Sunday, January 06, 2008

Countdown to Cloverfield

All movie geeks out there have been feeling the buzz generated from the trailers of the new J.J. Abrams monster flick, Cloverfield. If you haven't as yet, check out the trailers and see what all the fuss is about.

The main fascination is that no one knows what the monster looks like. There have been theories aplenty on every movieloving forum on the internet, from Cthulhu to the Devil, and Voltron to a new improved Godzilla. I too have been collecting the clues and forming many theories of my own as to the identity of the monster. So from now until it's release on the 17th of January (yes that's right, Australia gets it one day earlier than the U.S.'s 18th release. Wheee!) I'll be putting pencil to paper and drawing some of my theories as to the identity of the monster. Some are based on info and quotes from the trailer, the viral campaign and Mr. Abrams himself. Others are just ridiculous flights of fancy.



WHY- Creator J.J. ABRAMS has been quoted as saying that he came up with the idea for the monster when him and his son saw Godzilla toys in a Japanese toyshop. He wanted to create an American equivalent. A monster that America could call their own. So since this movie takes place in the Big Apple, my theory is that he chose a vermin that is synonymous with New York City- Rats! Taking it one step further I chose the ugliest rat around, The Naked Mole Rat and mutated it for the role of the monster.


I tell ya, drawing can be a fickle mistress sometimes. After completing the Rat monster above, I went through countless of sketches and failed drawings for this fish monster. I had a definite idea in mind but just couldn't translate it to paper. Then one day, I'm doodling while scanning in work drawings and lo and behold, the drawing just materialised. Guess I was just trying too hard at first. Anyway...

WHY- The sea is an obvious choice for the origins of the monster. It enters the city via the harbour (decapitating The Statue of Liberty in the process). A giant sea lizard had been done (Godzilla...duh), so I researched fish that live in the local area. The fish used in this mutation is an Atlantic Wolf Fish merged with some fossilised dinosaur bones to become the monster.

17th January 2008- Saw it tonight. Top stuff! A bit short, could have been 30 minutes longer, but it was an original and clever little flick. The monster was pretty cool too (none of my theories were right, but I figured that was the case)


Blogger Andreas Schuster said...

hi there,
your writing on it being a rat kinda makes sense, i still hope its something less "reality based" though.
have you seen the fan art someone made?

i hope is a wild mixture of different things. its also supposed to be from the sea.. maybe a lobsterdolphin!

take care!

3:24 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

That is one nasty rat!

My theory is there is one huge main monster and an army of smaller monsters.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

andreas- Yeah, it's very unlikely this rat is the monster. Even though I've supported it with some evidence and a theory to back it up, every other piece of info about the monster on the internet contradicts it.

I'll be doing a whole bunch of different possibilities, from the sea from space etc.

...and yes I did see that whale monster fan art. That was really well done.

Brian- Regarding the small monsters, I did take that into account with the rat. It would have giant mutated fleas living on it's body.

10:41 AM  
Blogger retromancy said...

Heh, nice rat monster! I'm hoping the movie doesn't turn out to be one enormous tease though.

2:03 PM  
Blogger G said...

Hi Chris,

Don't know if you've seen this or not or if the above comment about the whale monster fan art is this, but on one of my fave toy blogs:

Personally, I hope we don't get to see the official monster from Cloverfield before the movie is releases. A lot of the glimpses of the monster from the Korean monster movie, The Host, worked really well I thought and I think The Orphanage did really well with the SFX on that movie.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing more Cloverfield monster fanart from you! (just a suggestion for future, it might be good to give a sense of scale also).

7:27 PM  
Blogger SEILER said...

Chris, this is amazing, and exciting to look at. I can't wait to see your other versions . . . what a great idea!

4:43 AM  
Blogger MONROY said...

A nice blog! I like your work! The caricature of Dr House is incredible!

Fer R Monroy (Illustrator)

12:03 PM  
Blogger Alex Picar said...

great idea and niiiice theory hahaha! i on the other hand think it'll be more alien-y. y'know, to set up that he can do pull off Star Trek HAAAHAHAH!!!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Matt Jackson said...

