Guillermo del Toro: Monster Design


These are a few videos and articles with advice from del Toro on designing monstrous creatures. These have been sitting in my blog drafts for a few months now so it’s worth looking back on how we’ve applied these thoughts. Looking at the creatures that we’ve developed over the past few months, I think that a lot of the advice below came quite naturally to us out of the necessity of creation. With Púca, the strangeling (both skull and house form) and Tato, we seem to be getting good feedback in that people don’t instantly compare them to other monsters. With regards to the environment supporting the monster, we’ve planned in the color script for different atmospheres so hopefully we can pull it off! Maybe the one thing that we haven’t looked at more is the metaphorical meaning of our strangelings and their ability to possess objects with faces. I feel like this could come with developing the series more and making more episode ideas for our series bible.

 Guillermo del Toro How To… Create a Movie Monster

  • Silhouette
  • Don’t make your creature perpetually angry. Imagine them in a relaxed pose. Don’t pile on the kitchen sink of horns and teeth. Imagine the lion in repose, majestic.
  • The color should say more about your character.
  • How does it move?
  • Never reference another movie monster when designing a movie monster.

The ghosts of “Crimson Peak”. How were they created?

“Socially, biologically and mythologically explained. Monsters were created in myths used as a way of explaining the world around us.”

Guillermo del Toro: “Monsters Are Living, Breathing Metaphors”

Guillermo del Toro’s sketchbooks – Commentary – The New Yorker

Guillermo del Toro’s 4 Steps to Creating Memorable Movie Monsters

  1. Draw on a multitude of sources.
  2. Tone and environment are as important as creature design.
  3. Think about all the angles.
  4. Convey the emotions driving the thoughts and therefore the character.

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