05/15/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/15/2019 10:45
He's still working on films - including the next iteration of 'Dune' - but games are also coming his way. But now, instead of getting concept art from someone else and building models based on sketches, he's now on the front end doing the concept art.
'I know how to get it done, so while I'm designing it, I'm taking that into consideration because I can take it from idea to completed product,' Wertz says. 'I have much more of an appreciation for the front end because of the work I've done on the back end, and vice versa.'
Now he hands off to his 'old me' who builds the ideas he sketches. One of the most challenging assignments he's had in his new role was working on the recent 'Bumblebee' film, building a big, sophisticated Transformer from the ground up. And one of his most satisfying projects was working on 'Galaxy Quest' and building a digital version of the ship on his computer, to help out guys he worshipped - guys who built the intricate physical model ships in the movie. Both of their ships made it into the final cut.
Wertz's creativity flows a lot from his travels, which include airbases. He takes pictures of the planes' surfaces and how light behaves on them. He likes to feel them and even smell them - in order to get the full experience.
'You never know what you need to pull from,' he says. 'When I was standing next to this thing, I remember this is what it felt like. And if I'm not feeling that when I look at it on the screen, I gotta get back to that.'
While he looks at his works in progress on his computer and mobile screens, he usually doesn't watch the movies he's worked on - with the exception of the 'Return of the Jedi' re-release, which was the first one he worked on. For him, it's always about the process, rarely about the finished product.
'Before, I used to hold a model of an airplane, but I didn't know who designed it. It was just a shape. Now I can come up with something and give it to someone else, the way I would pick up someone else's design and I can work with them. We build it together,' he says. 'It's that same feeling when the hair on the back of your neck stands up because you're having a really good time.'