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David Meng's Interviews - Artist to Pacific Rim

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Hello David, thank you for your time.

1) Just for start... can you tell us "who are you" and your occupation in the world of VFX?

Hi, my name is David Meng, I am a designer of creatures through illustration and sculptures. I have been lucky enough to be doing this job for about eleven years now. I have been sculpting traditionally up until now, with plastaline clay, and this primarily happens during the concepting stage.

2) Can you tell us what kind of study you do?
I went to the University of Michigan and studied sculpture, later on I took Dick Smith's Make Up Course. Other than that, I have just been staying at home all the time making monsters and not having a life outside of my work.

3) Can you tell us how you arrive to work for "Pacific Rim"?

I got the chance to work on Pacific Rim because I had met Guillermo Del Toro when he was doing The Hobbit in New Zealand. I was working at Weta Workshop at the time.

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4) How is working with Guillelmo del Toro? Can you tell us your experience about it?

Guillermo Del Toro is really, really fantastic to work for! I always have so much fun working for him, he really appreciates everyone who works for him, and he really understands monsters!

5) Where do you get inspiration from for your project/work?
I get inspiration from watching nature documentaries, going to the zoo, and looking at funny looking people.

6) What your plans for the future? Can you tell us something?
I am still going to be designing characters and creatures for movies, but I hope to be doing more personal fine art work as I can fit it in.

7) What are the "keys" to create a successful character? Can you talk about "Kaiju"? Can you give us a few information on it?
In my opinion, the key to creating a successful character is to make it appealing and have a ton of personality, even if it is just a monster, and even if it doesn't talk. I think the audience should fall in love with the creature and want to keep looking at it, no matter how scary or terrifying it is. I don't know what I can say about Kaiju other than I think the word means "strange beast" in Japanese, and it is part of the Japanese culture the way Yokai are. They are a lot of fun to design and I think they're fun to watch.

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