Oblivion, interview with concept artist Kino Scialabba

Kino Scialabba is a concept artist of Legion Entertainment; he made concepts and matte paintings for Oblivion by  with Tom Cruise. Scialabba worked in Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow, Speed Racer, Avatar, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers.

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When did you start working on Oblivion and how long did it take?
We start working on Oblivion on August and we tied it up in March.

Did you have some directions from the director or you had full freedom for your work?
The direction I had were landmarks, they need the United States destroyed, so for example they told us “we need an airport destroyed, an airport just like the New Jersey one”. I had notes like that, then I gave my own contibution

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May you describe your collaboration with the director?
They called me because I worked on movvies full of superheroes, sci-fi, monsters and future buildings. They had ideas on what things would like in the future but they needed someone to realize them… And then I had to destroy them!

How many persons and teams worked on Oblivion?
We had 3d department, art department, varoius concept teams, comp-teams for compositions, a team that worked on texture mapping. They were at least 200 persons.

Which technologies did you use for Oblivion?
We used Photoshop, Mya, 3d Studio Next, G-brush…

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Which were the main difficulties in your work for Oblivion?
The greatest problem was the time. We had to draw a lot detailed artwork in a very little time. There were teams spread all over the world and we waited for files coming from the other side of the planet. Coordinating the various teams was hard, too.

Oblivion is based on a Graphic Novel written by the director of the movie himself: was it a source of inspiration for your work?
I had to read it and study it, of course. I saw the kind of things he wanted and how he wanted them to be realized, but then I went further. I used it a base for my work.

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May you describe us the differences beetween your work on Oblivion and other kind of movies, just like Speed Racer of The Avengers?
Basically the main difference is that for superheroes movies and sci-fi movies I have to do lots of costumes design, monsters, spaceships and things like that. For Oblivion I had to do lot of backgrounds, the main part of my job were backgrounds. I had to go throughout the story and see when the scenes were without humans, when and how to destroy them…

Can you tell us something about your next projects? Because we know for sure you worked on a sequel with an Enterprise spaceship…
Yes, i worked on the Star Trek sequel, i finished it a few weeks ago. My future projects… Well I’m working on my own Graphic Novel over the past few months and I haven’t thought about my next works since I’m totally focused on my GN.

Thank you for the time you gave us and… Long live and prosper!
Grazie, ciao!

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