Category: Inspiration

Concept Art for Ghost in the Shell

With the release of the live-action remake of Ghost In The Shell (after the original anime from 1995) the internet is ablaze with material and documentation.

In the wake of the premiere a lot of contributors are now releasing work they have contributed to the film in one way or the other. I stumbled upon the work of self-proclaimed futurist Monica Bielskyte who was apparently asked to contribute to the concept art before the script was finalized. But apparently not much of her work ended up being used and she’s not too happy about how the film turned out…

There are two things I find interesting here: first that she is actually seen as a futurist that plays a role in science fiction world building, and how she has built a small fan-base of followers.

But at the same time she does not seem to actually create visual work, but rather collect and curate work. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but there is an irony to placing an uncredited still of Blade Runner in a mood board and then complaining about Ghost In The Shell (2017) not presenting any original visuals. With one of her concept boards for GITS she tweets: “Too much Hwood sci-fi is stuck with retro ideas about future. The world of actual research in science & tech space is ripe with inspiration”.

So why is this relevant to my research? She presents herself as a creator of futuristic worlds – which overlaps with what I see myself doing. But at the same time she is also a clear example of what does not work: she was hired to produce some concept boards and do a bit of ‘consultancy’ and then her work was apparently dismissed. She was never part of the ‘band’ – so to speak. Which also means there was no dialogue between her and the material. So by studying that way of working a little bit it may also help clarify what I want to avoid.