Author Topic: Interview With A Vampire... er, Exceptional Movie Poster Designers....  (Read 369 times)

guest4955

  • Guest
So Vesna (www.TheArtofMoviePosters.com) traded me a sensational rejected "Death Defying Acts" Aussie 1S:



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She also referred me to Aussie artist Jeremy Saunders (www.JeremySaunders.com), who designed it and other stellar Aussie MPs:



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I gathered a few of his "best" (IMO) MPs here:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MoviePosterCollectors/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2108844206066178

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Also own this:



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I understand these were digital promos only, not printed:







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So I created wallpaper:



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I also exchanged a few illuminating emails with him, learning:

+ he was upset with the design limitations on DDA

+ most MPs nowadays are for digital/Netflix promotions only, not printed/distributed

+ "all" MP designers are poor. (Like me, you can support him by buying his prints here)



+ he doesn't know why distributors "weirdly" don't sell MPs to public

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I'm copying/pasting excerpts of these emails:





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I'll ask him mo' Qs in future:

-   What modern/vintage MP artists do you respect and why?
-   how much design freedom do you have vs. directions from studio?
-   how many designs per MP do you submit?
-   influence of Mondo, more creativity now or just “floating heads nightmares”?
-   do you interact with directors/stars of your movies or just marketing dept?
-   can you parlay your prior MP design work into more lucrative commercial work?
-   how did you become interested in MPs and what technical training?
-   what programs/apps do you use to design MPs?
-   is there a forum for professional MP designers?
-   should MP artists/designers get more recognition?
-   What do you collect?

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I'll add Charlie's interview of Big Lebowski international MP.

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Feel free to add any relevant conversations you've had....

guest4955

  • Guest
More answers (highlighted):

-       What modern/vintage MP artists do you respect and why?

I respect anyone who gets interesting work past the many people whose job it is to stand in the way of getting interesting work out there. Current heroes would be the good folks at Gravillis who do interesting, soulful work that has great empathy toward the films they work on, the best agency in LA by a HUGE distance. Other than that the usual suspects - Neil Kellerhouse, Akiko Stehrenberg... now that James Jean is doing key art we're all likely out of a job any day now. Vintage artists, obviously Saul Bass and Paul Rand would be up there. I really love Robert McGinnis' work, Richard Amsel's 70s stuff is wonderful. Egil Haraldsen's work in the 90s was a real inspiration. Too many to list, really.





-       how much design freedom do you have vs. directions from studio?

Well you get the brief and then it's up to me to interpret that. I don't really pay that much attention to briefs really. I think if you can be empathetic to the film and express what the film expresses then that's the job and everything else comes a distant second. So I want to devote my energy to digging out the best distillation of the film and really trying hard to find a way to turn that and make it shine. I don't find that worrying about what the secondary audience quadrant will feel about the poster really helps at all.

-       how many designs per MP do you submit?

Piece of string, really. I quote for a certain number of designs and most of the time I do more than that and, as happened yesterday, sometimes I just do one design and everyone loves it. It would be nice if that happened more often but it's called work for a reason.


-       influence of Mondo commercial movie art prints? more creativity allowed now or just “floating heads nightmares”?

I think the Mondo (etc) stuff is interesting but it's invariably promoting films that already have an audience, and in that case you can rely on being more oblique and knowing because you are pricking people in the nostalgia gland and also rewarding them for being very clever and getting your references. If that sounds like I'm being snooty, I'm not, I'm as delighted by that feeling as anyone else. But frankly the work that a Mondo-esque poster does is actually kind of the polar opposite to creating a piece of artwork for a new film that you have to assume the potential viewer knows absolutely nothing about (and cares even less).

I think if there's a change in approach to design in recent years it's more due to the ease of availability of trailers which not only do a better job of expressing the film (ie plot, characters, tone etc etc) and also have a low barrier to entry (can you spare 120 seconds pal) - so the job of key art these days is really different to what it was even 10 years ago. The job now is to frame an idea of the film rather than try to express everything about it. So that is leading (slowly, occasionally) to more interesting, quiet, metaphorical designs. That's my thinking anyway. As ever, other people have different opinions, and as ever, they tend to be the ones paying.

-       do you interact with directors/stars of your movies or just marketing dept?

Yeah, most of the time I deal with directors and producers. I'm lucky in Australia that my role is perceived as part of the post-production process rather than part of the advertising/distribution end, particularly of late where deals are being done later and later and the online marketplaces just want everything ready to go, including trailer and poster, so I'm dealing more and more with creatives than distributors or studios. Which is really nice. Because once you get marketing depts and international sales agents involved, life gets much less fun. Actors I tend not to have to deal with, only the occasional photo shoot where I invariably stand in their eye-line and shuffle around feeling self-conscious and gawky.

-       can you parlay your prior MP design work into more lucrative commercial work?

Hahahaha I wish. However it has been made abundantly clear that single-handedly creating an audience for a multi-million dollar entertainment product with a shelf-life of a weekend is not proper advertising and I am ridiculous to even suggest it.

-       how did you become interested in MPs and what technical training?

I'm not sure the world needs yet another tale of an unqualified straight white guy tripping over and falling into a dream job so let's just say I was very very very lucky that I was in the right place at the right time with the right friends. And I had no technical training or experience and very little in the way of skill, so you can imagine my ridiculous good fortune. I have worked really fucking hard since.... I always try to pay my luck forwards and support people starting out.-       

- what programs/apps do you use to design MPs?

Usually photoshop and indesign. Increasingly Cinema 4d for text and camera re-projection. Occasionally After Effects, weirdly, because for some reason there are many things it can do for still images much better than photoshop.

-       is there a forum for professional MP designers?

If there is I am not aware of it. Sadly Monkeyartawards has faded into history too.

-       should MP artists/designers get more recognition?

Oh, I do alright. And I think with places like IMPAwards it's getting better, at least for those of us who aren't part of an agency.  I contractually get to have a credit on the poster so history will be able to look more kindly on my work.

-       What do you collect?

In terms of movie posters, nothing! I am not particularly into movie posters as objects. It's too much like the day job really. I do have quite an absurd collection of Madonna records, but that's probably not what you were after.