Comic lovers are in a for visual treat when they watch the first few minutes of the Tim Allen-starring feature “Zoom.” Created by Imaginary Forces (IF), the prologue pays tribute to vintage comic books of the 1970s with illustrations that come to life. The design was led by IF Creative Director Karin Fong.
The pic is based on Jason Lethcoe’s graphic novel “Zoom’s Academy for the Super Gifted.” In the big screen version, Tim Allen plays Jack, formerly Captain Zoom, an out-of-shape former superhero who has lost his powers and is reluctantly called back into action to turn a ragtag group of kids into a new generation of superheroes in order to save the world from destruction. The film also features Courtney Cox and Chevy Chase.
Through a dynamic, comic book-style sequence, the prologue introduces the government reactivation of Team Zenith with the four young superheroes being trained at the Academy, as well as the feud between Zoom and his brother Concussion, who was a victim of a government Gamma-13 radiation treatment gone awry.
For the design, Karin Fong worked closely with comic book illustrator Alex Maleev whose credits include the Marvel Comics series “Daredevil.”
“It’s a ’70s comic book,” says Karin Fong, “since Tim Allen’s character was a legendary superhero back in the day. We started with a basic script and worked on the story as if creating pages for a Zoom series. Working with Alex, a fantastic artist, was key. The spirit of those classic comics had to come through. Lots of icons — explosions, punches, bams! and booms! The sequence should read as a print piece that unfolds — and not a Saturday morning cartoon. So the piece isn’t fully animated. Instead, we used camera moves and limited animation to propel the characters and the viewer through the still frames. It’s a hybrid between reading and watching.”
The IF team also created the epilogue, which was designed to look like a graphic novel. Introducing the new Team Zenith in a modern style brought the film to the present day.
About Imaginary Forces
IMAGINARY FORCES (www.imaginaryforces.com ) is an entertainment and design company based in Hollywood and New York. Its award-winning work spans the diverse industries of feature film production, entertainment marketing and promotion, corporate branding, architecture, advertising and interactive media.
IF’s recent work includes identity packages for Lifetime, USA Network, Animal Planet and MTV, as well as effective and compelling broadcast advertising for Nike, Toyota, Pontiac, Smirnoff and Lexus. In entertainment and media marketing, IF created campaigns for such films as “Transformers,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Stepford Wives,” “Signs” and both “Men in Black” films. The company also designed and produced main title sequences for “The Break-Up,” “Ray,” “The Legend of Zorro,” “Band of Brothers,” “Spider-Man,” “Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat” and “Seven,” and produced the highly successful “Blade” trilogy.
Combining architecture and media, IF has developed branded experiences for IBM, Morgan Stanley, Airbus Industries and the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. The studio is also a principal partner in United Architects (UA), one of six finalists for the re-design of the World Trade Center site at Ground Zero.
Combining storytelling, filmmaking and architecture to address the social, emotional, urban, national and international issues, the UA model is now a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. UA recently collaborated on an immersive architectural media exhibit, “Bubbles in the Wine,” for the “New York, New York” exhibition in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The company also designed and created projections for Director Julie Taymor’s operatic production of “Grendel.”
Zoom Prologue and Epilogue designed & produced by: Imaginary Forces (IF)
Creative Director: Karin Fong Art Director: Jyoteen Majmudar
Designers: Karin Fong, Jyoteen Majmudar, Stan Lim, Bill Bak, Joan Lau, Brett Krauss Animators (Prologue): Stan Lim, Paul Yeh, Bradley Grosh, Arya Senboutaraj, Ian Kim, Daryn Wakasa Animators (Epilogue): Camille Chu, Paul Yeh, Sonny Chen
Illustrator: Alex Maleev
Colorists: Peter Pentazis, Richard Isanove
Editors: Justine Gerenstein, Danielle White Inferno Artists: Matt Spencer, Nick Rubenstein
Production Coordinator: Alyssa Evans
Producer: Kathy Kelehan
Studio: Revolution Studios and Sony Pictures Entertainment Production Company: Team Todd
Director: Peter Hewitt
Producers: Suzanne Todd, Jennifer Todd, Julie Ragland Post Production Supervisor: Erica Frauman
Editor: Larry Jordan