Daniel Norris is a creative freelance graphic designer with eight years experience in and around London agencies. Daniel created these amazing and single-color print-like movie poster redesigns. It’s fantastic how he turned iconic scenes into graphic icons for the posters.
For more information about him, you can visit his Flickr page
You might never have wondered what it would be like if Clint Eastwood had played Wolverine or Leonard Nimoy got the part of John McClane in Die Hard. I know I haven’t. But nevermind, it’s already been done and the results are intriguingly good. This is not advertising…
William Shatner and Natalie Wood join the the Blue Man Group for Stults’s new take on Avatar.
Illustrator Sean Hartter, 38, has been reimagining classic film posters but with retro casts in them for the past three years. His Alternate Universe Movie Poster project encourages other artists to come up with their own designs, and the idea has spread around the globe. Many of them are arty reinterpretations of a film’s theme, while others are clever pastiches of old styles of movie poster.
Among them are works by New York illustrator and designer Peter Stults, 29, who has also cast Al Pacino as Wolverine, along with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and Jack Lemmon in The Hangover. Other posters include Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte in Pulp Fiction and Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop and David Bowie in The Big Lebowsky.
Maybe even cooler than the originals.. Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte in Stults’s Pulp Fiction
Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Peter Stults’s alternative movie poster for The Hangover
Stults even makes the posters look old by Photoshopping fold marks and signs of ageing on to them. In the alternative movie world Jean Luc Godard has directed Trainspotting with Terence Stamp and Michael Caine in it, and Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne are the stars of Kill Bill.
Stults enlists a 1960s British cast for Danny Boyle’s seminal 1996 masterpiece Trainspotting
Hartter, from Massachusetts, says dozens of similar sites have sprung up around the world, many doing alternative posters of yet to be released films. At the moment Christopher Nolan’s upcoming third Batmanfilm is occupying a lot of designers minds, with predictive poster versions of it popping up across the web. Hartter says: “I draw my inspiration from exploitation posters from the 60s and 70s, and the almost mythic stories of movies that could have been. Things like Sylvester Stallone almost playing Han Solo in the original Star Wars, or David Lynch being courted to direct Return Of The Jedi. I guess what I’m trying to impart is the sense that you might see these posters in the window of a sleazy urban movie theater, sun bleached and neglected, brittle from age. But instead of starring Z list actors and concepts no one has heard of, they are adaptations of comic book story arcs, blockbuster films that never became blockbusters, fantasy novels that are, in reality, impossible to actualise into films. I’ve always been fascinated by foreign versions of iconic film posters in the US, and alternate posters that were never used or were only used in a limited fashion. I’m also a huge fan of the pastiche photo manipulations of Terry Gilliam. I grew up watching Monty Python and the way Gilliam utilised photographs to create these bizarre worlds made a massive impression on me. My style is a little wonky but I really try to adhere to rules I’ve learned studying the way they assembled posters in the heyday of exploitation and grindhouse films. I’ve designed a few hundred posters for events and websites, or just for my own satisfaction.”
Ultra modern Inception gets a 1950s remake from Stults
Sal Mineo and Shirley MacLaine are stars of Hartter’s reimagined 2008 monster epic Cloverfield
Hartter has made friends with a lot of artists and admirers due to the distribution of his work across the web and the world.
He adds: “Some people don’t like my work and that’s fine. A bigger percentage do like it and respond to the tongue in cheek attitude that is prevalent. I try and impart a little bit of humor and a lot of nostalgia. I’m very serious about the way I create the posters but at the same time they are a parody, and definitely the antithesis of modern poster design. I use Photoshop too, but I tend to use it as if I’m cutting out paper or photographs and assembling them. I hand draw things too but approach this method in the same fashion.”
Stults, who has been mocking up modern film posters as a hobby with pals for about 10 years, was shown Hartter’s site by a friend and began doing his own alternate movie designs and sometimes adapting Hartter’s existing posters.
