(written from a Production point of view)
Sean Hargreaves (born 1 September 1965; age 55) is an illustrator, concept artist, production designer and special effects artist who is working as Visual Effects Art Director and Senior Concept Designer on the 2016 sequel Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin. He previously worked as Production Designer and Concept Designer for Industrial Light & Magic (1998-2001) and Digital Domain (2006-2008) and as Matte Painter for Rhythm & Hues in 2011.
Early life and career
Hargreaves was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, England and moved to the United States in 1978 where he attended the Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston. In 1989 he received a Bachelor in science from the Art Centert College of Design in Pasadena, California. At the age of eighteen, Hargreaves started to work in Visual Engineering in Dallas, Texas where he worked as concept illustrator and designer for portotypes for Texas Instruments and IBM. Following his graduation from the Art Center of Design, he worked two years for General Motors in Newbury Park, California.
Through a friend he made his first steps in the entertainment industry working as a storyboard artist for commercials. His first feature film assignment as illustrator was the 1992 horror film Candyman which starred Tony Todd and Virginia Madsen.
Further work as illustrator include the comic adaptation The Shadow (1994), the thriller Crimson Tide (1995), the sequel Batman Forever (1995), the thriller Se7en (1995, costume design by Michael Kaplan), the crime drama Heat (1995), and the thriller The Rock (1996).
In 1992, Hargreaves was hired to work as designer for sets, props, and costumes for a feature film in Paris, France along with fantasy designer Jean Moebius Giraud. The film was finally released in 1997, the science fiction blockbuster The Fifth Element, directed by Luc Besson. Also in 1997, he worked as assistant art director on Steven Spielberg's sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park, art direction by Lauren E. Polizzi.
Further filmw ork as illustrator and/or concept artist include the comic adaptation Spawn (1997, based on the comic book by Todd McFarlane), the drama G.I. Jane (1997), the drama Amistad (1997), the science fiction remake Godzilla (1998), the sequel Toy Story 2 (1999), and the science fiction thriller The Cell (2000).
Also in the 1990s, Hargreaves worked as illustrator for the Michael Jackson music video "Scream" and as art director on the Nine Inch Nails music video "Perfect Drug". In 1998, he was hired for three years by ILM and worked as production designer on a number of First Union Bank commercials, directed by Steve Beck. Beck brought Hargreaves back aboard this time as production designer for his feature film, the horror thriller Thir13en Ghosts, in 2001. The film starred F. Murray Abraham and had art direction by Don Macaulay.
Four years later, Hargreaves again worked as production designer, this time for the fantasy drama Neverwas. The film was casted as executive produced by Amanda Mackey Johnson. He also worked as concept illustrator on the science fiction remake Rollerball (2002, with Lucia Rijker), the animated film Innocence (2004), the science fiction drama The Fountain (2006, with Mark Margolis, Stephen McHattie, and Donna Murphy), and the fantasy sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013, with Robert Knepper and Derek Mears and casting by Alyssa Weisberg).
In 2006 and 2009, Hargreaves received three ADG Excellence in Production Design Award nominations for his work on commercials for UPS, AARP, and Chevy. In 2011, he published his first book, "Places", depicting his personal designs.
His work as matte painter was part of the drama Big Miracle (2012, with fellow matte painter Matthew Gilson) and the action sequel The Bourne Legacy (2012).
More recently, Hargreaves worked as concept artist and matte painter on the thriller Into the Storm (2014, with Scott Lawrence and music by Brian Tyler). As concept artist, he also worked on the fantasy adventure Seventh Son (2014, art direction by Andrew Li) and as matte painter on the fantasy sequel 300: Rise of an Empire (2014).
In 2015, he received an ADG Excellence in Production Design Award from the Art Directors Guild in the category Short Format – Web Series, Music Video or Commercial for his work on the Apple commercial "Perspective".