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Mentor of the Day: Chris Alzmann

If you’ve ever watched a major block-buster summer hit, you’ve probably seen the work of Christian (Chris) Alzmann at some point.  (Be sure to check out his extensive list of credits at the bottom.) After graduating from Art Center College of Design, Chris began working for  the Academy Award-winning motion picture visual effects company, founded by George Lucas, Industrial Light Magic (ILM) For over twelve years, he’s worked his way through the ranks and currently sits as a Senior Art Director.

In an interview with The Gnomon Workshop, Chris spoke a little bit about being an Art Director compared to a concept artist- “Well now [as an art director] it’s about designing for the whole picture. So you have to keep an eye on the production designer’s vision. For every design you have to art direct someone building that asset. Also depending on the size of the production you might have a crew of artists working with you that will need direction and schedules for their time. All of that and you have to produce a bunch of artwork.”

In both interviews with the SFGate and Gnomon, Chris expressed the need for young artists to develop strong “foundation skills like drawing, sculpting, perspective, anatomy, life drawing and painting. Learning software is great but there will always be new and better software to learn. It will always be changing. The basics will always be the same. Also, look at the world around you for inspiration and ways to set your design sensibilites apart. It’s sad and true, but a lot of great designs can get ovelooked if they are executed poorly. A portfolio or reel always stands out when the foundation in it is strong.”

Currently, Chris Alzmann is willing to take up to 2 mentees for our SPRING 2012 mentorship program and open to mentoring internationally.  Chris is looking to help his mentee advance to the next level in their work, whether that’s improving foundation skills, design skills or just organizing a better portfolio. So if you’re looking to give general career advice for those looking to get into concept design for live action film or animation Chris Alzmann is your man!

2011 Cowboys & Aliens- VFX Art Director
2011 Rango- Concept Artist
2010 The Last Airbender- VFX Art Director
2009 Terminator Salvation- VFX Art Director
2008 Indy 4- VFX Art Director
2007 The Spiderwick Chronicles- VFX Art Director
2006 Eragon– Visual Effects art Director
2005 MUNICH – Digital Artist
2005 JARHEAD – Visual Effects Art Director
2005  WAR OF THE WORLDS – Visual Effects Art Director
2004 THE VILLAGE – Visual Effects Art Director
2004 TALISMAN – Concept Artist
2004 VAN HELSING – Visual Effects Art Director
2003 PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN – Concept Artist
2003 THE HULK – Concept Artist
2002 TERMINATOR 3 – Concept Artist
2002 MEN IN BLACK 2 – Concept Artist
2001 THE MUMMY RETURNS – Concept Artist
2001 ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE – Storyboard/ Concept Artist

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