Ubisoft Game Designer Paul Fu on His Top Picks of Utopia-Dystopia Designers and Artists

We interviewed Paul Fu, the Content Director of Ubisoft; a leading company in video game development. We asked who his favorite artists are today and give you the low down on their concepts of utopic and dystopic worlds.


Fu lists a diverse list of artists from all over the world; directors, composers and illustrators including Piotr Jabolonski, Denis Villeneuve and Hildur Guðnadóttir. We can see these artists' impacts throughout the creative industry and their rise to fame ranges from being household names to emerging artists. Read on to find out more about their universes.


This excerpt is part of our 'Rapid Fire' series from our interview with Paul Fu. The full feature on 'Utopian Worlds in Gaming' will be coming out this Fall in print.


Interview by Alister Gibson


Piotr Jablonski

Tomcat Brothers, Piotr Jablonski, Digital Illustration, 2014


(Artwork Courtesy of Piotr Jablonski, via Piotr Jablonski's behance.com)


A freelance concept artist and illustrator aka nicoponim, based in Poland. Creates chilling, dark dystopian works for an array of large game developers. From graffiti on local buildings in his youth to now boasting an impressive client list contributing to big games such as Destiny, Dishonored 2 and the Darkborn demo; Jablonski's has worked on promotional advertisement projects and crept into in-game artworks. Jablonski's artwork is respected around the globe with fans coming out of the woodwork on imageboard forums, and in particular, his Tomcat Brothers series that gained him somewhat of a cult following.


Johann Johannsson


Last and First Men, Johann Johannsson, Film Still, 2020


(Film Still Courtesy of Wendy Mitchell, via screendaily.com)


Johann Johannsson has become a titan of the industry over the years. The Icelandic composer has had an industrious career completing over 70 productions of which are solo albums, plays, and blockbuster films including, Prisoners, Theory of Everything, Arrival, and Sicario. Johannsson's colossal catalog varies greatly in styles from uplifting acoustics to melancholy, dark, and searching synthetic sounds Prisoners, Sicario, and even a Blade Runner 2047 which was unused but many fans dying to hear what he conjured up for the film. His budding chemistry and frequent collaboration with soon-to-be juggernaut director Denis Villeneuve sadly have been cut short as Johannsson suddenly passed away in 2018. Last and First Men his last ever project and his directorial debut released in 2020 was a sweeping success that received critical acclaim.


Hildur Guðnadóttir


Video: Penny in the Hospital, Joker Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Provided to Youtube by WaterTower Music. Released on: October 2, 2019. Composed by: Hildur Guðnadóttir.


Another Icelandic composer, Hildur Gudnadottir, took the industry by storm in 2019 composing both Joker and the series Chernobyl. Both were great successes that earned her an array of awards taking in multiple Grammy awards, namely an Academy Award, an Emmy, and many others; only a Tony Award would have completed to coveted EGOT. Despite her rampant success with film scores it actually makes up a small portion of her career. Releasing over 20 projects as a musician, both solo and collaboration, Hildur has amassed a diverse fan base with her works drifting from experimental electronic to more contemporary classics. She seems to have an album for most tastes out there today. The future is very bright for Hildur, 2019 proved that her Icelandic secret is no longer a secret. David O. Russell's new project which began filming earlier this year will feature Gudnadottir as the sole music composer; this film is shaping up to be a blockbuster based on the sheer star power with actors including Christan Bale, Margot Robbie, Chris Rock, Taylor Swift, and Robert Deniro. It should be something to look out for, or in this case, hear out for.


Denis Villeneuve

Dune, Denis Villeneuve, Film Still, 2021


(Film Still Courtesy of Luke Plunkett, via Kotaku.com)


Denis Villeneuve is being touted as this generation's Spielberg. Many deemed this would be a tough ask tackling making a sequel to the infamous cult classic Bladerunner but Villeneuve did outstanding, producing a cult classic in its own right for an entirely new generation. Villeneuve's next big challenge was an adaptation of the Sci-Fi franchise Dune; created by author Frank Herbet in 1965. Critics predict Dune could be the next Star Wars if done right. His signature dark, even demented at times, creative shooting mixed with his captivating techniques proves to be utterly mind-melting at times, the film Enemy encapsulates this perfectly. With Dune finally released in September, after being delayed by Covid-19, we can see Villeneuve's mettle and acknowledge that Dune really did live up to the hype.


 

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