Thursday, January 30, 2014

'La Belle et La Bête' - Drool-Worthy Concept Art by François Baranger

Detail of concept art for La Belle et La Bete by Francois Baranger

As promised, here are a ton of gorgeous concept images created by French visual development artist, François Baranger (I'm going to include everything of his for La Belle et La Bête, even though some I've posted before, so it's all in one place).
With the release of behind-the-scenes videos just this past week as well as the new trailer, Baranger yesterday kindly uploaded his concept paintings and sketches to share, now that it's no longer quite as "spoilery" (if you've seen the new trailer I posted earlier today, that is).
One of the very first concepts of the Beast with his long white coat - so classic!
A very early concept painting (clearly much of this stayed in the film)
While most films have more than one concept artist, Mr. Baranger was the lead on Belle et La Bête, and you can see why. The final film reflects his vision and images often so very exactly, it's easy to sometimes confuse the two, or to feel we're just looking at a different angle of the same scene. Amazing (both on the part of the artist AND the Director in using the visuals provided to him).

Baranger: "First concept I've done for the movie. It depicts the secret sanctuary of the Beast, hidden in a giant rosebush."
I'm thinking the last painting might be what Belle is looking for/about to find in the thorny tangle we see her pushing through in the trailers...

We also now know what this is - a giant statue carrying out the Beast's revenge:

This is apparently one from a (sadly) deleted scene. It looks magical! (Not that the film seems to be lacking in that department, by any means.):

And these ones I've posted before, starting with the very first one Baranger released and his statement about working on the film with Gans:

Baranger: "Here is the first concept for Beauty and the Beast I'm allowed to show.  It depicts the dining room, which has already seen on the pictures given to the press. I was in charge of the visual development of this movie over a year, and I can say that it was a great moment for me. Christophe Gans is a director fully aware of the importance of a good preproduction, and he trusts the artists. So, once again, it was a real pleasure to work with him."

Looks like Belle may have originally been escorted to the Beast by her father but in the trailer it shows her taking the decision into her own hands, much to the horror of her father and the men around him.
So, does the above image show some of that "magic mirror" or is that my imagination? I also noticed in the scene with the vines (?) attacking through a doorway, Belle was perched just like this in a very similar dress while men in front of her were reacting in terror to the attack. (GoshI love seeing how the story and concepts change over the production! Story is such an "alive" thing and this is even more true for fairy tales than other stories too.

Mr. Baranger also weighed in on the "will Belle at La Bête be released in the US" question:

François Baranger has worked (and is working) on a number of films which you can see his art for at his website HERE and on the CGHub HERE. Mr. Baranger is also on Facebook HERE and you can follow his work there too.

I can't confirm that the image below is also Baranger's but I haven't found any other concept art by anyone else from the movie and this is definitely Gans' La Belle at La Bête. I'm including it just in case, and because it would have needed Baranger's approval, even if it wasn't. :)
By the way, in case you're curious, apparently he works in photoshop but instead of using a Cintiq his "beast" of a tool (his description), is an Intuos A3 tablet (the largest available).

I'm so glad he was chosen to work on this fairy tale! I truly hope there's an "art of" book for this - so much behind-the-scenes beauty, not to mention how amazing the on-screen result is as well. *insert heart icon in whichever style you prefer here!* Can't wait to see this!


  1. Pretty! I tend to prefer old-school fairy tale art, but this is lovely.

  2. The more you share on this film the more excited I get, it looks amazing. Keeping my fingers crossed for a UK release!