Marvel Studios has some of the best talent in the industry working for them, both on camera and behind the scenes. While producer Kevin Feige and directors Joe and Anthony Russo have become more or less household names, there are still many talented people working behind the scenes to make your favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe films realities. One name that you may not recognize is Ryan Meinerding, the Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios. Meinerding has worked on several films, including Captain America: the Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War. He recently sat down in an interview to promote his upcoming appearance at Hall of Fame City Comic Con to talk about his role in bringing the characters of the Marvel Universe to life.
So what exactly does a Head of Visual Development do? Meinerding explains that he essentially manages a team of artists and helps create the concept art for films.
“Basically I manage a team of artists, and I draw as well as creating the imagery that is the concept art for the films. The process usually starts with getting a script for a specific project or having a meeting with producers or directors. They will give us a brief on what they’re thinking for the characters, then we’ll start drawing. We’ll do versions based on what they’re saying and versions based on stuff from the comics. We’re more or less the bridge between the comics and the real world. We design and work on all the main heroes and villains for the movies, and we also key frame illustrations for big iconic moments in the movies.”
Although Meinerding isn’t a household name, there is no denying just how important his work is when it comes to these films. With a job as important as his, there are always bound to be difficulties. For Meinerding, the difficulties stem from finding the “right version of the character” for the story.
“There’s always a little bit of difficulty in trying to find the right version of the character for the story that’s going to be told. … For the most part, we’re trying to find the best version of the characters that will exist in the world and that the director wants to create for the story. We’re really trying to figure out how to take the icon and make it relatable for the story world.”
Meinerding is currently working on two upcoming Marvel projects, Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther. Infinity War is set to enter production later this year, while Black Panther will go before cameras in January.
Sources: CantonRep.com and Marvel.com