We have had the immense pleasure of interviewing Luigi Terzi, the 3D Artist behind our Lupin the 3rd Elite Diorama! As an Italian Lupin the 3rd fan and a true master of his craft, Luigi’s very first journey with the Figurama Collectors team has been an eventful one. From physics to chickens and everything in between, we know that you will enjoy reading what he has to say about the behind-the-scenes process of this remarkable piece!
💥It is a pleasure to have you working with Figurama Collectors for the first time ever! Can you describe your experience with the team responsible for Lupin the 3rd?
A: It has been an interesting and positive journey with the creative team for this Lupin the 3rd project. There were moments in which we really had to kick into gear, but working with everyone has been a lovely experience. Communication was an important aspect of our work, and there were many discussions on how to improve the statue. My time working with the team taught me to value the dialogue that stands between artists working on an important project such as this one. Usually when you spend so much time working on the same thing, you lose perspective. I give thanks to the Figurama team for pushing me further in this way.
💥What were your initial thoughts upon learning you would be able to work on a Lupin the 3rd statue?
A: Mr. Shanab didn’t even finish asking me to be on our Lupin the 3rd project before I agreed. Lupin is incredibly popular in Italy, as it has been streaming on major TV channels across Europe since the 1980s and into the 2010s. Hayao Miyazaki, the director for Castle of Cagliostro, is considered one of the biggest figures in Japanese anime for us here in Europe. The show blew my mind when I first watched it at 12, and I am very fond of it. Funny enough, when I was younger, I always carried a soft pack of cigarettes like Jigen, and I was especially a big fan of his character. Working on this project has been like seeing the Lupin story through the eyes of my childhood.
💥As a big fan of the series, what was your thought process as you carried out the task of representing each member of the Lupin crew? What aspects of their character did you attempt to embody in this piece?
A: One of the things that really makes a person a pro is that you must be able to translate what you have in mind with a physical medium. I did a ton of research and rewatched the show to enrich my memories. From there, Figurama gave me all the model sheets of the characters directly from Japan, and that was a “wow” moment. I made sure Jigen’s grumpy nature, Fujiko’s sharp brain, and Lupin’s cool, instinct-based personality came across accurately, while putting my love for these characters into the work.
💥With every Figurama Collectors statue, our team strives to create a unique experience. What do you think sets this piece apart among other statues and figures on the market?
A: I wanted to show some genuine love to the community of Lupin the 3rd fans with this piece. It had to communicate the feelings I have felt for the story, which are similar to those of collectors who would be interested. There has to be love behind large and important projects like these. I think you can always tell if the person behind a piece of work is having fun, and I know I had so much fun with it. That sense is a large part of what makes it unique.
💥You’ve described quite a few positive moments of the process, but what was the most difficult aspect of working on this piece?
A: I started my work with a concept created by our concept artist, which was heavily inspired by an image of a real Lupin the 3rd scene. The most complicated part of the process was representing that image, which was a 2D cartoon. Sticking to the original concept was difficult, because when you work with 3D objects, you attempt to keep the same flow while accounting for physics. One of the hardest details was the tangle of characters’ legs and the rifle inside the car. There was a lot of thinking and head scratching involved there.
💥It’s clear that you thoroughly enjoyed working on a project that is so close to the hearts of you and other fans. Do you have a favorite moment from your time during the work process?
A: When you love what you do, even the most complicated moments are fun. As an expert in a field, each day is about problem-solving, and feeling happiness when a problem is finally resolved. My very first “wow” moment was sculpting Lupin’s head. At that point, I said to myself that this is the best job of my life. Secondly, when I managed to put everything together and find balance for all of the statue’s elements, I was elated. Until the point that things come together, it’s just guessing. Another happy moment is seeing the physical statue. Everything I do is on a screen, and there is a gap after sending my work to production. It is almost like finding that your child has grown up after a time!
💥What details do you hope collectors and fans will appreciate most about the statue?
A: How everything, especially movement, works together. The brain first analyzes the silhouette of a piece, noticing the volumes. The motion and the flow works very well here, and I would like for collectors to see that this really is a scene from Lupin the 3rd frozen in time. They should have the same feeling as witnessing the action, as should be the case for every sculpture. I'm glad I achieved my original goal of telling a story, and I hope they will appreciate this as well.
💥As the 3D artist behind this piece, you were heavily involved in every behind-the-scenes detail. Tell us a fun fact from the making of this statue that our collectors would never guess.
I have two fun facts. I actually forgot the chicken at first! I sent it, and after a few hours they said I had forgotten the chicken, so I had to rush to add it. Everything went pretty smoothly besides this chicken. My family would sometimes catch me studying chicken pictures, which I think is funny. Apart from the chicken situation, we received pretty specific feedback from the licensors for things like the car’s front emblem and more. Even the mechanics for the soft top of the car were explained to me in detail, and I reproduced the exact parts. I studied a lot, even watching videos of mechanics working on this type of car. I'm a Lupin lover AND a car lover, so this was fun!
💥What is something you would like for collectors who score a Lupin the 3rd Elite Diorama to hear from you?
Enjoy this piece, don't just leave it on the shelf! Every now and then move it to inspect the different angles. Change the way you see it. If you look at it from Lupin’s side, it tells his story. Zoom in on Fujiko, and you can catch her “shut up and let me drive” attitude in the scene. Jigen’s side displays his unique grimace and shooting style. Read these different stories and be sure to ask for more Lupin the 3rd!