“Arrival” by Jóhann Jóhannsson

[This entry is brought to you by the wondrous magic of Adobe Photoshop] When I first laid eyes upon the set of teaser posters for Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi brainer Arrival I was immediately struck in awe. It happens rarely that I fall in love with a film poster at first sight, but I just lost myself in those amazing still-lives with their gorgeous colours and lighting. So much so that I could even ignore some of the choppy Photoshop actions in there. Furthermore BLT Communications, widely regarded as a leading player in the business, got into hot water with a quite controversial faux pas, but…

“Side Effects” by Thomas Newman

There are some directors out there that put special emphasis on design, and especially in this case, font design. Marc Foster for example, whose visual gimmickry made a so-so James Bond film kinda watchable. Or David Fincher, who’s still one of my favourite directors and a sure bet for the most elaborate title sequences in modern cinema. Steven Soderbergh is another director who I consider to be part of that small elitist group. There are some films in his body of work that downright ooze stylistic eye candy (sadly, sometimes over substance). Side Effects isn’t one of those films though. It’s a…

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Deluxe Edition)” by John Williams

A few weeks ago my dear friend SonicAdventure approached me for a really special collaboration project. A Deluxe Edition of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, containing music from both the official soundtrack and the “For Your Consideration” promo album that was published by Disney during the awards season. Sonic did all the audio wizardry (editing, mixing, mastering), while I was free to do anything with my custom cover art. And it was an absolute blast (as John Williams would call it)!, by far the most joyful cover making experience I’ve had (so far). Naturally for this fan-release I revisited my initial custom…

“Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” by Elliot Goldenthal

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within turns 15 this year, and it hasn’t aged that well to be honest. The visuals were groundbreaking back then, but don’t get anyone excited about nowadays. The score on the other hand is still one of Goldenthal’s best. And that is saying something, because Elliot Goldenthal himself is still one of the very best of his game, even though his film score output has slowed down significantly. So, on the occasion of this anniversary my dear audio-engineering friend SonicAdventure decided to brush off the dust and polish up this forgotten diamond. And I was graced with helping out on…

“The Revenant” by Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto, Bryce Dessner

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s survival tale The Revenant is a real piece of art, rightfully racing for a couple of Oscars at this years Academy Awards ceremony. But it’s not necessarily the end product that left me absolutely astonished. The films making-of is easily as fascinating (if not more!) as the supposedly real-life story they are telling. Shot in the arctic cold of the Canadian and Argentinian outback, using only natural light in locations with minimal daylight hours, and pushing everyone involved to their painful limits, The Revenant is an outstanding achievement. Last december Emmanuel Lubezki published a series of photographs from the wilderness shoot and they’re breathtakingly beautiful. They also ignited my final spark of inspiration to come…