This sci-fi adventure needed epic-sized coordination for aspects like the volcanic world, the Baroque-styled flagship, and giant warrior figurines.
Riddick goes down in history as the biggest project of my film sculptor career. Everything about this film was bigger than anything I had to deal with in all my previous work. The project had the usual compromises and frustrations but also had the added distress of a fire destroying a completed set early in the construction schedule.
To give you an idea of scale, the number of crew members that I was responsible for varied over the course of the 6-month project from 40 to 115. These sculptor/technicians carried out work that fell into a variety of fields, from metal fabrication, construction, mould making, to carving and modeling.
The scenic scope of the film was enormous. The majority of constructed sets ranged in theme from an off-world town with streets, houses and public squares, a volcanic planet with subterranean caverns and tunnels, to the interiors of the ‘Necro’ flagship – the design of which it was based on the architecture of a Baroque Basilica. The Basilica was choked with literally miles of decorative moulding, sometimes four to six layers deep and three feet thick. The crowning feature of this set was the carved figurines, seven in total which ranged in height from 12 to 15 feet and were, like the rest of the set, covered in layers of filigree decorated armour.
As head Sculptor I was required to interpolate the design requirements of the Designer and the Art Department, devise construction techniques and appropriate material technology, schedule and supervise outsourced contractors. I was responsible for the direction, supervision and in many cases on the job training of crew members that came to the project with a variety of backgrounds and work experience. All had to be coordinated into an efficient and time effective force.