Monday 15.07.19, 10:00
Storytelling and Design for Hollywood Science Fiction (Seminars)

A seminar and portfolio review session with Mike Hill, the concept designer of "Blade Runner 2049", “Love, Death and Robots”, and “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare”  

(С) Mike Hill. "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare"













During this expanded seminar and discussion, participants will go through a detailed breakdown of a range of seminal science fiction films to explore the use of metaphor in production design and the structure of narrative.

The seminar will become a journey through the world of Hollywood storytelling techniques using design and psychology. It will demonstrate the methods and techniques great directors and designers use to deliver powerful story experiences. Using his personal experience from working on movies such as “Blade Runner 2049” and “Dune”, as well as references to master storytellers such as Spielberg and Nolan, Mike Hill will shed light on the hidden techniques these directors use to create powerful, emotional narratives.

Participants will learn:

  • Psychological tips and tricks to design great cinematic experiences through vehicle design, environment design, prop design, cinematography, and metaphor
  • Principles of feature film storytelling and the strategies film designers use to reinforce and support a story
  • The workflow of using visual design tools to create cinematic stories

The seminar is well suited for:

  • Filmmakers
  • Video artists
  • Graphic designers
  • Illustrators
  • Animators
  • Concept artists
  • Art directors in the film industry


  • 10:00 Introductions, greeting
  • 10:30 Session 1 (lecture, Q&A) — 1h 30mins
  • 12:00 Break — 15 min
  • 12:15 Session 2 (lecture, Q&A) — 1h 30mins
  • 13:45 Lunch — 45 mins
  • 14:30 Session 3 (lecture, Q&A) — 1h 30min
  • 16:00 Portfolio review — 1h 30 mins. Participants are welcome to bring one example of their own concept art or design work for public view and feedback by Mike Hill.

Mike Hill is a concept designer and creative director who developed his own speculative design company Mike Hill Design to develop props, vehicles, and environments for films such as "Blade Runner 2049", the upcoming “Dune” and “Terminator New Dawn”, and the blockbuster video game “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare”. Most recently Mike developed the branding identity and environments for Netflix’s adult animation series “Love, Death and Robots”.

The event will be held in English. Please note that translation will not be provided.

Applications will be accepted until July 12. A discount is available for students upon a student document being provided. For all questions please contact workshop producer Anastasia Sinitsyna:

This event is part of a larger series of The New Normal public events at Strelka marking the end of the three-year research program and think-tank. Curated by faculty, this series will investigate some of the core themes of the program, defining the new contemporary condition we call “the new normal.”

The New Normal event series is supported by Digital October