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The Official Film Blog

AugustusGladstoneMockups2
Greetings Immortals!

As you can see, we’ve roughed together a few mockups for our cover art. We’ll be taking three or four of the above to evolve  a bit further. And this is where you come in!

Please help us choose!

Our cover needs to accomplish (at least) two things:

  1. Visually assert itself amidst the fray at any online video store (iTunes, Netflix)… and make you think “Wow! That looks unique and intriguing and kinda cool! I think i’ll click on it!”
  2.  Communicate the general character of the film.

So jump right in there and let us know what you think! Which are your favorites? Why? Which ones do you hate? Why? And by the way, what is your favorite film box cover of all time?

Notes:

  • The above image is big… click to open a large version and zoom in.
  • Refer to individual covers by using letters and numbers provided on the image (A-1) (D-7)
  • Yes, we really are using your input!

Thanks for your help!

Comments

14 Comments

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  1. July 19, 2013

    A1, but with the typographic direction of D6 or B3 (maybe scaled up a bit). I find that head + clouds image to be really compelling, but the hand-drawn lettering approach gets really hard to read at smaller sizes and lacks the impact of a nice, clean, bold sans-serif.

    The lockups where the word “THE” is extra-huge feel wonky…

  2. July 19, 2013

    My favorites in no particular order are A5, C3, C5, E9, and E10.

    On row C, the image of Augustus is very compelling, but the font is way too big on most of the mock ups. For instance, I really like the font on C5, but I can’t see Augustus’s face as well, therefore it looses it’s intended effect.

    Out of the ones I’ve listed, and out of the criteria you gave concerning the marketing punch this needs to have, I think A5 and E8 are the biggest standouts. I’ve never seen a movie poster quite like those before, so they would definitely catch someone’s eye.

    Also, you asked for the one’s I didn’t like… that would be all of the ones from row B. I don’t get the point of the devil reference, and am not even sure (from my standpoint) if it even has much to do with the overall movie. My suggestion is to avoid devil references like the plague, as that horse has been beat more times than I care to mention. 🙂

    Finally, my favorite movie box cover… that’s a tough one, because it’s something that changes often for me. So, rather than give you an absolute favorite, I’ll mention ones that I recall making me interested in at least finding out more about the movie (regardless of the film’s quality). The ones for Star Trek: First Contact, Babe, Forest Gump, The Hunger Games, Star Wars Episode I, Jurassic Park, Donnie Darko, and Snow White and The Huntsman are a few that did just that.

  3. July 20, 2013

    top left (a-1?) no question.

  4. July 21, 2013

    My favourites are 6A and 5D. When I look in online video stores, I often find the covers are a bit overwhelming – a lot of information but really not very much information. These two are quite minimalistic, caught my eye when looking at your selection image, and capture what I can assume is the mood of the film from what I’ve seen of it.
    This is my favourite box cover:

    And this isn’t for a film, but maybe my favourite CD cover:

  5. July 22, 2013

    I’m awfully fond of E2. It’s mysterious and a little sad. E8 I also find striking as Augustus’ expression seems to convey a lot and the placement of the text draws my eye right to it. I also love the minimalism in A6. I’m not too fond of the blue designs with Augustus’ head at the bottom, though I can’t say exactly why… Design-wise they’re quite sound but it reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. Some movie with a similar cover design that was of a much different mood, perhaps. The side-profile images remind me a little too much of the famous Alfred Hitchcock silhouette.

    Speaking purely in terms of visual catchiness, I think A10 and B6 grab my eye the most.

    • July 29, 2013

      Hmmmm, I don’t know. A10 seems soooo cheap to me. Like a low-budget 60’s movie.

