Earlier this year, I had the good fortune of teaming up with the filmmakers behind RAIDERS!, the new documentary centering on the greatest fan film ever made. To get ready for their world premiere at SXSW 2015, the directors, Tim & Jeremy wanted key art that was not only visually striking, but also created a brand new image for their film. Distancing them from the art of the original Indiana series as well as the fan film "making of" book by Alan Eisenstock was key.
"Throw me idol, I'll throw you the whip!" That memorable line from the original film got me thinking, it's almost impossible to talk about RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK without conjuring up images of Indy's whip, his trusty hat, jacket as well as other countless iconic props. While that was the perfect place to start, it was also crucial to capture both the length and sense of adventure of Chris & Eric’s epic fan film journey. Pulling some inspiration from "Things Organized Neatly," I proposed using the collection of props to create a collage forming one larger, iconic object. After some discussion about what that object should be, we settled on one of the key tools Chris and Eric used to create their shot-for-shot remake; an old, 80s-style VHS camera. I sketched something out and we were on our way.
The first (and most important) step in the process was to photographing the large collection of props. With the assistance of the the filmmakers, we collected key on and off-camera props from making the fan film and work officially kicked off with a photography session, capturing overhead shots of over 30 individual assets. Instead of creating the collage live, we decided to shoot each prop one at a time, which allowed for more control over the final arrangement.
For the title treatment, I wanted to add to the overall feeling of the homemade craftsmanship the film so brilliantly evokes, so I hand-painted a sign painter style font that tipped it's hat slightly to the retro, action font of the original Indy posters and became the perfect compliment to the rest of the artwork.
Once the centerpiece image and title treatment were in place, the overall color and tone were the final pieces to the puzzle. Using a variety of oranges, reds and browns I created a warm color palette that helped link the fan film to the original blockbuster.