Project Title: Finding Mr. Reich
Director: Brandon Bacall
Industry: Film
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Date: 2O24

The following is a case study for a film poster I created for Finding Mr. Reich, Directed by Brandon Bacall.  

I thought I'd share a bit of the process work below for those fellow art and design nerds hungry for this stuff. You'll see- it's all a process...

1. The Film
The Director found my work through the Criterion Collection projects I've worked on with Art Director Eric Skillman. I ended up working on two projects for Brandon at the same time.

2. The Brief
Brandon and I shared a number of conversations over the life of the project. As a new director, he hadn't commissioned illustration for poster art before and I did my best to communicate the process to him, while he communicated what he was looking for from me. 

Finding Mr. Reich is a romantic comedy with a dark spin with a touch of JoJo Rabbit. 
It is revealed by a psychic that the protagonist who is going to meet his Jewish girlfriend's parents was Adolph Hitler in a past life. 

3. Research
The film was already shot and edited and I received it prior to post-production on video and sound. I watched the film through multiple time, capturing screen shots and drawings of moments that interested me and that seemed important to the overall story. Of note, it's always easier to work from something than nothing. The creative process for films that have already been shot is completely different than the blue sky ideation that happens when a film is still in script stage. 
4. Ideation: Ideas through unseen connections 
A number of ideas came to the forefront. What was clear was the need to bring in multiple figures, the protagonist, his girlfriend and the psychic. Also of interest were the crystal ball, German propaganda posters, color, palm reading, Hitler's mustache and the German SS lightning bolts.

In this stage, you are often trying to find unseen connections between elements referenced in the storytelling.
5. Design
In this stage, you are looking to clearly state your visual solutions to the problem. Color, composition and juxtaposition of elements become integral in designing the final ideas. 

Sketch 9 was chosen. 
6. Iterations
Further refinement with client feedback of sketch 9 from above. 
7. Reference
Gathering some reference from the film and shooting my own photography to capture the fight light setting an hands. All of it was put together through Photoshop.
8. Final Drawing
I still do all of my final drawings in pencil. I use Blackwing 602 pencils on cold press Strathmore 500 series illustration board. 
9. Final Artwork
The final version of the poster continued to evolve as we found the lightning bolt to be too explicit. I was asked to go revisit the female's pose and in the process, I played with the hierarchy and drawing in the male lead's likeness. 

A few version in slightly different palettes were also explored. I painted the final drawing in warm monochromatic tones much like the off-white you see in the finals. The rest of the painting was done in Photoshop. I went back and redrew the final faces on tracking paper and collaged them in digitally. 
10. Typography
The Director and I had a number of discussions about the final type. I researched typography from Nazi Germany and ultimately paired the font you see here with Futura- a widely used font from that era. 
11. Check out the Film:
You can find out more about Finding Mr. Reich on IMDB here
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