Pirates - "Boys...let's take a walk"!!
"Your rate seems a little high to me"....~unknown Producer.
Please pay attention.
When I met with Gore Verbinski in the summer of 2002, he was a very nice and soft-spoken guy in a very modest little bungalow in Studio City. He had the outline of a story, he was talking to Johnny Depp, but there was no art department set up yet. It was that short 'blue sky' period a film sometimes gets if it's lucky. One of the scenes he wanted me to sketch out was a shot of a crew of zombiefied pirates jumping into the water and swimming over to a ship to attack it. When I got home, something just felt a little wrong about this to me. Knowing I was soon moving on to another project, I did something I rarely do. I just did whatever the hell I wanted! I got a vision in my head of a dark ocean floor lit only by moonbeams. Suddenly, emerging from out of the murky darkness appears a wall of Zombies, slowly lumbering toward the camera, their hair and clothing seemingly weightless, trailing behind them in the water. I liked it! I felt it had a kind of iconic impact that swimming Zombies just could't have. So I drew it, colored it, and handed it it to Gore the following week with my other artwork.
A year later I am sitting at a screening of the film and I hear Geoffrey Rush shout out "Boys, let's take a walk!". Suddenly, there was my drawing, in motion, up there on the screen.
People have often told me that it is their favorite moment in the film, not knowing it was my idea..
I would like Producers to kindly take note of this the next time they are thinking of telling me, or any other good illustrator that their rate might be "a little high".