Martin Rezard (Sculptor & Concept artist)

#
Martin Rezard
Sculptor, Concept artist (Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, Han Solo)
Interview: July 2017

Hello Mr. Rezard, could you tell what got you started into sculpting, prosthetics and effects? Was it a movie, an experience or something else?

I started sculpting creatures, as masks, models or puppets when I was about 15 or 16, after seeing films such as The Dark Crystal, The Empire Strikes Back, Gremlins, Greystoke etc…

And how did you get involved with the Star Wars franchise?

It actually started in Sydney, as I was living there in the late 90s early 2000.
I got a call from Ivo Coveney who was supervising the costume props department on Attack of the Clones asking me if would be interested in joining his team, so I did, we made the Jango Fett costume, Zam Wesell’s costume, and a whole lot of jewelry and head pieces.
Then when they came back for the Revenge of the Sith I worked with Ivo again to recreate Darth Vader´s costume amongst other things. I moved to the UK in 2005 and worked for Neal Scanlan on Prometheus in 2011. When Neal was offered to supervise the creature department on The Force Awakens in 2013, he asked me to be part of the team and I was happy to say yes!!

What does an average day working on a Star Wars movie look like?

Making cool stuff with a whole bunch of great people!

Which creatures and aliens from The Force Awakens and Rogue One were you responsible for?

On The Force Awakens, I designed some of the creatures seen in Maz’s castle, like the Dengue sisters, or Praster Ommlen which I also sculpted. And I sculpted Quiggold, Wollivan and some of the prosthetics worn by the band playing music in the background.
In the Resistance, I designed and sculpted Bollie Prindel, and sculpted Nien Nunb and Admiral Ackbar. On Jakku I designed Sarco Plank and sculpted Crusher Roodown.

And on Rogue One I sculpted the white Mon Calamari, I designed and sculpted Admiral Raddus, and designed sculpted and applied the make-up for Beezer Fortuna, and I also sculpted the little alien you see at the beginning in the cell with Jyn.

But every character or creature that came out of the creature shop is the work of many talents combined, from designing and sculpting onto mold making, running foam latex or silicone skins, seaming and cleaning those skins, fabricating the bodies and puppets, creating the animatronics bringing those creatures to life, painting, punching hair and performing the characters, it takes a lot of dedicated artists working all together to make the creatures of  Star Wars.

What is your opinion of  Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One? Did you like the movies, and were you satisfied with the result of your work or are there things you would like to have changed?

I enjoyed The Force Awakens, but it would have been nice to see a bit more of the creatures, or for a bit longer… and really enjoyed Rogue One, great story!

Of all the creatures and aliens you created for Star Wars you must have a favorite. Could you tell which one and why?

I guess Admiral Raddus, because he has a bit more screen time than most of the other characters I was involved with, and the animatronics, programing of the expressions and puppeteering really brought a very charismatic character to life.

What was the hardest thing you experienced while working on The Force Awakens and Rogue One, and what are you most proud of?

Sometimes the deadlines are a bit tight, and things can change at a moment’s notice, but it is a fantastic experience and opportunity to be able to contribute to such iconic productions.
I was happy with the look of Beezer Fortuna in Rogue One, a bit disappointed not to see him a bit more on screen, and Admiral Raddus was a great success, I am very proud to have been part of the team of people who brought him to life.

You have also worked on The Last Jedi and the Han Solo movie. I know it’s all top secret, but could you give a tiny bit of information of what we can expect creature-wise in these two movies?

Sorry but I really can’t….

… and I understand and respect that.

Suppose you had total artistic freedom: what would your dream project look like?

Being able to develop and follow a character from design to sculpting to either makeup application or dressing up and puppeteering the remote control animatronic on set is the most rewarding experience.