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Interview with Chris Nichols


By Richard Tilbury

Web: http://www.porkpiesamurai.com/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.liamg@iarumaseipkrop

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Date Added: 26th April 2012

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Can you tell us something about the worm creature in your gallery and the background behind it?

It was for a film test I worked on at Spin VFX back in 2008. It's a parasitic worm that crawls out of a toilet and attacks a woman. I think we named it Blinky. We had a clay design maquette provided and from that I modeled and sculpted the worm in Mudbox and worked with a Lookdev artist to create the slippery skin textures for the shots.

Which people do you feel have had the greatest influence over your development as an artist?

Bay Raitt was a big inspiration to me when I was getting interested in 3D. I was really impressed with the work he did on Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and had hoped to get into films and model creatures.


What have been the most challenging projects you have worked on and why?

Each project has its own challenges and issues to deal with ,whether it's complexity or just plain
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What do you find the most interesting to work on between props, environments and characters, or does it really depend on the project ?

Characters are great. Usually you get more time to work on a character than a prop or environment, and generally they are a lot more fun to do. Props or environments are usually done quite quickly and because of camera views, as long as it looks good in the shot there's no need to refine the details.

Which films have made a lasting impression on you and what were the most significant aspects?

Definitely The Lord of the Rings. I was just so impressed by The Fellowship of the Ring and the sequels and that's really what motivated me to try and get into the industry. I was mesmerized by the Balrog, Cave Trolls, Gollum and the Nazgûl. I think I have a disposition for scaly, leathery or slimy creatures and ever since childhood I've found reptiles and amphibians to be fascinating. In recent times I love the Harry Potter films and I think District 9 was amazing too, but I don't think anything will compare to that first experience of watching Fellowship.

If you were given the opportunity to translate a book into a film, what would it be and why?

Enders Game - I read it recently and loved it. It's very visual, but has an intelligent core. I think it also covers a lot of great sci-fi ground to do with environments, creatures and vehicles. I'm excited to be working on it next at Digital Domain.

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