With the premiere of Terminator Salvation this weekend (and the cast & crew screening I went to last night) I can finally begin to go public with some of the work I did on the film.
This is part of a chase sequence I drew for the film. I assume it’s okay to publicize, since it’s shown rather prominently in The Art of Terminator Salvation (available at Amazon — just click on title). It’s on pages 110 and 111 — but they went top-to-bottom first, not left-to-right, so be warned.
This sequence, though it’s supposed to take place near Griffith Park Observatory, was filmed in the foothills of the Sandia mountains, just a mile or so from Jennifer’s parents’ place. The whole film was made around here, using many local landmarks like the Taos gorge bridge, the Very Large Array and the Albuquerque Rail Yard, making it at times look like the highest-budget home movie in history.
Much of this storyboard sequence is different in the final film. For instance, it’s a day scene now, not night. Storyboards are just as important to directors and cinematographers in deciding what to change as in deciding what to keep, and as a springboard for new ideas.
I was always asked to add my own ideas into sequences if I thought they’d add to them. The scanning sequence, above, with the wire-frame look to it, was my idea, and in the final film they do something somewhat similar. There are other moments in the final film that were completely my contribution — extremely small things, but they’re there, including a really scary moment revealing a threat to the hero. To be able to work with creative people like director McG, DP Shane Hurlbut and head storyboard artist Adolfo Martínez Pérez, who invited new ideas and discussion of story elements, was very rewarding, and a real treat.