Interview With Tim Flattery
(March 2003)

Tim Flattery has worked on a number of films as illustrator. He did concept work on the Daredevil movie, so here he talks about working with Mark Steven Johnson on designs. Many thanks to Mr. Flattery!

Kuljit Mithra: Can you give a brief bio and mention some of the other 'superhero'-type work you've done?

Tim Flattery: I'm you're typical artist/designer that wanted to do this stuff since I was young. I went to art school in Detroit (Center For Creative Studies) and worked on a portfolio suited for film. I then moved to L.A. to see if I could "get a break" and started my career. Other superhero work includes...Fantastic 4, X-Men, Turbo Man (Jingle All The Way), Batman, etc.

Mithra: From images on your site, it appears that you were working on Daredevil as far back as 2001. How did you get involved with the movie? Were you one of the artists Mark Steven Johnson hired to lay a foundation for his presentations to the movie studios?

Flattery: Yes, I was one of the first artists on the movie. Back in '96, Chris Columbus asked me to do some designs for the suit when the project was with his production company and then in 2001 I was contacted to come on with MSJ to work on it again. The art had a few purposes... yes, it's for studio presentation, but mostly it's a design tool to show how the film is being realized visually.

Mithra: What kind of tools do you use for the 3D modeling?

Flattery: For 3d tools I was using Strata, but I have since switched to Lightwave and find it to be a more complete program for what I'm doing. For 2d art, I usually start with a sketch that I'll do with ball point pen then paint it in Photoshop 7 which has some great brushes that let my technique show uninhibited.

Mithra: I see you worked on some designs for the billy club. Did they use your designs for the final movie version?

Flattery: The concepts for the billy-club remained the same. With some subtle detail and texture differences the final result on film remained faithful to the original concepts.

Mithra: MSJ has said he wanted the movie to be inspired by panels in actual DD comics... you drew DD on the cross, so just wondering how much research you did on the character and the comics

Flattery: DD on the cross was a very important image to Mark. It's how his movie opens. We all did a pass at that opening to get just the right mood and feel that Mark wanted. Mark was inspired by comic book panels... he is a true fan and we would always refer to stacks of stuff in regards to what would be great to see in the film. I read DD as a kid and I've always been a fan so I came to the project very familiar.

Mithra: Did you do location work in L.A. to get a feel of the area where DD was going to be filmed?

Flattery: I was on the film very early in pre-production so I was drawing from New York locations for the feel. They later started generating stuff from L.A. to represent Hell's Kitchen, which worked well.

Mithra: What were some of your ideas for the Kingpin's offices?

Flattery: For the Kingpin's office, the production designer had a layout that he was happy with and from that layout I was able to generate renderings that gave everyone a good idea of what the set would look like. It was important to keep the the look clean, sterile and imposing. So in the renderings I used materials such as glass and marble to convey that feel.

Mithra: Did you do any work on the costumes? You have three pics of DD on your site... what did you think of the final leather costume?

Flattery: I really like how the costume turned out in the movie. I think James Acheson did a great job on designing a costume that has a feel that retains the spirit of the comic while retaining functionality and believability.

Mithra: How large was your DD portfolio that you completed? Anything not get used?

Flattery: Just like any large production, we generate a lot of work that you don't necessarily see on the screen. On DD I was able to generate a fair amount of art in a relatively sort amount of time. And was happy to see a good portion of that work on screen.

Mithra: What did you think of the final product?

Flattery: I was excited when I was called to work on the movie and was equally excited when I saw the film for the first time. Mark did a great job of bringing the comic that I loved as a kid to the screen in a pure and intelligent way. It was a fun ride to work on and a great ride to watch.

Mithra: And finally, what are you currently working on?

Flattery: Current work? If I told you I'd have to kill ya. Ask me later....it's my biggest challenge yet!

Visit Tim Flattery on the web at: TimFlattery.com

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(c) Kuljit Mithra 2003
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear
http://www.manwithoutfear.com
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