He said: “While studying film & digital media at UC Santa Cruz and farting around on photoshop in my bedroom, I began dabbling with the idea of “made up” movie posters. Back in 2002 to 2004 my friends and I toyed around with silly ideas; taking song titles and using those as stepping stones or someone would say ‘I want to see this actor and that actor in the same film’ or we would do the ‘It’s Mulholland Drive meetsJumanji’ film summarising approach to help create a movie concept. A while back a friend of mine forwarded me a site where an artist had made posters of films that, title wise, we were familiar with, but there was a slight difference; they were remade as if they belonged to a different era or a different genre. The name of the movie was there, but the actors were different, the style was different, and I loved the concept. So I went forward with this theme; what if movies we were all familiar with were made in a different slice of time? Who would be in it? Who would direct it?”
Stults was a typical comic book obsessed teenager who grew up in Santa Cruz, California, drawing his own superheroes.
He said: “The ‘what if’ idea Sean created is an inspiring tool. The creativity is very lively right now: Sean’s alternate universe, the fake Criterion Collection covers, posters for movies that exist in fictional books, even the mash-up trailers on youtube. I’ve always had a passion for film. I worked at a Hollywood Video for a while and every night I was taking home movies to watch. Movies of today and yesterday I have an appreciation for. The look and feel of the movie posters of previous decades have such a unique art to them. It’s a style I enjoy playing around with. When it comes to making the posters and contemplating ideas, I sort of think of movies I’ve recently seen or simply enjoy and then just wander in the ‘what if’ world. Ricky Nelson in Donnie Darko, Monty Python’s Shaun of the Dead, Robert Redford & Dustin Hoffman in Fight Club. There’s also some film history research involved too. Who was a leading actor at a certain time, what names were popular in terms of directors, and, of course there’s also the absurd.”
Lenny Bruce returns in Hartter’s version of Watchmen
This is not advertising…
A ship, a man, a woman. Ship sinks. Man dead. Woman alive. Watch Hollywood’s legendary blockbuster “Titanic” in 30 seconds. Short and fun. Just like the VW Fox.
Vacant hotel. Lonesome family, sick father. Psychic power. Bloody ending. Watch Hollywood’s legendary blockbuster “Shining” in 30 seconds. Short and fun. Just like the VW Fox.
A great white shark. Lots of dead people. A bunch of fearless men. A dead shark. Watch Hollywood’s legendary blockbuster “Jaws” in 30 seconds. Short and fun. Just like the VW Fox.
An obsessed girl. A priest. An expulsion. A dead priest. Watch Hollywood’s legendary blockbuster “The Exorcist” in 30 seconds. Short and fun. Just like the VW Fox.
A space ship. An alien. A nightmare. One survivor.
Watch Hollywood’s legendary blockbuster “Alien” in 30 seconds. Short and fun. Just like the VW Fox.
Question: What do one German mini-car, six Hollywood blockbusters and a fast-talking cast of cartoon bunnies have in common? Answer: They all figured prominently in a wildly original and successful TV advertising campaign that last year earned a Gold World Medal in the International Awards Group’s 2006 Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness (AME) Awards.
The mini-car in question is the Volkswagen Fox, a sporty compact car aimed at youthful, first-time car buyers. The ad campaign, created for Volkswagen AG by DDB Düsseldorf and built around the tagline “Short but Fun,” featured 30-second, animated versions of six international film hits, including Titanic, Jaws and Pulp Fiction. And the bunnies? They took the place of the films’ human characters, adding an element of the outrageously hip to the spots that captivated German audiences during the campaign’s brief, four-day run.
The AME Awards committee, comprised of a multi-cultural and international cross-section of top marketing executives, recognizes integrated marketing campaigns that are fresh, creative and above all, successful. Campaigns that demonstrate innovative problem solving, and that achieve specific business goals using well-crafted concepts, inspired marketing strategies and an effective combination of traditional and/or alternative media tactics.
Volkswagen’s “Short but Fun” campaign met all these criteria, achieving extraordinary, measurable results for the German car manufacturer that exceeded its campaign objectives and proved it could capture an audience of very critical media users on a very tight production and media budget.
