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Transformers’ Art Director Alex Jaeger’s

The gears meshed perfectly when Alex Jaeger took the position of Art Director for the new film, Transformers. Take an education in automotive design and prototyping, add 12 years experience at ILM and a passion for anything made with a metal plate, and the fit is perfect to launch what is bound to be the next big franchise in film history. In spite of the impending success (and it’s not the first time), Jaeger is the most gracious and unpretentious of people who can still laugh at himself, and is a real pleasure to talk to.

Growing up in the small town of Clarion, Pennsylvania, Jaeger spent much of his time watching “really bad SciFi movies just to gleam what ideas they had; good ideas, just executed really poorly.” In high school Jaeger was known as the class artist, and his parents encouraged him to explore his talent. “My dad was a doctor growing up. I took a look at how long he went to school and said, ‘Eh, no thanks!’ Plus I didn’t want people’s lives to be at stake. If I mess up here, no one’s going to die… which I thought would save my hair, but apparently didn’t.”

After studying automotive design in Detroit for two years, he realized it just wasn’t all he had hoped for. That was when he learned about ILM and the FX industry, through Joe Johnston’s sketchbooks on ‘Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi,’ Syd Mead’s work on ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘2010,’ and the work of Ron Cobb. Jaeger transferred to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where he made up his own curriculum to have the skills needed to work at ILM, including prototyping, taking an idea from a sketch to a physical three-dimensional prototype.

Source: CGSociety
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