Director Steven Spielberg
Production Designer Alex McDowell
Studio 20th Century Fox, Dreamworks
Plot Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, "Minority Report" is an action-detective thriller set in Washington D.C. in 2054, where police utilize a psychic technology to arrest and convict murderers before they commit their crime. Tom Cruise plays the head of this Precrime unit and is himself accused of the future murder of a man he hasn't even met.
Employer Black Box Digital
Role Lead Designer and Animator
I worked with Creative Director Kent Demaine to design and/or animate most of the user interfaces seen in the film. We began work during pre-production, and ultimately created all interfaces for on-set playback as well as post-production.
Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. Additional 3D elements provided to me were created using Houdini and 3dMax.
Precrime User InterfaceThe Precog interface was created during post-production, however the Precrime interface style was developed during filming. We created a few interfaces for the Precrime office that were intended to play on-set. One of our goals was to avoid a standard text or grid based interface, instead treating the Precrime database visually as if they were 3 dimensional stacks floating in space. Each interface served as a window from which the user could see and access the files. I avoided any kind of interface framework that would define the edges of the monitor, as it would feel more contemporary. The designs were meant to be data-focused instead of interface-focused. I thought of the data as an organism that the user would visually sift through. and once they found what they were looking for they would pull it forward.
These concepts would eventually make their way to the final precrime interface, which I designed during post-production. The precog data of the future murder is clustered along a timeline, with data peaks indicating the moments of actual death. The detective would then investigate these clusters looking for clues. I approached the Precog Interface almost as if it were an autopsy table with the data splayed out for the investigator to sift through. Any evidence found would be removed and set aside so that investigators can defend their conclusions later. Kent Demaine did all of the animation for this interface and did an incredible job. He really brought it to life.
Anderton visits Gideon to find out information on minority report cases. They search through the database of all previous precog murder cases. Rather than presenting the database as a standard list or grid, I treated the manifest like a virtual rolodex. I saw it as a much more interesting framing device for the actors faces.
Anderton’s Home Computer
The purpose of this interface was to illustrate the functionality of the black market software Anderton bought to help him retain the memories of his deceased son. He uploaded his old home movies into his computer, which would then project a hologram of his son which he could interact with.
Prisoner Medical Diagnostic Interface
Eyedent Tracking Interface
This interface would demonstrate the scope and sophistication of the eye scan technology used in the city. Every retina scanner in the city as tracked on a giant 3d map, allowing for the authorities to locate any citizen in the city in real time. It is used to locate John Anderton after he has his retina scanned in the subway station. Kent had the idea to represent each hit as a sphere.
Spider Tracking Interface
The police search a run-down building looking for Jon Anderton. First, the hovership runs a thermal scan of the structure. The officers then release robot spiders who proceed to scan the irises of all occupants. As each person is scanned, their thermal signature is cleared.
Hovership Pilot’s Heads-Up Display
Precog Medical Interface
Other Interface Designs
Unused Interface ConceptsPolice Helmet Heads-Up Display
During the hunt for Anderton, there was originally going to be a shot from the officer’s POV. This is an early comp I created for a helmet heads-up display.
This was an early design for a car speedometer.
Minority Report is still my favorite interface job that I have ever worked on. We were given a great deal of creative freedom to pursue concepts that were non-traditional and organic. Often in films the interfaces essentually serve as flash cards, spelling out for the audience what is happening in the story. With Minority Report the technology was part of the story, and our interfaces were purposed with illustrating their function as much as their results.