Nuttavut Baiphowongse is a mouthful, and as strange as his name might sound to the western ear, his creations you could say are well, strange…. Even stranger, he is a concept artist that works at The Aaron Sims Company, which creates some of Hollywood’s creepiest and fantastic creatures, including his formation of the creature featured in Netflix’s summer runaway hit series Stranger Things. I finally caught up with Nuttavut and discovered that he started his own company, Kaiju Smuggler, in Bangkok, Thailand making custom toys, while still banging out his crazy concepts for various movies and clients. You might recognize his work in movies such as Independence Day 2, TMNT, God of Egypt, and a slew of other titles. I’ve been a fan of his for a while and was lucky enough to be friend of his during my stint in Los Angeles. Sitting down and catching up on Skype, we had a brief conversation about 3D technology and the importance of 3D in today’s world.
DK: So what have you worked on since … I don’t know when.
GIBBON: I work from Bangkok, Thailand as a freelancer. I just opened my own company (Kaiju Smuggler) making statues and toys. Full Service. From designing to 3D printing to packaging – everything. Just send in your designs and ideas, and we will bring them to life. No problems.
DK: We have been in the 3D game for a hot second. Looking at it, 3D has really taken off. Seeing all of this, how do you feel about how 3D has changed?
GIBBON: Back in the day it was really new, not many people could do this stuff. But now…wow…everything has changed with the new technology..it used to be hard..now it’s so easy. Even twelve year olds are figuring it out in a few years.
DK: Do you think that is a good thing or a bad thing?
GIBBON: ITS A GOOD THING! But it is a bad thing for people in this industry, they can hire anyone right now. Oh the Super Artist back in the day – those days are no more. There is always someone who wants your seat. It’s very dangerous for me right now.
DK: Yeah…Tell me about it (Laughs). 3D models, however, are super important documents. The industry might be saturated with artists, but these sculpts and original 3D files are valuable due to the person that created them. For example, a seasoned modeler would create a model that is much more valuable than your average model.
GIBBON: (Laughs) 2 weeks ago I was offered $xxxxxxx to sell the Stranger Things creature. Of course not.
DK: Geez. Could you imagine if it was out there? It would be everywhere and you wouldn’t know once that file was out.
GIBBON: Digital is Ultimate. Nobody cares. You might lock my machine. All you have to do is Right Click, Copy, and Paste and that model is in your hands. So fast… No Problems. Really, how would you know if someone was on your computer. They open your file, steal everything, and it goes out there. They would blame me because I was the only one who had that file. I have to protect my computer and my files.
DK: You know that our product is bound to the author. We would know if it was opened on another machine. With the way our system is set up you would know which computer your file was opened up on.
GIBBON: That would be amazing.
DK: So now your in the Toy Business. What’s the name of your company again?
GIBBON: Kaiju Smuggler.
DK: Yeah, I saw the model of Ganesh you had made. Really cool man. Super cool.
GIBBON: I made this like…8 months ago. It sold out in 30 secs. I sold 140 copies. In thirty seconds. I have 600 on the waiting list.
DK: Man…I am super happy for you. I’ve seen you put all this time into it. It’s amazing to see the years that you’ve put into 3D finally paying off. It just illustrates that you can create anything with 3D now. It’s just a file. This file is now a very tangible thing. I would even say the file is worth more than the physical thing. Would you agree with that?
GIBBON: YES. You have to protect the prototype.. It’s super sensitive. We live in a golden age of toys now. Many of the toys are directly from the movie producers themselves. They send you the file from the movie to work on.
DK: Geez, really? Those files should be encrypted.
GIBBON: Yeah, I think it’s very dangerous by still doing it this way.
DK: I can’t wait for you test out our software, D3CRYPT3D.
GIBBON: I agree, I’m excited! I think your software will be a great thing for the industry.
DK: I’m gonna wrap this up. Is there anything we should look forward to from you in the near future?
GIBBON: Yeah. ‘Rampage’ the movie (Brad Peyton and Dwayne Johnson).
DK: Like the videogame!
GIBBON: Yeah, I worked on that.
DK: Super happy for you. Hope our program helps you out!