Zathura (2004) - Game Board Design

One of the props I'm the most proud of. The game board for Zathura was a hero element of the movie, really a character in itself in the film, as it was itself the main antagonist! Production designer Mike Riva and director Jon Favreau wanted something that evoked a classic tin-plate wind-up toy, complete with crimped and rolled sheet-metal edges and crude, off-register silkscreened graphics. Propmaster Russell Bobbit did a truly spectacular job bringing this prop to life, managing to fit a functioning chain-driven mechanism into the full-size hero prop so it could perform all its functions in-camera.

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Final game board design. Greyscale marker colorized in Photoshop.

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Final gameboard graphics. Pen on illustration board, colorized in Photoshop. Note the off-register colors :)

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Various ideas for the critical wind-up game key. Ultimately the most simple and classic design was selected. Marker on marker paper.

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Design for the game pieces, also intented to be stamped tinplate. Marker sketch.

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Elevations for the game board.

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Storyboards to illustrate potential ways to shoot the game board. The idea was to try to anthropomorphize the game by including "game POV" shots that might feel menacing or foreboding.

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More game POV storyboards. I really liked the shot from inside the card slot.

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More game POV Storyboards.