This is going to be a continual effort of sharing whatever I find interesting, this new-found feature. And speaking of, I just got off from an e-mail convo with Jason Heatherly, an art director, who has an amazing lineup of alternate posters in his web site, The Lion Design. He even took the trouble of writing how he first started and what keeps him doing his art. Read on.
I began reinterpreting movie posters about 4 years ago. I’m an Art Director professionally, and I always enjoyed the challenge in designing logos. Taking a handful of themes and narrowing them down to one simple idea. The way I though about movie posters seemed like an alternative approach to that. “Moon” was the first poster I did and, arguably, is the most successful of the posters I’ve done that explore narrowing a film’s multiple themes and concepts into one idea. Since then, I watch films entirely different. That feeling of mentally creating a great visual execution, and then actually executing the poster is very challenging and very rewarding as a designer.
There is a tendency though, to view these posters as not accurately reflecting the “feeling” or “tone” of the movie. I think it’s important not to view alternative movie posters as just a promotion for the film. It’s one thing to look at a poorly designed, poorly executed poster as nothing more than that. Even then, you’re arguing in the subjective. But, to limit the style of the artist to the style of the film, or vice versa, defeats the purpose of the art form. I think that too is what makes this niche of alternative movie poster design so great. It’s all subjective, and every film is open to interpretation. I love to see several artists renditions of the same movie and how each artist’s style reflects the feelings they felt from that film and which themes they found more significant than others. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve always been slightly competitive so I love to see another artist’s ideas and styles in a poster. As artists we all look, and naturally begin to dissect and challenge another artists design with our own sensibilities. But then, there are those out there that just make me think “damn, I wish I thought of that.” And that is ultimately what keeps me doing them. Always chasing after an idea that is better than the one before it.
Here’s a couple of his favorites from his catalog. He added some captions too!
“Prometheus” – I know this film got mixed reviews, but I loved it. This is one of those ideas where two major aspects of the movie just fit together perfectly.
“Pi” – Aronofsky did a great deal of research to make this film, and to create concepts that made sense, whether or not the viewer understands them. I took the same approach making the poster. After reading a few interviews with Darren, I felt this was a strong design that reflected the themes of the film.
“2001: A Space Odyssey” – Sometimes there are films where the idea just falls in your lap. Which, really is a testament to the film itself.
“Django Unchained” – This was such a fun film to watch. I wanted that same energy and excitement to be reflected in the poster.
“There Will Be Blood” – I actually began working on this one, and then put it aside for a good 5 months. While the idea always remained the same, my tastes on how to execute it changed several times. I really love this idea though.
“The Prestige” – This is one of my favorite films ever. Rich with concept, and mystery. I wanted to recreate and capture some of that mystery.
“The Shining” – It seems there are thousands of artist renditions of this movie poster. That usually deters me from trying to do a poster, because usually there is someone out there that has already hit the nail on the head. But, I felt this one was pretty unique. This print will actually be featured in a book about Stanley Kubrick from Centipede Press later this year.
“Moon” – This was the first one I ever did, and still one of my favorites. This is actually ver. 2 of this poster. The first one had the astronaut, and his shadow going away from each other. After more and more thought, it seemed more appropriate they be just barely touching. It’s all about interpretation.
“Drive” – I think anyone that has an adobe suite has done a poster for Drive. Such a cool flick and another one where two themes of the movie just fit together perfectly.
“Beyond the Black Rainbow” – This one’s a trip. It was ultimately vintage movie posters that inspired the making of this film. I wanted to create that vintage poster.
You can check out his stuff at his Tumblr, and should you want them hanging on your wall, you can purchase them at this link. I hope you guys enjoyed this roundup of posters. Talk to you soon!