Inside Guillermo Del Toro’s sketchbooks

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks

“I like to say that we only make one movie in our lifetime, a movie made of all the images of all our movies.”

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks


“In the end, perfection is just a concept – an impossibility we use to torture ourselves and that contradicts nature.”

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks

“In fairy tales, monsters exist to be a manifestation of something that we need to understand, not only a problem we need to overcome, but also they need to represent, much like angels represent the beautiful, pure, eternal side of the human spirit, monsters need to represent a more tangible, more mortal side of being human: aging, decay, darkness and so forth. And I believe that monsters originally, when we were cavemen and you know, sitting around a fire, we needed to explain the birth of the sun and the death of the moon and the phases of the moon and rain and thunder. And we invented creatures that made sense of the world: a serpent that ate the sun, a creature that ate the moon, a man in the moon living there, things like that. And as we became more and more sophisticated and created sort of a social structure, the real enigmas started not to be outside. The rain and the thunder were logical now. But the real enigmas became social. All those impulses that we were repressing: cannibalism, murder, these things needed an explanation. The sex drive, the need to hunt, the need to kill, these things then became personified in monsters. Werewolves, vampires, ogres, this and that. I feel that monsters are here in our world to help us understand it. They are an essential part of a fable.”

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks

“On that December night at Bleak House, I noticed that del Toro had moved some of his journals from the bathroom safe to a shelf in the Rain Room. I asked to see early sketches for “Madness.” The notebook was from 1993. He turned the pages, stopped, and smiled. “Look!” he said. It was an image of one of the explorers falling into icy water. An inky creature lunging at him looked breathtakingly similar to the Shoggoth with symmetrical tentacles. Del Toro’s monsters had inhabited his mind for nearly two decades. From the beginning, del Toro had imagined that his creatures, unlike Lovecraft’s, would have a fatal vulnerability—one that explained why the horrible beasts had remained trapped in Antarctica. Salt water: it dissolved a Shoggoth like a slug. “

Show The Monster, Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks

“Some ideas for one film end up getting used in another. Some pages are instructions for make-up artists, others are just Del Toro working out what looks cool and scary.”

Guillermo Del Toro notebooks

Images via.

Cabinet Of Curiosities available here.

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