom Menace" look like 1950's car stylings, with lots of chrome
and gloss (Naboo starfighter). Kinda getting back to his "American
Graffiti" days, along with the speeder "drag-racing" in the movie.
Interesting departure from the "beat up " look of the fighters in the
original movies. Would be a great angle for MS design too

> In that sense, he's a great match for Okawara! It would be great to
see
>a parody series set in the 1970's anime universe with goony ships by
Syd
>and goony robots by Okawara, I'd get a kick out of it, and we could
call
>it: "That 70's Robot Show" and it would air on Fox!
>
> -Probe
>

Yeah! And a model line for it molded in one color with
plastic-on-plastic joints!! Ahh, I love this retrocrap!!!

Mark Kai >:~

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