I’ve been brushing up on After Effects and started playing around making title cards. I’ll snoop around for tips and tutorials for a while and randomly, but not usually, come across some unexpected inspiration.
During my search for tutorials I stumbled upon this inspired take on the intro credits to Short Circuit:
This was done as a school project by Dave Mason who is Biscuits and Davey. I’m not exactly sure when this was made, but regardless I think it’s innovative and very well put together and I would love to see more. I’m assuming this was also created with inspiration from the Justice DVNO video.
And just for fun here is an old making of documentary showing some of the behind the scenes construction of the original Johnny Five robot.
Above is the final concept art for the DVD cover of my documentary short, Home Planet. In my previous post I discussed certain ideas and influences involved in the process of creating the cover, and now, with Karl’s tremendous help, we have a final product.
Here are some of the cover ideas we kicked around that evolved into the final design:
Cover Idea 1
Karl sent this image over after watching the documentary and it set us in motion. We both agreed this wasn’t the right concept and needed a stronger illustration, but we liked the placement of Mars and the type. We decided we needed a stronger, more personal illustration.
Cover Idea 2
This idea gave a literal glimpse into the climax of the story. It’s a moment that the documentary builds to and better left discovered. Although it is more personal, this concept was too heavy handed and we ruled it out.
Cover Idea 3
I liked the initial map idea and so we revisited it, but this time emphasized Mars and my trek filming between New York, Denver and Washington. I like the simplicity a lot, but again, the design was not personal enough and did not represent the documentary faithfully.
Cover Idea 4
I felt that we were onto something with the global Mars idea from before. Karl and I discussed options for another complimentary image that could elevate the design into something more personal. During our brainstorm I decided to reduce Mars and turn it into a scale model globe, a personalized object that still heightened the idea of a journey. We eventually paired this with a silhouette image of me and felt we were close to balancing something personal with something bold and minimal that speaks to the themes of the documentary.
Final Cover Close
The silhouette invited room to play around. The first thing I thought of was to add some sort of celestial type of texture and we went with it. When Karl sent me his interpretation of what I wanted he added an interesting, subtle addition around the heart of the silhouette. I really liked the way it corresponded with the trek marks on the globe and it continued to personalize the cover experience. We decided this was the right one.
I am currently in the process of packaging DVD artwork for Home Planet to ship out to festivals this fall with the help of my good friend and designer, Karl Peterson. I knew before we started that I wanted to pursue something with bold colors and big symbols; some design or illustration that not only represents, but heightens the themes of my project. I remembered bookmarking Paul Tebbott’s work after seeing it on the IS050 Blog sometime ago. The designs are clean and minimal and have little if any texture at all. The illustrations also reflect a form of simplicity with only few strong color choices.
Tebbott’s work reminded me of certain Criterion DVD covers I’ve seen over the years and the similarly restrained forms of design they have implemented.
Here are just a few examples:
Jonathan Demme, Something Wild
Jacques Tati, Trafic
Robert Altman, Short Cuts
More could be said regarding the use of type, but it’s the directness of the design work that I’m drawn to.
I plan to post the final product that Karl and I come up with and some of the rough ideas that didn’t make the cut as we continue the process.
Francis Ford Coppola recently announced a live-remix tour of his latest film project, Twixt. A 30-city live tour in which he, the film’s composer, Dan Deacon, and possibly other collaborators will create a new, unique version of Twixt on the fly using an iPad-based editing system that allows him to shuffle and remix sequences, shorten and lengthen edits, and various other things that Coppola says will demonstrate “the evolving technology of the cinema.”
I like the idea of a roadshow tour and I am intrigued by Coppola’s ambitious plans to remix his film live. Twixt seems like a campy thriller and maybe that will lend itself to the remix experience or maybe not. Apparently the story was inspired by an alcohol-induced dream he had in Turkey.
What can this experiment with cutting edge technology and performance do for the language of cinema and for independent filmmakers and video artists? I really wonder what kind of influence this could have coming from Coppola who carries so much clout as a filmmaker. It’s a big risk, which I think is what is most exciting for him and his collaborators. I’m curious to keep an ear out on the reactions as the tour rolls out.