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Barbican Presents Sci-fi Talks at MCM London Comic Con

SEEN learns that the world-renowned Barbican will present a series of talks and panel discussions at this year’s MCM London Comic Con, inviting guests from the Centre’s forthcoming exhibition Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction (3rd June – 1st September) – a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms, celebrating literature, film, music, comic books, video games and contemporary art. In SEEN’s view, this is the must-see exhibition of this year.

On Saturday 27th May Director, Designer and Special Effects expert Patrick Tatopoulos gives the lowdown on the stories behind his iconic designs from films I Robot, Dark City, Stargate, Independence Day, Pitch Black and Godzilla, as seen in the Barbican’s exhibition, Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction. The exhibition includes models, prototypes, concept art and costumes from Tatopoulos’ private collection, many of which have never been on public display before.

Patrick Tatopoulos’ most recent credits include Batman Vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice, for which he reinvented the iconic Batmobile and Batcave, and he will reprise his role as production designer for the upcoming DC Comics and Warner Brothers’ franchise film, Justice League. In 2009, he directed Underworld: Rise Of The Lycans, which grossed close to a 100 million dollars worldwide.

Previously in his career, Tatopoulos’ credits include 300: Rise Of An Empire, Total Recall, I Am Legend, Live Free Or Die Hard, Underworld, Underworld Evolution, Silent Hill, I, Robot, Resident, Evil: Extinction, Pitch Black, Independence Day, Dark City, Godzilla and Stargate, 10,000 B.C., Van Helsing, The Chronicles of Riddick, Alien Vs Predator, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Stuart Little, Super Nova, Spawn, Jade, Seven, Adams Family, The Doors and Star Trek.

Tatopoulos has also appeared in front of the camera, as judge on the SY-FY network television’s popular reality show, Face Off.

Patrick talks to Louis Savy, founder and festival director for the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival as well as advisor on Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction at the Barbican.

On Saturday 27th May John Walsh, a double BAFTA nominated film maker and Trustee of the Ray Harryhausen Foundation looks back on his 25-year friendship with the legendary writer and producer Ray Harryhausen in Harryhausen and Me. Harryhausen’s ground-breaking stop-motion animation technique changed the face of modern cinema.

Alongside a special screening of his short 1989 film school documentary Ray Harryhausen: Movement Into Life, narrated by Tom Baker, which he made when he was just 18, Walsh will explore Harryhausen’s pioneering experimentation with cinemascope, his unrealised film projects and the controversial colouring of some of his earlier black and white films. He will present some never-before-seen photos from the 50,000-strong collection and discuss the challenges of restoration and legacy from the most complete and comprehensive fantasy cinema and animation collections, anywhere in the world.

Many items have been restored by the foundation especially for the Barbican’s exhibition Into the Unknown, which includes original dinosaur models from One Million Years BC and The Valley of Gwangi, alien models from First Men in the Moon and a prototype for the Martian for his adaptation of The War of the Worlds, which eventually was never made.

Also on Saturday 27th May, the Founder and Executive Creative Director of Territory Studio, David Sheldon-Hicks, Supervising Art Director on The Martian, Marc Homes and Double Negative Creative Director Paul Franklin go behind the scenes to discuss how visual effects helped to bring the narrative alive on blockbuster films The Martian, Ex Machina and Interstellar in the event VFX: The Art of Storytelling.

At the Barbican’s Into the Unknown exhibition, motion graphics and VFX specialists Territory Studio will produce a new interactive commission, based on their work on Ridley Scott’s Oscar-winning film The Martian (2015), which tells the story of NASA’s efforts to bring stranded astronaut Mark Watney home. Territory will recreate the film’s NASA Mission Control set in the exhibition across several giant screens. Visitors will experience the film through the eyes of an actor, receiving instructions to carry out, from the film’s director, through a headset. In this way, the installation demonstrates how the film’s design aids an actor, allowing them to interact with actual screens and realtime graphics to give an authentic performance.

VFX Studio Double Negative will also be featured in the Barbican exhibition through an installation around the android Ava, star of the 2015 film Ex Machina for which they won the Oscar for Best VFX.

David Sheldon-Hicks founded Territory Studio in 2010. The company’s varied portfolio includes screen graphics, UI, VFX and trailers for feature films, including Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Ghost In The Shell (2017), The Martian, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ex Machina, Guardians of the Galaxy, Jupiter Ascending, Zero Dark Thirty and Prometheus

Marc Homes is an Art Director and concept artist. His credits include Life, Assassin’s Creed, Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Counsellor, Skyfall, Prometheus and X-Men: First Class.

Paul Franklin, one of the world’s leading visual effects designers, is Senior VFX Supervisor, Creative Director and Co-Founder of Double Negative Visual Effects. His credits include supervising visual effects for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Trilogy, earning an Academy Award nomination for his work on The Dark Knight, designing and supervising the visual effects for Nolan’s Inception and Interstellar, respectively winning VES, BAFTAs and Academy Awards for both films. In 2014, Paul was appointed Creative Director of Double Negative, overseeing the company’s work across a wide range of films, including Captain America: Civil War, Blade Runner 2049 and, most recently, Life.

Major Barbican exhibition Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction (3rd June to 1st September) is a genre-defining exploration of one of popular culture’s most celebrated realms. This unprecedented show takes place all over the Centre, encompassing literature, contemporary art, film, music, comic books and video games to present a new, global perspective on Science Fiction.

Curated by Swiss historian and writer Patrick Gyger, this festival-style exhibition explores Science Fiction as an experimental genre, delving into its storytelling roots to discover how its visionary creators captured imaginations around the world to become one of the most popular and enjoyable narratives today.

The exhibition includes over 200 books from around the world, including Jules Verne’s original manuscripts; contemporary art commissions from Conrad Shawcross and Trevor Paglen, pioneering works by multimedia artists Dara Birnbaum, Soda_Jerk and Larissa Sansour, props, models and a gallery of aliens from blockbuster films including Star Wars™, Star Trek, Interstellar, Alien, Jurassic Park and Godzilla and over 50 film and TV clips, featuring some of the most memorable cinematic moments in Science Fiction as well as rare, unseen footage, artist videos, vintage postcards, pulp magazines, adverts, concept art, film props, comics, video games and robots.

Saturday 3rd June – Friday 1st September 2017

Into the Unknown at the Barbican
Barbican Centre
Silk Street