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Manifesting the characters of Oscar winning fantasy films with Warren Holder
Illustrator Warren Holder has collaborated with Oscar winning costume designers to help them materialize the concepts of characters in some of the world's favorite Fantasy films.

Storytelling is timeless. While our fascination with tales of normal people in fantastic situations is perennial, the means by which they are presented have transformed through time.

Technological advances might deliver the final message in a different manner but certain tools and means utilized are constant, such as the skills of illustrator Warren Holder.

The story of Beauty and the Beast has been in existence since 1740 when it was first presented as the fairy tale "La Belle et la Bete" written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Bardot de Villeneuve. The most well-known version of it has been created by Disney. The most recent of these was the live action 2017 Walt Disney Pictures production starring Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Ewin McGregor, and many of the most respected actors today. Costume Design Jacqueline Durran enlisted Holder to work with her in creating the costume concepts to bridge the traditional look and modern approach of this version. The results of their work together were so exceptional that it resulted in Durran receiving nominations for both an Oscar and BAFT for Best Achievement in Costume Design. 

Holder and Durran first worked together in 2015 on the Warner Bros. film Pan. The design of this movie with its mixture of periods and eccentric characterization required a lot from the illustrator. Jacqueline was so impressed with Warren's work on Pan that he was her first choice as in illustrator to help her manifest the costume ideas for Beauty and the Beast. She professes, "I have never met anyone with Warren's ability to interpret the reference and my instructions and to produce drawings that are not only technically of the highest standard but which also artistically represent my creative intention. On a project like Beauty and the Beast, the design needs to be discussed and approved by a wide group of people across continents. A high profile job of this sort requires people who are working at the top of their game. Warren Holder was undoubtedly the best illustrator to fill this position. His illustrations from both have been reproduced in many publications as a significant part of the films promotions." 

Artists of many different mediums are a part of the filmmaking process. While an illustrator like Warren Holder is never seen on film, his work is what assists the actors to more fully realize their character. His work on Emma Watson's Belle created three stages ranging from her Blue Dress to Provincial Village Cloak and Ball Gown. Holder also worked on the beginning and final concepts for Dan Stevens as Beast, (Golden Globe Winner) Ewin McGregor as Lumiè€re, (Two Time Oscar Winner) Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and numerous others. Because the story is based  in an fictional French 18th century setting, the illustrated silhouettes of the characters needed to stay true to the dress forms of the period. Holder describes, "My role as an illustrator on a production like this is to bring my own uniqueness and stylized visual accuracy  to the various characters. I usually start with a series of light line sketches which convey more of a tone or mood of the character, before I start applying details to facial features or garment details. Once I've presented the initial drafts of said characters I usually do a clean pass on the first versions of the characters."

The tools of his trade may encompass traditional forms like pen and pencil or utilize a modern digital format but the excellence of the outcome are the same. Specifically in regards to Beauty and the Beast, the film earned $504,014,156 in its wide domestic release and an impressive $1,263,521,126 worldwide gross (nearly ten times the production budget). There is no separating the look of this film from the story. The charm is essential to the emotional interpretation of this classic tale. Warren Holder's work with Jacqueline Durran culminated in the perfect manifestation of reminiscing for generation already familiar with Beauty and the Beast while incredibly finding a way to seem timely for those experiencing it for the first time. 

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