“Knowing” by Marco Beltrami

After my last monster project Godzilla I need to squeeze in a few smaller ones to cool myself down a bit. And so I started rummaging my iTunes library, listened to soundtracks and picked potential candidates. And it was during one of those listening sessions that I discovered two of Marco Beltrami’s recent, highly recommended(!) efforts Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Soul Surfer. So I thought I’d seize that opportunity and come up with a few designs for a score I wanted to tackle for quite some time. My all time favourite of his works: Knowing.

I’d like to begin with a few variations (#2, #3) of the official artwork (#1). They are both in almost ridiculously high resolution and sometimes I wonder how far I should go. I mean, #4 is over 11 Megabytes, that’s crazy for a JPEG. But I just can’t scale them down to an moderate size, there’s simply too much detail that would get lost.

I remember not liking the official poster art at first sight, because it looked too similar to the Spielberg/Cruise vehicle War of the Worlds. But little by little it started growing on me. And by now I really dig the bold colouring. The different tones of blue and cyan make it a very vivid, almost three-dimensional image. And that’s no wonder since the brain behind it was a guy named Thom Schillinger, who is a designated 3D conceptual designer.

The next two covers were based on the German (#4) and Japanese (#5) DVD cover artworks. I cheated a bit on both in stretching and clone stamping the images. But what can one do without proper templates?

Custom #6, well… that one was a slog. I was already all set to publish this post, but then my urge to come up with at least one completely alternate cover kicked in (again). I thought about emphasizing the letter Lucinda wrote in the film’s prologue, since it’s a key element in the storyline and gets the whole plot rolling alltogether. And it would serve nicely as a texture-based cover artwork. But first I needed that letter, ideally in form of a high resolution scan – which was nowhere to be found, obviously. At some point I briefly thought about typewriting the letter myself using HD screencaps as a template. I imagined myself drinking red wine till late in the night, blearing Beethoven over my Stereo and scribbling numbers over numbers relentlessly like a psychotic maniac Nicolas Cage. But to my delight, I found a decent picture of it on the web after all, so I fired up Photoshop and started working.

In relation to the movie my first intention was to use a wooden door texture in the background, but it didn’t work out as expected. So I switched to a chalkboard setting, referring to the main character’s scholastic background. I had a really hard time with this cover, making at least four entirely different concept drafts. But I knew I was heading into the right direction and trusted my skills so that it would work out in the end – which it eventually did. Interestingly enough I think this one looks even better at thumbnail size. Just like the schoolboard always looked better from the back row than up front, didn’t it.


  1. Felix Röhrig

    That looks really nice :)

    can you also make cover for another great Beltrami scores?


    1. already working on it :)
      do you want anything in particular?


  2. This is nice. Please make different covers for Seventh Son by Marco Beltrami.


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