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Concept art for an abandoned ‘Roadside Picnic’ adaptation Designer Alexey Andreyev shares his sketches for a TV project on the Strugatsky brothers' sci fi classic

Meduza

In 2016, the cable television channel WGN America announced that it was working on a TV series based on the Strugatsky brothers’ science fiction novel “Roadside Picnic,” which was the motivation for Andrey Tarkovsky’s 1979 film “Stalker.” Sony Pictures even released a pilot, but WGN America declined to continue the project. Alexey Andreyev, a designer based in St. Petersburg, worked on the pilot as a concept artist. With Andreyev’s permission, Meduza is publishing his work on the now abandoned show.

Andreyev has been creating concept art since 2005. His portfolio includes work on Georgy Danelia’s animated science fiction film “Ku! Kin-dza-dza!” and concept art for “ZONE,” based on “Roadside Picnic.” The concepts for ZONE came to filmmaker Alan Taylor (director of “Thor: The Dark World” and “Terminator Genisys”), who says he long wanted to make a television show based on the Strugatskys’ book. He asked Andreyev to work on the project. 

“In 2015 and 2016, I created a few pieces depicting the Zone’s environment, its artifacts, as well as some characters, including a robot and Redrick Schuhart’s daughter, ‘Monkey,’” Andreyev told Meduza. “My work process is usually like this: first, after studying the screenplay and photographs of the filming locations, there is a discussion about which places and scenes need to be depicted in the drawings. Then the artist creates a few sketches. The approved sketches are then redrawn in greater detail.” Andreyev creates his work in Adobe Photoshop and 3DCoat. 

The artist says he thinks that WGN America dropped out of production on a “Roadside Picnic” adaptation because of budget issues. “The show would have needed a lot of CGI, and so it would have been pretty expensive to make. Projects that require large investments have a harder time reaching audiences,” Andreyev explained.