Very Atlantic were-wolfish...d-dum tish

Ah the joys of being privvy to your machinations during my lunchbreak...

1:17 PM  
Blogger Pauk said...

That fish monster is fucking gross! Jeez.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Thanks all!

In case you're wondering the pink stuff on the fish's underbelly is it's fish eggs not it's guts.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

Chris, there's a few concepts being distributed since the early screenings have happened. I saw it Jan 10th and threw a sketch up that night.

However, I no artist, and my sketch is lame. Feel free to take the idea and run with it. There's also a couple of artists working in pastels that have been taking input from other viewers to put some ideas together.

You can get to larger versions of my sketch by clicking through the images in my review at:

I was hoping the monster would be a mutation of a whale, or a giant waterbear.


6:39 PM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Thanks Nick.

I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone by posting up an accurate version of what the monster looks like. The idea was for me to see how close I could get using only the available info at hand. Funny though, I almost gave my fish monster a severe underbite. Close but no cigar.

I appreciate you trying to help out though.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Erik Jones said...

thank you. you have a really nice blog here yourself

1:55 AM  
Blogger Tooninator said...

thanks for checkin' out the blog Chris. It means alot coming from you. I'm a HUGE fan!!! Be sure to come around again.
You have such a wide range of talent. You can do any style and it's just killer. Love it all.

3:49 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Hey Chris- glad to see you are back in action with the blog! These monsters are great- it will be fun to see what the monster really looks like when the movie comes out!
Thanks for stopping by my blog again and for the comment on the skeleton makeup job- I appreciate it! Lookin' forward to seeing more of your inspirational artwork soon!

4:30 AM  
Blogger 1 said...

wow, these are amazing pieces of art.

6:29 AM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Thanks all for your comments.

2:52 PM  
Blogger SRH said...

so... after you see it are you going to post your version of the monster?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Maybe, but only once the monsters identity becomes public knowledge. Don't want to spoil it for anyone.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

both of these are excellent concepts! The rat one is my favorite. Always outta this world works Chris!It will be interesting to see how close you come. Youre my hero!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Mette said...

that rat is a nightmare! You make scary stuff look soooo cool. :)

11:03 PM  
Blogger monkeyfeather said...

AWESOME work on your blog. Cool Cloverfield monsters!

4:12 AM  
Blogger Gabriel Hunt said...

Well, the fish tail was pretty close. It surprises me how the fish egg part is very similar to another part of the actual monster from the movie.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Yeah, I guess the fish tail wasn't a far stretch considering it came from the ocean.

Thanks man.

6:10 PM  
Blogger C.Deboda said...

Though didnt quite match up with the actual monster design exactly, these monster art looks really great. Especially liking that rat monster!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Thanks cdeboda!

Excellent work on your blog.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I concur with everyone here....

8:24 AM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Thanks Big-maow. Paid your blog a little visit. Really top notch work.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow very good work chris,Iwounder what program do you use to draw the black and white skiches?

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr.chris,I'm a bigenner and I need you to give some tips about how to draw a caricature the way you do ,and to reach the ultimate level like yourself, thanks.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Chris Wahl said...

Hi Fogan- I draw my sketches the old fashion way, just with a pencil and paper. The drawings are then scanned into the computer.

As far as learning caricature goes, the best advice first would be to learn how to draw the human face well. Before I started experimenting with caricature I used to draw realistic portraits. This was good groundwork in familiarising myself with the human face, it's proportions and structure. A case of learning to walk before you run.

As for the technical side of things, I just use a clutch pencil (similar to a mechanical pencil but with thicker leads) and for ink work I use Pitt pens which have a brush shaped nib.

There's whole lot more to get into e.g exagerration, face shapes etc.

MAD artist, Tom Richmond has some great tutroials on his blog about the basics of caricature-

3:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That was an interesting information. Thanks for sharing it here. By the way have you heard about Godzilla toys I had a huge collection of them.

10:15 PM  

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