Eric Hilleary and Dave Max have been best friends for many years, sharing mutual artistic influences, talent and vision. In the way that many other friends can finish each other’s thoughts, Eric and Dave can likewise finish each other’s drawings, often inspiring each other in the process. They both attended and graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Dave and Eric have been fortunate enough to work side by side as conceptual designers professionally on numerous projects including Babylon 5, Voltron, Dan Dare and Bionicle Movies 1-3, to name just a few. Most recently, they joined the team at Warner Brothers TV Animation as conceptual designers for the upcoming animated series “Loonatics.”
After the overwhelming popularity of “TROOPS,” many of their friends and peers who were not involved in the film expressed interest in working on a sequel. Despite public demand, and pressure from friends and colleagues, Eric and Dave felt that there was still no need for a sequel, and were hesitant to commit to such an undertaking. However, as more and more people volunteered their time and talents, they recognized the importance of collaborating with so many friends and industry professionals. In the end, they felt they had no choice but to begin this new Chapter. Since then, their friendship has seen them through endless days and nights of writing, drawing, building, modeling, painting, co-coordinating and shooting the production now known as “IMPS The Relentless”.
Pre-production began with the conceptual design of new armor and locations for new characters. Script writing, storyboards, and construction promised to take those characters in a new direction, departing dramatically from the original “TROOPS”. Production of “IMPS” began early in 1999 at over 10,000 ft. on a glacier atop Mt. Shasta for the filming of the Snow Troopers segment. Despite the sub-zero cold of a glacier and the scorching heat of the desert endured for Production, Post Production has proved to be the most challenging period. Starting in earnest in 2000, Post Production will continue through the remainder of 2005. Unbelievable amounts of patience is required when you’re asking people to produce more effects shots than were in Star Wars Episodes 4-6 combined, and comparable in quality to Episodes 1-3 – in their spare time. And as we like to say “The Empire was not built in a day.”
Over the past six years spent working on “IMPS,” they have endured many obstacles, setbacks and sacrifices. However, nothing can compare with the satisfaction of equally as many exciting and unpredictable advancements toward the ultimate completion of this massive undertaking, in a way that everyone can be proud of. “The Project” as it has come to be known, has been a long road for these two. But through the course of its production they’ve learned, grown and changed both personally and professionally in a way that nothing else could match. And, despite it all, Blacksheep Squad would like to extend its congratulations to Eric who recently managed to find (and soon to marry) a girl who would not only put up with, but whole-heartedly support a ‘time consuming’ project of this magnitude.
Laugh in the face of and overcome adversity.