Fuddruckers Matte Paintings

Original Sketch of the stage 1 exterior.

For the Mike Judge comedy, “Idiocracy”  I was tasked with creating a series of matte paintings to indicate the passage of time over hundreds of years. Specifically the producers of the film wanted to indicate that not only was there a passage of time, but that the general intelligence level of the human race was declining incrementally over the centuries. The producers decided on a sight gag of changes of the exterior view of a popular restaurant chain. The main joke would be not just the changes in architectural styles but the blatantly more and more crass, and therefore, “unintelligent”, spelling of the restaurant’s name on the marquee.

Production found a location for the restaurant in the Director’s home town, Austin Texas. However the location that they chose proved to look best from the side of the restaurant, not the front. In order to best match the provided artwork I not only had to modify the geometry of the building and window location but I had to create a new entryway and door. Production provided this digital photo as the starting point for the painting.

This is a progression from the provided photo to stage 1 of the montage.

As the centuries pass and human intelligence decreases, the exterior of the restaurant reflects the changes through architectural style and groundskeeping. Also, the marquee has changed.
Production design of stage 2.

As the centuries continue to be unkind to human intelligence, humans repay mother nature by altering the watering practices for every living thing on the planet. This includes the plants outside the restaurant. No longer is water used; in its place a sports drink with “electrolytes”. This has the adverse affect of effectively killing off most of the plant life on earth. Causing drought and an influx of dust storms with the climate change.

For the final stage in the montage , production provided a view of the restaurant reminiscent of the 50’s ideal of the future. With large art deco ornamentation, neon and other accents. However the general upkeep of the building and grounds are in disrepair, and are aging poorly in this now dry and hostile climate.

Finally the montage  was assembled with an overlay graphic showing the downward spiral of Human intelligence over the centuries.

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