Interview Part 1


Thought i'd share this, i got interview request by Marcus Goodman about getting started, poster design in general on his site Hamster Triathlon so i thought it was cool you can read me rambling on: PART. 1 HERE


Savage Streets Linda Blair

Savage streets was a cool one to work on as i got to give it that real 80's video cover style mixed with the classic action poster montage structure and inject a little something different to the other versions that have been done, the composition was the main challenge with this one as there had already been about 6 totally different posters, video covers and DVD covers already designed for it in the past, and they where all great (even if someone felt Adrienne Barbeau was hotter looking that Linda Blair on the classic uk Medusa release).

Watching the film there was one (or two) BIG things that jumped out at me! I have never seen such an indulgent use of breast in a film since an episode of Benny Hill! from Linda Blair bouncing down the street in the intro, to the gym class work out, to the shower fight scene.... i could go on! (im never going to be able to watch the exorcist the same again!!!). So wanted it to have an 80's action film meets tacky 80's porn vibe. Which i reflected in the colour scheme, Linda 'glamour' baby doll pout porn hair pose... I admit it may be a bit heavy on the sex but i felt that this was a big part of the film and an avenue for the design which hadn't really been explored so blatantly before in the other poster/cover treatments, so it was a different approach which would allow me to bring something alternative to cover.

I also really enjoyed playing about with the type giving it a new title treatment and getting that quintessential VHS style to it... ahh a rough script with a flat colour drop shadow... nothing says video box art better!!!

Well hope you like this take on a classic video title.


PERVERT! Well this was a bit of an oddity Its one crazy ass movie, created as a homage to Russ Meyer movies of the 60s.

Which really needed to be drawn out in the tone of the cover as the danger was people could get turned off by thinking its was just some crappy soft core porno film which are A) awful and B) a dime a dozen.

So this design is a total love letter (or soiled sock!... bad joke!) to the sexploitation film posters of the 60's and 70's.

unlike allot of the action / horror style posters theses usually had a more minimal layouts focusing on the one girl with the big curves to pull in the punters to the seedy cinema joints, i did have to tone the curves down a bit though after the first draft so i hope ive still managed to maintain the impression of Mary Cary having some shape in this film and not just looking stick thin).
where these posters really went for it though was with the use of type, something which doesn't get used much in the Arrow illustrations so i think ive made up for it with Pervert!!
Russ Meyer's was a total show man (i read some where that he used to make the posters first then if they where well received then he would make the film) and there was a definite carnival approach to selling these films, with outlandish statements made on them, so i took a couple of quotes form the us poster and DVD, but i have to admit im responsible for the cumming to get you and Busting out in... all bad puns i know!

I found allot of inspiration from posters like 'A trip with teacher' and 'Stepmother' where i loved the juxtaposing of illustration styles the main character is quite polished and then having rough sketchy line drawings for the background characters, its something i hadn't done before and i think works really well.

For the film title it was a bit of a twist on the classic cookie font which just says 70s and sexy so well, the phallic exclamation mark is actually not just a childish joke but like the innkeepers title has a bit more meaning behind it and the strange storyline...


Ti West, The Innkeepers poster 2

Here is the second poster for Ti West's The Innkeepers and this is as about as minimal as i get! Its designed more as teaser poster unless ive grinded away for days on these poster illustration i think something is wrong!! So this one was done as an extra because Ti and Larry Fessden liked the concept so much.

Its very much designed as a homage to the serious Mystery/Thriller posters of the 70's. Again still incorporating that Victorian vibe, which relates back to the hotels mysterious past...

Along the winding path of research i did into all things Victorian i came across designs for these ornate key hole protectors, they where Incredibly elaborate (as where most Victorian things) with these flowing and curling fluer (stylised decorative ornaments that resemble the fleur-de-lis = lily flower) details which i thought had this real sinister edge. So reworked the and designs slightly overemphasising them (as i wanted to keep it subtle) so they almost felt like clawing hands which would drawing you in to the darkness of the key hole if you stared at it too long and wouldn't want to see what lies in the cold empty darkness behind... MUWAHHHHH HAA HHHHHHHHAAA!

I do have to admit it was Ti Wests idea to have an empty key hole i originally had the idea of the ghost peaking through, so i guess less is more and this way it lets the imagination fill in the blanks!

The great thing about the Innkeepers posters is that creatively i was able to reference the rich history of Victorian design for my inspiration, allowing them to have some creative substance rather than just 'a grind house poster' particularly with this title where that wouldn't have suited the plot line and totally given off the wrong impression.


Ti West, The Innkeepers poster

This is another big break for the dude designs!

Its the new poster for ‘The Innkeepers’ film by Ti West (House of the devil) starting Sara Paxton, Pat Healy and Kelly McGills.

It came about when like Hobo I sent an email to Larry Fessenden at Glass eye pix / Scare Flix. Saying how I’ve been a fan of their films for ages (they have a brilliant
Catalogue of original off the wall horror/thriller titles) and I just did the Hobo poster
So if they needed any posters designing for up coming films… I’m your man!

Then the next thing I know I get an email from Larry wanting me to work on a poster for none other than Ti West!!! I was stoked to say the least; I’ve also been a big fan of his films the Roost, Trigger man and House of the Devil of course!

I actually got to work quite closely with Ti West on this project as the film was still in production I never actually got to see a frame! So instead Ti sent over a selection of film posters and a write up which set the tones he wanted to present in the final poster.
I like most people was expecting to do another full on horror film but Ti kept saying
That The Innkeepers isn’t a straight horror film, it could be a G/PG rated and to think more Fightners, Victorian ghost story, Charles dickens Christmas Carol and even ghost busters!!!

I sent over 10 different concepts for this one (quite a lot for me!) and this one was one of the last I did, it was also the one that had that eureka moment! There was a bit of wrangling over the choice of the final route but I managed to convince everyone that this had the IT factor. It really ticked all the boxes! and had that strong design concept to back it up and visually tie all the elements together.

I did allot of research into Victorian design styles and got drawn towards the Art Nouveau movement in the end because of all the wavy ethereal lines and curves which set the tone so well.

I then also researched into old ghost story books covers to get a more light hearted spooky vibe and found The Fontana Great Ghost Story anthology a massive inspiration. (If you can get hold of them they do they have some amazing illustrations!).

Then finally I have to take my hat off to Drew Struzan as a big inspiration, especially when you want to set that 80’s Goonies/Adventures in baby sitting montage poster vibe.

So for the final design I blended the ethereal lines of the Art Nouveau border with ghostly mist and set the composition on three plains, the mist in the foreground, the two intrepid ghost hunters walking through the spooky mist with there torch in the middle and the ghost (which wraps around and frames the whole scene) coming out in the background (for that classic ‘its behind you’ setting)

The humour element is depicted through main characters pose as Sara is the lead character it allowed me to play with the stereo types and place the guy hiding behind the girl I was also able to emphasise there spooked expressions with the torch light.

The green/blue colouring was inspired by old oxidised copper to give it that antique ghostly feel and finally the title design was inspired by the engraved type on old bar/pub signs and mirrors, I did over emphasise the spirals and curves to be more suggestive of spooky goings on and tie in with the art nouveau style for the rest of the poster. Also note the subtle pigeon and deer head!.. Which all link back to the film and are put in a suggestive teasers, all will become clear when you watch The Innkeepers!!!