I have been doing concert posters since 2003 and I have always wanted to be able to do some kind of movie poster. I was pretty excited when I was asked to do a poster for Maximum Overdrive. I am a huge Stephen King fan so making a poster for one of his strangest, most cringe worthy endeavors was something that I just couldn't pass up.
My music posters were often influenced by the simple style seen on mid-century Polish and South American film posters. Simplicity is something that I work very hard towards on nearly everything I do. This piece however, I wanted to try something different. I wanted to try for a more typically American movie poster feel. Tyler Stout has been working this way for years and his work clearly inspired my approach to this piece.
I started this process by first getting hit by a Freightliner. I finished filling out the police report as my car was loaded onto a tow truck and pulled away. I walked back to my house feeling not altogether well or well connected. It was clearly a day to take it easy. When I returned home I sat in front of the TV to re-watch Maximum Overdrive. I took notes. Emilio Estevez actually has to pump gas for what seems like twenty minutes of the movie, do you remember this? He is overcome by exhaustion after what appears to be three hours of this hard work. This actually happens. I digress. I laughed and laughed and laughed until the movie was over. AC/DC was there and a waitress shrieking; "we MADE you!" I understood how a semi truck with engine roaring and horn blaring could sneak up on a body. I may have had a slight concussion.
I moved to my computer. I re-watched the entire film at 2x the speed, taking screen-shots. I sorted through the 167 shots that I took, culling the useless. I started drawing. The characters were first, each rendered individually. Next was the central title, the pine tree air freshener that swung ominously from the rear-view mirror in so many of the scenes of hilarious carnage. I started placing the characters around the title, merging them together. Some of the pieces didn't fit quite right so I left them off. I worked through the day. I went to dinner I think at some point. I saw a dead bird in an underground parking garage and puzzled at how it got there. I worked some more. Once the key line illustration was done a few days later. I started on the color layers.
This part of the process is only interesting to me so I won't go too far into it. I will say I was inspired to use red because of the blood and green because of the eerie green space cloud around earth depicted in the film. These are the same reasons why we see so much red and green at Christmas time. Gray was for metal and concrete and dark blue is the color black depicted in movies from the eighties.
As I write this, the capable hands of D&L Screen-printing in Seattle are printing the posters. I am very much looking forward to seeing the final piece. I hope you folks reading this like it.