Ed Verreaux is one of the unsung heroes of Steven Spielberg’s pool of artisans. Following an apprenticeship with animation legend Chuck Jones, he joined visual effects company of Robert Abel & Associates as a designer, earning his stripes as one of the earliest artists on Star Trek The Motion Picture.
Yet it is his work with Spielberg as a production illustrator that acted as his calling card for his current career as a production designer (he has just finished Jurassic World), turning the director’s visions into something tangible, a blueprint a film crew could work with.
He worked on all three Indiana Jones movie, Poltergeist and Empire Of The Sun but it is his work on Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial that is perhaps his most venerated. Spielberg famously wanted his title star to be something only a mother could love and went to the lengths of sticking photographs of poet Carl Sandburg’s and Albert Einstein’s eyes on images of an infant to create a mixture of innocent and wisdom.
Running with the idea, Verreaux created a series of sketches that crystalise the various expressions and emotions the character would have to perform.
Steven Spielberg: Director's Collection Blu-ray box set available to order now.
And, of course, how the iconic creature finally turned out in the movie...
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