When World War Z opened last week, it introduced a new kind of zombie – one born in the depths of Framestore‘s art department long before being let loose on the world. In fact, the London-based VFX company started developing concept art years before production even started.
The Brad Pitt blockbuster features the undead as they’ve never seen them before – moving in a distinctive, destructive wave of bodies that can scale the highest walls and bring down flying helicopters.
Framestore’s art department developed the concepts for the film’s zombies and their style of movement during an 18-month visual development period working directly with director Marc Foster, Plan B and Paramount Pictures.
Framestore also helped imagine many of the movie’s key scenes, such as the Jerusalem gate takeover, long before production started.
“From the very early stages of script development, my team and I pitched to Marc Foster and Paramount an idea of how to re-imagine the visual look of zombies,” said Framestore’s art director and lead concept artist Kevin Jenkins. “We knew it would be hard to re-design a zombie, so we didn’t. Instead, we designed the mass of zombies – the way they moved together, the way they flocked and flowed, the way they ran, made towers out of their bodies, and even talked about the way they bit.”
“As we release concept art, you can see the influence we had on the script and the design of the set pieces,” said Jenkins. “We’d like to thank Marc Foster, Andy Jones, and all those who supported us and our ideas on this movie.”
Framestore’s art department has worked on over 50 films in the past three years, including visual development for War Horse, Lincoln, Dredd 3D, Iron Man 3, 47 Ronin, Wrath of the Titans, Zero Dark Thirty and summer release RIPD. It is currently working on All You Need is Kill, Jupiter Ascending and Dracula.
Gallery of Framestore’s Concept Art for World War Z