- December 30th, 2011
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I mentioned in my earlier blog, the Modus Operandi for creating a specific image that will appear in my movie trailer blog follows a certain process. That includes previewing rough drafts of the image, suggestions for changes, stamp of approval on a final rough draft, then the final completed image.
I’d like to walk you through that process for one image here.
When working with the artist, David Greene, I first emailed him a list of descriptions – one for each image – and then I sat down with him and verbally clarified what I’d like to see for the image we were currently working on. When necessary I even drew very rudimentary stick figures for him, but mostly he was keen enough to understand right away what I was looking for.
After the first image he made for me, I had a good idea how fast (and talented) he was at making the rough drafts and how he could adjust on the fly. That filled me with enough confidence to be fairly demanding when making suggestions for changes.
For the most recent image we were working on I sent him the written description: “Image1 (Black and White, pencil/charcoal): Patrick is on his knees before a burning Jerusalem circa 1099 AD. He is wearing chainmail with a white surcoat over it. The surcoat is smeared with soot and blood. It also has a red cross emblazoned on the chest (classic ‘Crusader’ style). The cross should be bright red and the only color in the image. Patrick has a ‘What have I done?’ look on his face and his arms hang limply at his sides. A Norman style helmet (conical cap with nose card, a la ‘Bayeaux Tapestry’) rests up-ended on the ground near his knees as if he just took it off, set it down, and it is in the process of rolling away.”
After a brief discussion, David took the idea and ran with it. Within a couple of days he had these rough drafts for me:
Both were great starts, but I did not like the angle. I did not want to see a full frontal image. I suggested that I’d like to see the character more at an angle. Soon David had this image to show me:
I liked it much better, but now I was concerned about the character covering his face. I wanted a viewer to see the pain on the character’s face, imparting the significance of the moment. Again David adjusted and came up with this:
Closer. I suggested a compromise between the last two images – the previous image’s angle, plus the exposed face. Also, I made the final suggestions of having the character looking skyward. David excitedly accepted the suggestions and in a few days I gave the stamp of approval after seeing this:
My final input was to point out that I envisioned the character having an appearance similar to that of Brandon Lee, the actor and son of Bruce Lee who tragically died while filming The Crow. I even emailed links of Google images of Brandon. That turned out to be unnecessary, as David was already familiar with, and a fan of, the actor.
After all this back-and-forth, all the nit-picking on my part, and the tweaking. David came up with this final awesome image:
My friends and colleagues were just as astounded as I was (though, due to technical difficulties, the image here is blurry and does not do the final image justice). I received a print out of the image just in time for a book signing where I put it prominently on display. I’m fairly certain it went a long way towards selling more books than I normally would have. Customers are much more willing to buy a product when they have a clearer image of what the product has to offer – in this case a clear image of what transpires in the pages of Echoes of Avalon.
Which brings up an interesting point: Even after these images have been used in a movie trailer, they still will be quite effective by themselves as promotional tools for all sorts of occasions for a long time to come. Money well spent.
These images, and future ones, can be found on the Echoes of Avalon Facebook page. Check them out here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.247839491948866.60569.196323337100482&type=3