In Feb 2011, I was commissioned to produce a full size, illustrated poster for a UK-made short film called 'Hawk'.
This series of images show you how the composition of the poster changed in the space of a couple of weeks.
1. The initial sketch
Working on a poster for a film which you haven't seen provides a series of problems. I had no idea who the main character was, how they all relate to each other or the tone of the movie itself. This first layout was based on one of the director's sketches.
2. Revised layout + colour tone
After the first couple of discussions I had with the director & producer, it was clear that new ideas would present themselves as we worked on the comp. The hawk needed to be more prominent so was moved from the top of the poster to the bottom. The 'epic shot' was added at this point too. The 'Antlered God' figure is more a presence in the movie that a character, so we quickly agreed to keep him in silhouette to add some mystery and swapped out the antlers seen in the movie for something more pointed & aggressive.
3. Revised character sizes + border
The film is set, & was filmed, in the mountains of Wales which is synonymous with slate production so the border took on a slate-like texture and became a lot more detailed. The pose of the Antlered God was changed to be more imposing and I started adding a few textures and background detail. Though the piece was being painted digitally, we wanted to try and achieve a traditionally painted feel also, through the use of canvas textures & visible brush strokes. These all came later on when I started working on the final poster.
4. Revised hawk
The producer noted that a hawk doesn't really look cool until you see it from a side angle. The curve of the wings, the focussed expression & the outstretched claws were all things we wanted to encapsulate. It was at this point that it really started to come together.
5. Minor adjustments
The changes were more subtle at this point but nonetheless important. We shifted the gaze of the hawk so that it didn't look like a giant hawk hovering in front of the little guy in the epic shot and also changed the position of its feet. Some slight adjustments to character positions and sizes of logos and we reached our final comp.
For more info on the poster & the movie, visit the 'Hawk - A Short Film'
group on Facebook or HawkTheMovie.com