If you’ve ever looked around on forums where fans are talking about a favorite topic, you’ll almost always find fan contributions in the form of fan fiction, art, music or movies. One UNCHARTED fan took it to the next level by recreating Nathan Drake’s journal seen in UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves. That fan, Patrick Reilly of Miami, FL, took the time to talk to us about the project.
All Things UNCHARTED: What made you want to replicate the journal from UNCHARTED 2?
Patrick: Well, originally I got the games when they first came out, I played them, loved them and then put them away for a while… On my second run through with the games, I thought the journal would be a pretty cool prop to replicate. By the way, I’ve been into replicating props for over 10 years.
Oh that’s awesome! Any notable props readers might be familiar with?
I’ve got about a dozen or so [Star Wars‘] lightsaber replicas, Han Solo’s blaster, custom-designed 1930’s-style ray gun, a casting of the original gas bomb from the 1933 King Kong, etc. I’m actually working on Drake’s journal from Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.H
ow long did it take you to complete the journal from UNCHARTED 2? Did you start with the intention of completing it or just wanted to see how a few pages would turn out before you decided on seeing it ’til the end?
I worked on the journal for about 1-2 hours or so a day, when I had spare time, and the total process took about 2 months. I pretty much went into it determined to finish, I just wasn’t sure how long it would take, considering how much free time I would have.
What was the most time consuming part of recreating the journal?
Well, it was hard getting a good quality image of the page inserts, so I had to basically had to recreate or clean up a lot of those images. The illustrations also took quite a bit of time.
Were you determined to keep it strictly based on source material or did you take some artistic license to fill it up a little bit with other sketches and notes?
I tried to keep it as authentic and accurate to the source material as possible, even taking into consideration the weathering and smudges on the pages. (For that, I put some water in a plastic atomizer and added a few drops of sepia ink, then sprayed it on the pages and dabbed/smeared it with a paper towel. Some people use coffee or tea instead.)
In order to get the pages to look exactly like those seen in the game’s journal, I printed out the game page images on paper, then I scribbled the entire back of the printout with charcoal. Next, I taped the printout to the page (charcoal facing down on the page) then i merely traced the image on the printout. When I removed the printout , it leaves a copy of the image imprinted on the journal page.
Did you get any help during the project or was it a one-man show?
I’m a member of The Replica Prop Forum (RPF), and there are a few members who helped with the research and contributed during making their own replicas. Contec, DBCooper, Ramiel, Kredeprops, d_jedi1, all of them helped me during the process.
You said you’re going to go back and do the journal from the first UNCHARTED. I’m assuming you’re going to follow with UNCHARTED 3: Drake’s Deception to finish a trilogy of sorts?
Yeah, I already created the cover for Francis Drake’s diary, and I also managed to find the most of the image sin the diary as well. The majority of the images from the diary are actually from a real book that Francis Drake wrote. The images can actually be found online.
Any plans for the journals or are you keeping them to yourself (and I wouldn’t blame you)?
Ill probably be keeping them for the time being. I want to see what Uncharted 3 has to offer. Maybe the game will add more pages to Drake’s Journal.
…or if the producers of the movie contact you and ask about using it?
[Laughs] That would be interesting. Not sure that the producers need my help in creating a journal for the film though; I’m sure Naughty Dog or the art department could whip one up for them.
You’ve got a point there. Is this just a hobby or a job for you?
Just a hobby. I mainly freelance, illustrating for books, magazines, comics, commercials, film, etc.
Do you have any tips for readers who might want to try their hand at prop making?
Well, there are different levels of props. Some are pretty easy to make and some require expensive tools. If you’re looking for a laid back hobby you can concentrate on paper props. These are usually pretty easy to make since they’re just illustrations. A few screencaps from a movie and you’ve got a suitable source of reference material. Believe it or not, many of the older props actually used in films are made from everyday found objects.
Awesome, and great work! Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!
Here are just a few pages from the journal; (the rest can be found here…)