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.