Star Wars Show gives insight into concept artist at ILM


The official YouTube show sheds a little spotlight on some of the artisans working to craft Star Wars

There’s a new episode of the official Star Wars Show over on the ‘tube, and amongst the news of a heretofore unseen Solo excerpt, there’s a brief but illuminating look at the behind the scenes work that goes into creating concept art assets. It’s well worth the watch:

In the clip Stephen Zavala, Senior Concept Artist at ILM, details some of the projects that he has worked on. Most notably the concept art designs for the Citadel imperial base on Scarif for Rogue One and the engine firing sequence for the Millennium Falcon in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Said Zavala:

"Every time you see something on screen that doesn’t exist, somebody has to think about it at some point and design it. That is basically my job. Come up with ideas that we would eventually see on screen, depending on the necessities of the script, or you know, the sensibilities of the director."

It’s no overstatement to suggest that working at ILM is to be working at the peak of the technological and artistic field today. To find oneself employed there is no small feat, a truth that Zavala knows all too well.

"The first time I applied here they rejected me, because my portfolio wasn’t good enough. But, you know, I took all the feedback into consideration. I said, ‘You know what, I’m gonna use this and I’m gonna try again.’ So I spent a whole year, just practicing, and then re-did my whole portfolio, sent it again. It worked out in the end, they were like ‘Sure, do you wanna come aboard?’"

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The craftspeople who dedicate their energies to creating the most compelling design elements, be they auditory or visual, are well worth noting and celebrating. It’s also worth noting that most of them, like us, are deep fans of the Star Wars universe. On contributing to the engine design of the Millennium Falcon Zavala noted:

"This was an amazing project that I had a chance to do. Because, it’s basically touching this iconic spaceship, and just contributing a little bit into it. So, I was real excited to be part of that."

Do you have a favorite artist working at ILM? Any favorite design elements from recent Star Warsmovies? Give us a shout below!