Fil Barlow is an artist based in Australia who was the head creature and character designer for Extreme Ghostbusters.


Fil Barlow was born in Adelaide, South Australia on April 8, 1963. From an early age, Barlow pursued an interest in art. He self published his first comic book, "Fudsey," at the age of 10. [1] In 1986, Barlow was recruited by Richard Raynis to work on "Alf" as a supervising character designer. After 1989, he returned to Queensland and in 1994, he founded his own publishing and animation production house, Zoonimedia. In 1996, Barlow returned to Los Angeles with collaborator Helen Maier, and started up an animation production house, Artopia. They worked with Columbia-Tristar on various animated projects, including Extreme Ghostbusters. From 2010 and on, Barlow focused on his work on his Zooniverse.

The Real Ghostbusters

The only character Fil Barlow designed for The Real Ghostbusters was the Grundel. [2]

Extreme Ghostbusters

Before the show was pitched to a network, Barlow did an initial sketch with three female characters, Lucy, a Goth, and a "Troubled" third that Executive Producer Richard Raynis rejected because it coincidentally was a close representation of a family member of his. In the early design process, Roland Jackson evolved from a female character like Garrett Miller did from Lucy. [3] The character was named Julia. Barlow made 17 concept drawings and faxed them from his Australian studio to Richard Raynis in Los Angeles. Concept 14 had Julia with a chest piece device. As the character shifted from Julia to Roland, Barlow kept the dreadlocks but it was too hip for Raynis' vision of the character. The dreadlocks changed to corn rows then to the final conservative haircut. [4] Kylie Griffin was not part of the original concept for Extreme Ghostbusters. Raynis liked the Goth and wanted to develop her some more. He wanted her to be diminutive. [5] The original concept design of Kylie had her in a costume that was rejected but later became one of her civilian outfits on the show. [6] She also was armed with a suction weapon designed by Matthew Brady, on artist on character designer Barlow's team. The weapon was later used as a design for the Proton Packs in the Trendmasters Extreme Ghostbusters Classics: Action Figures. In 1996, Barlow prepared Kylie's main model pack while still in Australia, including expressions to assist the animators. [7] At first, there was resistance from the Sony storyboard artists when they first had to work with Kylie but by the end of the season she was accepted. [8]

Fil Barlow based the Biker Ghost's design off of sketch done by Everett Peck. [9] Barlow did it in Australia during pre-production of Extreme Ghostbusters. However, due to standards and practices, the ghost's stomach tattoo 'Mom' had to removed from the original design. The Color Department colored the design in Los Angeles and Barlow disagreed with the direction it went in. [10] Barlow and Raynis collaborated on Achira's design. Barlow designed Achira's first stage and Raynis wanted to pull out all of the stops for her second stage. Barlow wanted him to have a chance to draw, as all of his duties would be producing and not utilizing his artistic background, so they both drew ideas together. Achira's face was based off Raynis' first sketch and Barlow designed the snake arms, hair and body. Barlow went on to design Achira's third stage. [11] Ravana started out as one of the ghosts that passes by very quickly in front of the Ghost Cloud shown in the Extreme Ghostbusters Intro title sequence. Barlow tried a Balinese design to add some more variety to the kinds of ghost that the show could portray. He liked the design so much that he snuck it in to a few mass ghost sightings throughout the series. Eventually, the design was re-purposed for Ravana and made more cat-like. [12] Kris Sherwood from the Timing and Checking Department asked Barlow to supply some additional sketches to explain the movement of the tentacle ghoul in the introduction title sequence. Sherwood would often ask Barlow and Maier for insight into how we imagined the movement of the creatures they designed. [13]

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