Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

-By Dan dos Santos

A few years ago I was asked to do some concepts for an upcoming Nicolas Cage film. That film is 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', which just came out on DVD last month.

For those of you familiar with Disney's 1940 film 'Fantasia', you may recognize the title as the same belonging to the scene where Mickey Mouse, a lowly apprentice, steals his Mentor's hat and is quickly overwhelmed by the powerful magic contained therein. 

The original script for the 2010 version of 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' was a lot different than what appears in the movie, and actually had a lot more in common with the 'Fantasia' film, including an epic battle with the demon Chernabog and hundreds of his undead denizens. I think it's a shame it was cut.

For the most part, my tasks focused on character and costume design for the two main characters, Balthazar and Morgana. The role of Morgana (and her alter ego, Veronica) had not yet been cast, but they were hoping for Monica Bellucci, so we did the designs in her image hoping it would help sell her on the idea.

The Art Director and I spoke at length about what we envisioned for each character. But, as usual, very few ideas make it through production looking the way they were originally intended.

I did all my concepting digitally. In this case, on top of a 3D model which I then placed photos of the Actors' faces on. Here are some of those concepts:


  1. Very nice ideas. How long did it take to come up with all these concepts? What were your references?
    I see a lot variety: native American costumes, fantasy, anime, victorian, punk...

  2. Interesting concepts !! I think I find the non-cleavage versions the most appealing.

  3. love those costumes in the last image Dan, they're beautiful

  4. Very interesting. My wife and I just watched this movie on DVD and as the movie credits were scrolling by your name seemed to out in the credits. I jumped up scanned back and said hey that guy was at iluxcon. Thats the guy from the book cover tut dvd.

  5. Damn! Dude these are awesome concepts. Sounds like a really exciting project. How often are you approached with film gigs like this?