Those who grew up in the ‘80s knew who to call when “there’s something strange in the neighborhood.” They also figured out how to bypass the age verification system at the beginning of the racy Leisure Suit Larry game. Thanks to concept artists like James Randolph, nearly three decades later, Peter Venkman and lovable loser Larry Laffer continue to lure a new generation of users.
“I was a huge “Ghostbusters” fan as a kid!” exclaimed Randolph. “So, you can imagine my excitement when I got to work with the game’s team on storyboards and character design. I must admit—it looks pretty amazing. We tried to make everyone look just like they did in the film. And we never got tired of the theme song.”
Randolph, now a freelance concept/storyboard artist, worked with media-conglomerate Vivendi (Los Angeles) as the company’s storyboard/concept artist on many other games, including Spyro, Time Shift, Tribes and Money. He also created presentation boards for Storyboards Inc and Frameworks Storyboards to draw in advertising for clients such as Chevy, Ford, Honda, Audi, Ringling Brothers, Nike and Adidas.
“Presentation boards are much more detailed than shooting boards; they’re usually used to pitch ideas,” he explained.
Although Randolph enjoys his work in the video game and advertising industries, he dreams about the day he introduces his own characters to the world via a sci-fi comic book.
“Over these past few months, I’ve been working on a graphic novel,” said Randolph. “I can’t say too much about it as we’re only about midway through. It’s called ‘Company Man’ and is sort of a ‘Men in Black’ meets Superhero type of story. I want this to be something people will remember; I want it to be my legacy.”
Multiple assignments as a student as well as an internship at Campbell-Ewald prepared Randolph for the delicate balance of paying work and personal projects. Nurturing instructors Dave Chow, Gil Ashby and Chuck Gillies taught him that no matter what you do, you must get the job done. This lesson prepared him for the challenges he faces today.
“This career has forced me to switch up my style, with the different characters and environments; sometimes they’re more cartoonish, other times they’re ultra real,” he said. “But I enjoy this aspect of the job. I have had to adjust to the fast deadlines and LA traffic though! Now I just plan accordingly for both.”
- Concept/Storyboard Artist