Thursday, November 3, 2011

Grimm on NBC - Part I

A while back I had the pleasure of doing my first work in Television, for a great new NBC pilot called Grimm, which has just aired.  Filmed here in Portland, the story runs something like this; younger cop in a detective team finds out he can see monsters among us, and his daily criminals. He starts to see folks faces shift into hideous grotesques more often, and it's revealed to him that he's of the original Bros. Grimm family line, and Grimm's Fairy Tales turns out to be a group of case studies for these monsters across history.. The real book is passed down to the newest generation of Grimm seer, and as fate would have it, most of those monsters in the tales are not only real as life, but are after the Grimm's!

Logo I created for the directors chair, and lot
passes, along side a couple of the show's logos.

Watch the show for the action filled fantasy, as it's far cooler than I can describe.. =)  In my short couple of days working with Props Master Todd Ellis and his team (including Paul Eads, Elisabeth Burhop) I definitely learned some of the ways in which that world works, and what remains constant is that it works Fast.. They get some amazingly creative things done as effectively and quickly as you could imagine.  Didn't get to meet them, but David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) wrote this great script, and I can't wait to see the season of campy and bizarre ideas they come up with..  Everyone I did meet was brilliantly abuzz, a cacophony of phones constantly blowing off, and Stumptown coffee addled conversation about this movie or that shoot. It turns out that the insomnia of Freelance transcends all forms of creativity.. =)  

Concepts for the key shown above.  I thought either
the ideas of a maw opening to reveal the key, or perhaps
claws as the teeth of the key might look cool.
The most impressive thing is, that they work in a state of not knowing.. Let me try to explain..  There's so little time, that if someone's given a prop to start designing, they're simultaneously creating metaphors or a specific look or feel that no one really knows will fit yet?  Nor does the Prop Master know if that prop will be changed at any time during that day, or shoot or if it might be cut just after completion? (and no, "Cut After Completion" isn't a name I danced under =)  Perhaps this is the way all office situations work, but I found it fascinating!  Still don't know how they do it.? =)

Scythe blade (which actually sent the Props Master
in for stitches) started out a bit more proto-German
with animal symbols
The few things I contributed to Grimm were created in less than a week, and done alongside grading projects, and freelance.  I researched language, and mythology inasmuch was applicable, and as is the case for every project, I threw my back into getting them what they needed.  A macabre children's book feel, with some knowledge of Ancient scripts was what I was brought in for (I think), but needed changes in direction seemed to happen on the hour, along with script changes which unfortunately excluded most of the sketch work I did.  So, all the drawings you see in Grimm's pilot aren't mine, but I'm going to show you a couple of the things here that I thought were pretty good that we may see in future episodes.. =)  Stay tuned for Part II.. =)