Possibly someone I idolised way too much when I was a budding designer is Mark Coleran. A UI designer for the movie industry, he has titles under his belt such as Lara Croft, The World Is Not Enough, Alien vs Predator, Mr & Mrs Smith, Blade 2, Mission Impossible 3. Ok I think you are getting the picture…
There is a level of futurism about Mark that is beyond the imaginary abilities of most of us that make his work truly inspiring. However, a word of warning. Something I often preach on is that movie makers want UIs to look advanced and complex because that makes the operator of the device or screen look well educated and clever. Quite the opposite is true of technology and UI – it is becoming more simple, cleaner and easier to use with every evolution forward. The iPad is a shining example of this path forward.
With that rant said and done my favourite work from Mark was done for the film “The Island”. Whilst most of the screens are very much Mark’s trait and style the highly animated screen-desk – kind of like a Microsoft Surface – truly stands out for me. Not only is the animated background a work of art but the level of thinking that went into the user interactions, behaviors and operating system windows and tasks is simply the best I have ever seen for a movie that gets just seconds of screen time.
For once I had seen a movie UI that I could believe, that could be real and on top of all that was futuristic and sexy beyond anything available at the time. As such, I actually copied the designs and created my own Rainmeter Windows Theme that fully worked, because I truly fell in love with the overall concept.
One last thing that makes it special for me is the aspect ratio being super wide screen. I cannot explain why but something in my gut tells me super wide-angle formats will play an important role in the future.
The Island – UI by Mark Coleran
Of course Oblivion is a more recent film also featuring a nice table top surface. The end play for me however much table top screens are featured and thought about is that 3D projection or VR will surpass the need for such advancements and we will bunny hop over the need for glass or flexible screens.