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A closer look at the art behind the new Ghost in the Shell movie

A closer look at the art behind the new Ghost in the Shell movie


From holograms to motorcycles

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The new live-action version of Ghost in the Shell has its share of problems, but one thing it does get right is the look. From the shimmering holograms to the gritty urban backdrop, the film managed to bring the distinct cyberpunk aesthetic of the anime and manga into the real world. Much of that comes down to the artists who worked during the early stages of the production process to solidify the look. Today, artist and designer Ash Thorp released a sizzle reel detailing some of his own work on Ghost in the Shell, providing some insight into how key visual aspects of the film were developed.

The short clip provides a behind-the-scenes look at some early concepts and animation tests, as well as designs that were featured in the final version of the movie. It covers everything from the film’s building-sized holograms (called “solograms”) to the retrofuturistic vehicles to the camouflage ability Major uses to appear invisible. (In addition to Thorp, the featured pieces also include work by concept artists Maciej Kuciara and Vitaly Bulgarov and designer Chris Bjerre.)

“I did my best to pay homage to the past.”

“By merging physical buildings with the solograms, old neon lights, and holograms, I aimed to paint a multi-layered facade over the city to bring it to life,” Thorp says of his work. “I wanted it to feel as if the viewer was taking a psychedelic journey wavering between the realms of alternate reality and virtual reality.”

Thorp — who previously worked on franchises like Prometheus and Call of Duty, and recently released his own short film called Lostboy — has also posted a treasure trove of concept art and design work on his site. It even includes a huge range of potential variations on the film’s logo. “I did my best to pay homage to the past,” he says, “yet bring a fresh look and feel for this new film.”