An Introduction, and, What do I do ?

Bio: Oliver Scholl

Oliver Scholl, a German-born production designer, began his career as a concept artist before making his Hollywood debut with "Independence Day." His notable work spans films like "Edge Of Tomorrow," "Spider-Man: Homecoming," and "Venom," as well as the upcoming "Star Wars" series "Skeleton Crew."

His design approach, rooted in narrative exploration and collaboration, brings authenticity to fantastic settings. A curiosity for science and a focus on what 'feels right' enhance his unique blend of art, technology, and storytelling, fueling his creation of captivating cinematic worlds.

Oliver Scholl lives in Los Angeles. He still has his european passport and worked all over the world.

Oliver is represented by:

William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment

Wayne Fitterman, +1 310 859 4065,

Jasan Pagni, +1 310-246-3368,

Mira Yong, +1 310-246-3191,

On these projects I served as Production Designer, the featured artwork and images were created during production, by my art department team and others, as credited in the project detail pages. Sketches are usually mine.

  • Production Design is the collaborative art of evolving written stories into visual concepts that support a director’s vision. Then analyzing the best methods to realize those ideas within a production framework—whether as physical sets, virtual environments, or combinations thereof—thereby crafting immersive spaces and other means to encapsulate the intended mood or theme, of the story to be captured.
  • How do YOU Production Design ? Starting a new project is always a delicate exploration for me, a process of finding my way into what will become a new movie. Though there are standard practices that must be initiated at the beginning of a production, similarities between movies can often mask the reality that each project is unique, essentially starting from scratch:
New story
New people
New production parameters
  • The standard things that need to happen are reading the script, if there is one, or other source material. I strive to read it once without taking notes, allowing myself to immerse without distractions and truly feel the story. Afterward, I look up whether a setting mentioned actually exists or is fabricated, and research other elements that may have surfaced during the read.
  • This leads to a Design Breakdown: Re-readings of the script where I make a list to find the beginnings of a structure, patterns that may be used to inform methodology, set groupings, locations, visual analogies, and so on. The breakdown also serves as a deeper immersion into the script, helping me to understand practical implications, which will inform budgeting later on.
  • Beyond reading the story and seeking a personal connection to the material, I try to align with the existing understanding and direction of those who hired me. It's not merely about accepting their perspective but also questioning and probing it. We continuously need to find consensus, see what decisions mean for the story and how it can evolve and be implemented.
  • Concurrent with the impulse to dive into the design is the urge to begin assembling my team, collaborators who will contribute, enable and support me throughout the production process.
  • During Visual Development, this may involve seeking a coordinator, researcher, and concept artists, and perhaps specialist consultants for areas like historical or scientific and technological inquiries.
  • If I'm at the beginning of a full production, I prioritize finding my main partner in crime first, such as a supervising art director. We somehow represent the two sides of a design coin. While I delve into story and design, they will start building up and scheduling our team and production needs.
  • The activity changes strongly according to phases in the design process and production phases, not necessarily in lockstep. Hopefully iterative and evolving into something coherent.
  • I heard an established production designer comparing the making of a film with a jump out of an airplane. Where the chute will be built during descent, by the whole team. I like the image, as it conveys the sense of urgency as we get closer to production and need to stick the landing for the movie.
  • To be continued…
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Development  usually refers to story development. Here, this category refers to Visual Development. When story and visuals are developed together, to evolve each other. My favorite part of involvement but usually I can not show any of the work in this category, as many projects take years to actually go into production and be released. Or, disappear....

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Consultant services allow for a targeted yet flexible approach, adapting to tasks that require specialized solutions outside of standard production roles.

  • Consulting allows my clients and me a more targeted, but flexible and independent role, where I can suggest solutions tailored to the client's needs without being tied into a full production. My tasks may include reading and analyzing a script, conducting research, or combining creative and production roles. It's a dynamic approach that adapts to various activities as required.
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Images I created to help visualize a feature or comparable project.

Concept Art, or Conceptual Design, is more than just production illustration—it's about conveying an idea that enhances and deepens a story. I see it as a way to go beyond mere aesthetics, a legacy shaped by artists like Syd Mead, Ralph McQuarrie, or Ron Cobb, who were driven by a need to explore deeper meanings or functions and solved problems in their unique ways.

In my work, I've had various roles, including Concept Artist, Concept Designer, Production Illustrator, and even uncredited positions, collaborating with Directors, Production Designers, and various departments. While traditionally focused on 2D images, Concept Art now embraces 3D models, VR, and AR, reflecting the rapidly evolving field. I've found joy in exploring new tools like Unreal and delving into different aspects of visualization.

Concept Art can be categorized based on its function:

  • Pitch Art: Quick visuals to raise excitement about a project.
  • Visual Development: Exploring ideas for story, setting, mood, and action.
  • Pre-Production: Defining and solving design development and translation issues.
  • Keyframes: A blend of Concept Art and Storyboards, uniting visual storytelling.
  • and more...

For me, Concept Art is not just about making something "pretty." It's about building worlds, selling story points, or adding something more to an action sequence, expanding on an idea. It's a multifaceted discipline that keeps growing and innovating, driven by a passion to tell stories in a visually compelling way.

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The 'Published' category includes images made or released for print.

  • The 'Published' category encompasses a collection of images specifically crafted for print or released in print form in addition to their original purpose.
  • My career began in this field, creating visuals for advertising and books in Germany. Even as my work evolved, I find joy and satisfaction in returning to print. Engaging with this medium not only keeps me connected to my roots but also allows me to stay more fluent in illustration, mastering the art, tools, and relevant software.
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Collections are packages of images or files brought together for a common purpose.

  • I utilize collections both on this website and in my regular workflow to organize images or files according to specific needs or themes. These files might be located elsewhere on the site or gathered through smart tags and other methods. For instance, I might create a collection folder to keep a record of materials presented to a client at a specific meeting or sent to a vendor on a particular date. Collections also enable me to earmark files for future reference, such as follow-up discussions with the director, or simply to showcase a 'Best Of' selection of images on this website.
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