A Clear Objective
Volkswagen introduced the Fox in the spring of 2005 into the price-driven mini-car segment. Despite Volkswagen’s premium image and the Fox being slightly higher priced than the competition, it soon became the market leader.
The launch campaign emphasized the idea that in opting for economy, buyers would not have to compromise quality and reliability. This notion appealed to buyers at all levels, however the next phase of communication would need to sharpen the Fox’s profile among its main target audience: youthful, first time car buyers between the ages of 18-25.
A Moving Target Audience
While highly desirable, this group is the hardest to reach through traditional advertising methods. They have grown up being bombarded by messaging from multiple communication channels and have a very short attention span. If content does not grab them immediately, they turn elsewhere. DDB faced a formidable challenge in coming up with a strategy to capture their attention and motivate them to action.
Inspired Creative Strategy
“We developed a very creative positioning for the VW Fox: short but fun,” said DDB’s Luis Ramirez. That’s the message we wanted to communicate: a small car that is fun to drive and does not cost a fortune. The ideal car for young people.”
The ‘Short but fun” positioning also was developed to differentiate the Fox from its competitors’ cliché lifestyle advertising, which implies that one need only drive a certain car to be more active, attractive and popular. Rather, the ‘Short but fun” messaging conveyed that driving a Fox provides a concentrated, intense form of fun that doesn’t depend on others’ approval; the type of enjoyment that young, upwardly mobile people seek.
In order to illustrate this concept, the agency teamed with artist Jennifer Shiman, whose 30-second, animated versions of cinema classics – starring floppy-eared versions of Hollywood’s A-list – were sure to stop young, media-savvy consumers in their tracks.
“To get this target group excited about the Fox, we created a funny communication platform: http://www.shortbutfun.com,” said Ramirez. “There, site visitors could find a variety of short and fun content, including short films. So we were looking for endlessly long films, told in a very short time. When we discovered the movies of Jennifer Shiman on the Internet, we realized that they perfectly matched our positioning and had to part of our platform. We contacted her and discussed a potential cooperation. She was very excited to work with us. We had to animate and cut the films created by Jennifer so that they matched with the already shot Fox ending. The result: six crazy films, loved by everybody.”
An interesting note: though the commercials appeared only in Germany, they were run in English, in order to speak pointedly to the young target audience.
Innovative Media Strategy
In order to keep media costs down, DDB decided to air the commercials for only four days and make the Internet the main communication channel. This was a risky decision, however the concepts and creative were so strong that DDB felt that viewers would flock to the Fox’s microsite to see more. To ensure that the campaign reached the maximum number of desired audience members, the agency chose a very targeted media strategy, running the commercials on music channels such as MTV, and choosing weekend spots during entertainment shows rather than mid-week spots between shows.
Once on the “Short but fun” web site, viewers could watch all the commercials as movie streams. In order to engage the viewers further, they were asked to rate each commercial. In addition, a banner ad with a link to the Fox product web page was prominently positioned on the home page so that users could learn more about the Fox.
The primary, direct communication objective of the “Short but fun” campaign was to generate 20,000 visits to the shortbutfun.com homepage. Within only four days, over 31,000 visits were counted, exceeding the original goal by 56 percent.
The agency also projected the campaign would generate 2,000 email addresses and increase traffic to the Fox product web page by 10 percent. After four days, over 8,000 users provided their addresses in order to receive more information, and the number of visitors to the web page increased by 37 percent.
Further, qualitative research indicated high recall and positive reactions among viewers, demonstrating that the campaign did indeed achieve its objective of raising the Fox’s profile among young, first time car buyers.
Advertising Agency: DDB Dusseldorf
Creative Director: Jennifer Shinan/Eric Schoeffler
Copywriter: Tim Jacobs
Art Director: Jennifer Shiman/Christian Brenner
Production Company: Angry Alien Productions, Los Angeles
Director: Jennifer Shinan