  6. July 23, 2013

    Of the choices, D-5, definitely. Simple, minimal design and color. Less is more…etc. For one (myself) who tends to overwork designs and tortures them until they cry for mercy…I digress. Anyway, in regards to viewing all the samples and knowing the basic idea of the story, I immediately envisioned Augustus’ gravestone hovering/fading to nothing (over the ground like the iconic finality of death) like it was yearning to be a reality, but wasn’t – at least for him, anyway.
    I hope I helped in your decision. I know how hard it is to be a creative person who immerses themself into a project, but has difficulty viewing their work objectively. Good luck. I can’t wait to see it. 😉

  7. Kave #
    July 24, 2013

    I love E2 just because the neon lettering, overcast background, and telephone pole remind me of the Twin Peaks main title. C4 certainly has the core elements expected of a “docum-indie”, though you might avoid appearing too political with the red white and blue in D1-4. (Love the ironic juxtaposition of the dates and the title btw!) I’d personally prefer the retro bold type from C4 on A1 over the sketchbook lettering I’ve seen in several other indie flicks recently. And I like Molly’s minimalistic idea with the gravestone, assuming that’s what C8 is depicting?

    My favorite cover: Back to the Future

  8. July 29, 2013

    Hi there Robyn! I’m so excited about being part of this, I totally love your work. Well, let’s do this:

    First things first, I don’t like the covers with the red wings on them. Furthermore, the 7 B&W covers (C1-C7) while they’re quite nice, greatly remind me of that “facebook” movie. I could go on and on about the covers I don’t like (or better, I the anappropriate ones), but instead I will focus on the ones I like:

    Well, if I had to choose I would probably bet either on A1 or D1 or D5. The truth is that D1 is kind of a common movie poster reminding me of a “spy” movie or something. It’s nice, although it might pass the audience the feeling that Ausgustus is the “bad guy”. On the exact opposite stands A1 which kind of depicts Augustus’ bright side – or even a troubled mind. If I had to label the movie judging by the A1 cover, I would probably bet on a black comedy or a surreal movie.

    From what I’ve read about the movie plus judging from the trailer, I believe that the D5 cover is the most appropriate for it. For starters, I personally like “simplicity”. White cover, beautiful title font and a simple handdrawn flower. From this cover, I would immediately think that the movie falls into the “social / drama” category. Sure, I wouldn’t understand a thing about its story, but if I were on the DVD store or whatever, I would be curious about the story and would turn the DVD around to read the synopsis. I’m not sure about the “Anything Is Possible” line, but then again you know the storyline better than I do.

    The bottom covers definetely tell me that “the movie I’m about to see is a crime investigation movie”. D10 is like telling the biography of a political figure. C9 reminds me of the Trainspotting movie and others having to do with large group of characters and I don’t think that’s the road you should take with Augustus…

    So, like I said before I would either choose A1 or D5, not because I like them the most, but because I believe that they are more appropriate to the movie than the others. Lastly, I believe that the “A Film By Robyn Miller” line, wouldn’t be bad at all on any cover you choose. I personally like to immediately catch the creator’s name on the front cover, even though you’re not popular as a movie creator (yet 🙂 )

    Hope I helped Robyn, good luck!!

  9. August 2, 2013

    6D because looking at this from a marketers perspective from my point of view is never going to work. I either know what the market needs or I don’t, and I know when I know and when I don’t know I feel and I feel all sorts of things about this and all kinds of thoughts.
    So 6D because its the bluest and its where my eye is stairing while I wonder “Is that…” And that’s my contribution…

    And I would say the if I took the top right scratched in a palaroid title and and the bottom left picture and put that Polaroid on every single place I would end up placing those lost signs… If I could mass produce those Polaroids…

    Maybe that’s marketing…

    But I’m not in a mood to give people choices these days.

  10. August 2, 2013

    What I mean is, when I watch the videos and the teaser trailer, I’m looking at Augustus’ nose to lip divot thinking “Is that…” And that’s my contribution.

  11. August 10, 2013

    Those are pretty cool, most of them look intriguing and unique. My favorites are E2, D5 and A6. I also love the covers with the tree, so pretty! Like others, I dislike the devil theme plus C8, and while I don’t dislike the cloud/head covers, they remind me of other movies and books, I’ve seen similar covers before.

  12. Joshua P. #
    November 9, 2013

    I am very into A5. Here’s the deal. The typography selections, color, and shapes seem representational of the themes in your movie without being cliche. Reasons to follow.

