This week’s three-day 5D | FLUX conference at USC (presented by the 5D Institute in association with the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Autodesk) offered informative discussions about the new paradigm for World Building and virtual production. Among the highlights was the revelation Tuesday night concerning the mythology of Superman’s iconic S in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel by costume designer Michael Wilkinson.
Wilkinson explained that since they created a “neo-medieval” back story for Krypton (which included the creation of a new language), it made sense to utilize the suit design as part of the mythology. “Everyone on Krypton wears this suit,” he suggested. Using ZBrush and rapid prototyping, Wilkinson came up the blue/gray color and chainmail look. “It has function and purpose and a logic to this fantastical world,” he added.
Wilkinson spoke as part of the Tuesday night panel discussion about Inception (imagining and developing the world). He was joined by production designer Rick Carter (Avatar, War Horse, Lincoln), Autodesk fellow Tom Wujec (who gave a separate presentation about the state of digital design for cars, shoes, virtual cities, and how creativity is trying to keep up with new technology), and writer/producer Rick Jaffa (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who is busy scripting a sequel that will further the Moses story about Caesar.
Carter said he wished that World Building would go away as a territorial battle and offered a higher philosophical discussion about world and story melding together as cause and effect. He espoused Jung in describing Avatar as “The Wizard of Oz meets Apocalypse Now” or “EKG meets MRI.”