Last weekend's box office topper owes a lot to the creativity of an artist who has been quietly toiling away for years, bringing to life a vast collection of unforgettable creatures and fantastical worlds in the likes of BATMAN FOREVER, HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, MEN IN BLACK, THE NUTTY PROFESSOR and WAR OF THE WORLDS. With the release of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, it's time fans and filmmakers alike knew about the talents of Aaron Sims.
In creating both main characters for THE INCREDIBLE HULK -- Hulk himself as well as nemesis Abomination/Blonsky -- Sims' greatest challenge was to take an already well-known and loved character image and make it newly iconic. After thoroughly researching the way The Hulk has appeared over the creature's decades of graphic novel, television and film iterations, Sims carefully crafted a new twist on the old favorite, giving it a look that was unique yet classic. After all, translating two-dimensional characters into larger-than-life cinematic entities is what Sims has spent his career becoming an expert at.
No less impressive of an innovation was the process Sims went forward with to design these characters. He designs in 3-D not only because it is faster but also a huge benefit for the production and effects house since the 3-D model can be used for pre-visualization right away as well as saving money in giving direction for effects.
THE INCREDIBLE HULK is the first release coming up where this process has been used and the creative energy behind it was solely Sims'. The renowned artist designed the creatures in 3-D, delivering them to the production house in usable form.
Informed by his strong background in traditional make-up effects working alongside legends Rick Baker and the late Stan Winston, Sims guided the production team in determining the best method for character effects in HULK.
This meant much greater efficiency cost and time-wise for the production, since Sims could reference his background to interpret the action of a scene and expertly advise as to what should be done on computer and what should be done with make-up effects.
This process was so successful it was then used in the upcoming THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR (a.k.a. THE MUMMY 3), for which Sims had a crew behind him to assist with the modeling process -- an important investment paid for by the production, which realized that it was valuable to have the models for the film's characters come from the artist who designed it as opposed to being interpreted by a third-party visual effects house. In this way, Sims has gone on to direct character art for many more upcoming projects.
For more than 20 years, Aaron Sims has been lending his imagination and craftsmanship to work by some of the industry's most exciting filmmakers, including Andrew Adamson, Rob Cohen, Scott Derrickson, David Goyer, Francis Lawrence, Joel Schumacher, Barry Sonnenfeld, Steven Spielberg and Chris Weitz, as well as make-up and visual effects pioneers Rick Baker and the late Stan Winston. Upcoming releases featuring Sims's work include THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and THE UNBORN.