    Since (according to one viewing of the trailer and a bit of your blog copy) we have here a gentleman who uses a documentary format for exposure and a bit of controlled showmanship, I’d say the Barnum-and-Bailey-sideshow-esque font is a good one. The lines emerging from his head seem to echo a couple of things that come across in the trailer and blog, as well as the other poster concepts: the plant in D5, for instance, seems represented abstractly very nicely here, growing quite literally from Augustus’ head and seem to me to show his burgeoning, as-yet-unknown mental state. The sprouting green lines, on a sunny background, engage in a kind of destructive interference with the concentric rings emanating from his head. Those rings brought to my mind how many elements of Augustus’ story seem controlled by Augustus, but how he is interacting with a flesh-and-blood documentary film crew, who are trained in the art of the observation of minutiae, the cracks in his facade (if any, indeed, are to be found). The way the lines commingle make me think of my uncertainty as to this gentleman’s veracity or even whether he himself believes what he’s saying. The overall effect is one of pleasing harmony but slight uneasiness. And there’s another ‘wave’ emanating seemingly from the whitespace at the top — from his audience? — interacting with those lines emanating from below. And speaking of ‘below:’ the placement of Augustus’ head at the very bottom speaks (in a compositiony way, instead of a literal one) to the possible devilish/vampiric nature of the man (c.f. tons of the poster concepts’ forked tails and devil horns), without slapping me in the face with it.

    And although everyone now believes me insane for reading too much into this design, it truly seems to open itself up to that kind of interpretation, just like the film itself seems to begin by inviting the audience’s speculation about its central figure. So if it can do that for crazy people like me, but still look pleasing, legible, catchy, and fun to everyone at a glance, then your work is close to done. I’d say you’re most of the way there with this design.

    Now just a couple of questions and random, try-these-on-for-size-or-chuck-them-out-the-window comments/critiques:

    The cloud seems to be important for the film’s themes — right? — but its 3-dimensionality (in any of the designs, mind you) jars my eyes, in a cliparty kind of way. But if the cloud were to remain in there — and it seems to justify its own existence somewhat — then it could be altered or moved to balance the composition. I don’t think it should be in the head like it is now, as it seems very similar to many, many other designs, as many comments here seem to echo. One possibility: if “The Immortal Augustus Gladstone” were moved down to the poster’s horizontal midpoint (right where the concentric rings intersect), then the cloud could be slightly enlarged (and either blocked out in solid color, dithered as in newsprint, or as a “stain” or darkening of the other colors in a cloud shape) then put behind the title lettering as a backdrop, it would simultaneously provide excellent contrast for the title’s lettering, as well as reinforcing the idea of Augustus’ projected personality as “precipitating” when others interact with the show he is supplying (be that the film’s other characters as the audience, or us as the audience, or both).

    “A Film By Robyn Miller” should absolutely, absolutely be top billing. Moving it up would give it some space from the dense composition below, and because of the title relocation, I also think that the white space at the top could be entirely or mostly done away with. I only say “mostly” because maybe, just maybe, the top whitespace is symbolic of something, too? (One thing I’ve learned about Robyn Miller is that there’s a good chance I’m tripping over 2 or 3 hidden symbols for every 1 that I blithely and loudly point out. But if that be not so in this case, then I think the white space should go. 🙂

    That’s the main gist of my thoughts, which I couldn’t go to bed without putting down. I’m so excited for this movie and for the crew!

    And random fanboy postscript: I thought that the “Making of Myst” documentary on the original CD-ROM was one of the tightest, best-paced making-of movies, *ever*, and I am dead serious. I don’t even know if anyone on this project handled any part of the filming, editing, or production of it but I thought this’d be kind of funny and strange for me to share, to hopefully offset the pomposity writ above. At the age of about 11, I would actually put the Myst disc in just to watch it, sometimes multiple times in a sitting, and wishing that it were available as a full-screen, high-resolution file, and extended to about an hour long. (I hope that doesn’t make me too strange. Cyan were one of my early creative heroes! 😉

    All the best.

    • Robyn #
      November 10, 2013

      Thanks so much Joshua! I appreciate the thought you put into this! We think we’ve finally arrived at out end result. Believe it or not, it’s none of the above. Though we were inspired and directed by all of your answers. Thank you everyone who kindly commented! It means a lot!

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