This piece was reproduced rather poorly in the big Indiana Jones making of book recently, though I was very happy to see it in there. The original idea was that rooms such as this, buried deep within the great temple, were lit by networks of long, narrow, gold-leaf lined tunnels that reflected light through a complicated series of angles until it reached it's various destinations, illuminating them with a rich, golden hue. Somehow this concept didn't carry over into the film, but you can see it here. This is the chamber before the great throne room. You can see the trick serpent-door to the left, and the room is chock full of various riches and religious idolatry from high cultures all over the Earth. I did this piece quite large, and the little Indy in the upper left hand corner was quite detailed. The mummified corpses scattered throughout the room represent Conquistadors and treasure seekers who had made it this far only to die, unable to open the great door to the great throne room. Of course, they needed a Crystal Skull, and the inimitable instincts of one Indiana Jones to do it.
Stinking Conquistadors. Always sticking their noses where they don't belong.
Indy-4 Temple Heart
The speed at which we had to crank out artwork for Indy-4 was rather break-neck, and often I had to move on to the next thing before I was finished. This painting is a good example of this as the second skeleton to the right is merely roughed in, and there should be something showing of the skeleton on the foreground platform to the left.
I did enjoy the sense of light in this piece, and creating all the crumbling architectural details.
Ultimately Guy Dias changed the color theme of this set to a magnificently royal red and gold, and decided (as I had suggested all along) to keep this room relatively free of spiderwebs and dust, as this room was to have been hermetically sealed for centuries. This made a nice contrast to all other areas of the temple which were covered in cracks, moss, moisture, vines, and the usual detritus.
Indy-4 Door - Aged
A version of this rendering was printed in the first few pages recent big Making of Indiana Jones book. (Miles is a happy camper). They chose the version that was clean and pretty. I think this one looks better. I still needed to add more cracks and cover it with cobwebs, but hey. Who has the time?
This was a stone frieze that Guy Dias had me design to allow the warriors to appear as if they were a part of the architecture of the temple, before bursting free and attacking our heroes. Somehow things got changed, and they dropped out of the ceiling instead. I enjoyed playing with Mayan design sensibilities. I have always had a great interest in Meso-American culture and architecture, so this project was a bit of a dream come true.
Indy-4 Skeleton Throne
This was one of many drawings of the crystal skeletons done for Indy-4. We played a lot with the scale of the things, trying to determine how tall the aliens needed to be so that Indy could climb up the throne and place the skull on the neck without looking too awkward. I was trying to design the skeleton as well as the throne at the same time, trying to make sure that they fit together well. There was an attempt on the part of the art department to carry on the tradition of the Indiana Jones films in that the designs for most all of the sets, props, and creatures were to be done under one roof, under the nose of the production designer and the director, rather than to allow the designs to be usurped by the sub-contractors who were hired to fabricate them, as is often the case in big budget fantasy and sci-fi films.
They made 13 of these beauties for the film. It is a hybrid of two different designs I had done for the throne, and the sculptors outdid themselves with this one. This prop looked fantastic in person, and was well enough made that one could have it in ones living room as a piece of furniture, and it would hold up to daily use. When I saw these gilded treasures in person, my head almost exploded, and I became obsessed with the ridiculous idea of trying to acquire one.
Guy Dias went to bat for me to try and procure one by explaining that one of his artists had designed it, and was wondering if it might be possible, after the film was over, and all the dust had settled, if it may be possible to buy one, or perhaps commision one to be made out of the molds.
He was merely told by a representative of LucasFilm these four very words: "No way in hell".
I don't know where all 13 of these thrones are, but I doubt if they are going to any good use. I imagine that they share the fate of the Ark of the Covenant at the end of the first Indy film. Boxed, numbered, and rotting in a massive warehouse north of San Francisco.
If anyone knows how I can acquire one of these, please contact me. I can be very discreet.
Indy-4 Nazca Warrior 03
More Nazca warrior weirdness. I dare some skater-punk to try to pull off this hairstyle.
Indy-4 Nazca Warrior 09
As I recall, there were only 4 warriors in the original script (which nobody was allowed to have a copy of) so I drew some concepts for these men who were to be the guardians of the great temple of the crystal skeletons. When Spielberg saw these drawings, he got excited and suddenly wanted dozens of these warriors everywhere, dropping from the ceiling, climbing out of the walls, etc. They were supposed to have their heads elongated like the crystal skulls they worshiped, but I was asked to shorten them to normal head size for some reason.
Indy-4 Nazca Warrior 02
These warriors were called the Nazca warriors at one point I believe, so I thought it would make sense to cover their bodies in raised Nazca plain scarifications. This creepy guy files his teeth into points.
Indy-4 Nazca Warrior 04
This guy was inspired by a picture of a native of some strange place who covered himself in mud. I was asked to do a take on a Nazca Warrior covered in dry mud. It's not very successful.
I was delighted to hear that Kate Blanchet had been cast in the role of a Soviet Uber-bitch,(hints of Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS), and knew that she would have fun with the character. This actress can do no wrong in my book.
I was told that she was to have short, straight, black hair, so I came up with this look for her. I knew that she was an officer, but had no reference for Russian Uniforms of the day, so I invented this getup. The gray body suit with the boots was perfect in the film.