Writer, Director, Editor, Producer turned Crime & Punishment Film Poster Designer!
For a creative type, there’s something liberating about the new paradigm of filmmaker as entrepreneur. Low to no-budget filmmaking sees those involved wearing many hats that were traditionally reserved for the Unit Publicist; which micro-budget productions can seldom afford. Word-of-mouth activities such as blogging, website-design, facebooking, twittering and key art design often fall into the hands of those closest to the production, namely, the director and producer. Photoshop skills are a highly-sought commodity among filmmakers and often not provided for in the budget of the film. This is not a surprise in the resource constrained indy film world.
When it came to designing the poster for my second feature film, I looked to myself. Why the hell not?
I’m one of the producers, the screenwriter, the director, the editor, have done some of the visual effects, supplied one of the guitar tracks, done some foley, designed and maintained the website, the facebook page, the twitter page… and now the poster too.
What did I know about designing movie posters? Almost nothing. I had very poor photoshop skills and didn’t really know what 5mm bleed meant. But I learned simply by googling and following along. This tutorial was great for achieving the “High Pass” look. This one taught me how to do a “Transparency Gradient“. This one helped with the simple HDR filter. Oh and this one taught me how to set up a WordPress site on my own server and design the website so I could blog about designing a poster!
So, I’m not saying I’ve done the best job ever. In fact, I didn’t even do all of it. I went to a professional, a friend who worked for beer, for the design of the Crime & Punishment title. I love what he did: typography that alludes to the Russian origins of the novel; the slash that alludes to the crime; and the alignment of the two ME’s – which harks to the two sides of the character (the two me’s). For this, a professional needed to be involved. The title, as a brand, needs to be consistent and will appear on many formats – so it needs to be right.
Yes, a great Key Art designer like Jeremy Saunders or Blood and Choclolate would have done something amazing with the Crime and Punishment material – but the production has no money left for this. But we do have an internet connection and now we have a movie poster too!