Behind the Scenes

Alien Sci Fi Art by Mark Elliott – Concept Illustrations for Movie “Zedic and the Crimson Born”

Alien Sci Fi Art

Artist Mark Elliot‘s Notes

I was asked by Dano to design a life form from scratch had me puzzled and challenged until I had the chance to read Karen’s Buckton’s screenplay for “Zedic and the Crimson Born”; a perfect and mysterious alien sci fi story that pointed the way for me through the sheer strength of its intriguing character depiction.

Knowing that you are looking at a highly evolved benevolent intelligence can only be transmitted through subtle cultural clues. The third eye, for instance, is a symbol for a higher intelligence, or higher enlightenment in more than one culture throughout history.

The fun was also in imagining how evolution would kick-in and proceed on another planet, so we came up with two approaches as seen in the sketches A & B. One idea held an “insect” or almost “trilobite” basis, another of an imaginary “mammalian” evolutionary tree that still made use of an “exoskeleton”.

It all fell into place. An intriguing place that can be seen in the final cut of Zedic and the Crimson Born.

And nothing could beat creating this while earth-like exoplanet discoveries were being announced almost on a daily basis in the news. We are reaching out with our orbiting telescopes. Who knows how they are trying to reach us.

Producer Dano’s Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Mark’s magical and surreal yet incredibly detailed life-like illustrations. He was the first artist I thought of for bringing the alien Zedic to life. Image A is most fitting to Gary Ploski, the actor portraying Zedic. So my inclination was to move the third eye and facial markings from image B to A. Once Mark completes the final version, I am very exited to see it come to life using the Crazy Talk software we are planning on using for the scene.

Writer Karen Buckton’s Feedback on the Illustrations

Image A: I don’t like the full lower lip with a negligible top lip. Lips are very climate dependent. I’d prefer both lips to be thin or negligible. I like a very small nose as it wouldn’t have to rely much on the sense of smell with all its other sensory detectors. It looks like it has vertebrae extending right across the top of its head. Perhaps it is extremely strong bone for added protection to the brain.

Image B: I really like those appendages instead of external ears. It gives the impression they pick up all sorts of sensory information in a wide range of frequencies. The layered nose is very interesting. Perhaps Zedic can switch on and off different nostril layers depending on the chemical composition of the planet’s atmosphere. That’s why he doesn’t need to wear a breathing apparatus. Actually I really like this idea and I haven’t heard of it before. Each nostril layer has a different type of filtering system, so on Earth eg the aliens need to open nostrils 1 and 2 to inhale the correct composition of gases for their biology. On another planet they would use nostrils 1, 3 and 5.

I’m not sure about the third eye being way up on the forehead. In theory, the third eye, also called the mind’s eye, is situated right between the two eyes, and expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened. In Hinduism, it is believed that the opening of Shiva’s third eye causes the eventual destruction of the physical universe. I believe a third eye located on the back of the head would be a huge evolutionary advantage and I’m surprised we don’t know of any Earth species with one. Are those little triangles teeth? Perhaps the projection on the top of the head can be a sexual attraction thing, unless the Yetrans have forgone such bestial behavior.

Alien Images © 2011 Mark Elliott