Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Royal Treatment

In the early 1990s Cantonese comedian Stephen Chow burst to super stardom in Hong Kong. His films often outgrossed even Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat movies at home. In fact, the top five highest grossing HK films of 1992 were all Stephen Chow films. (Hey dude, howzabout leave something for the rest of us!) It is from that very furtile period that these two films arose. Well, it's more like one 3 hour film chopped into two 90 minutes halves. With bottom-denominator Wong Jing at the helm, you know what to expect and yep, it delivers. Lots of nipple twisting. Philistines rejoice. 

For the outer packaging of the Blu-ray collection of both ROYAL TRAMP films, I briefly considered going with a super-deformed big-head caricatured cartoony style synominous with Hong Kong action-comedies of the time. But although that goes over well with HK audiences, I think my client's European audiences associate that more with straight comedies, and although this film is quite silly, I think the bigger draw to this market is the over-the-top martial arts action and not the Cantonese wordplay Chow is known for. So instead I played up the bright colors, the large recognizable cast, the fanciful costumes and of course Chow's goofiness... all wrapped in an ornate, slightly formal, Chinese framework.  

October is coming and that when the spooks come out. Next time.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

A New Revelation


Many have long lamented the dearth of original ideas coming from Hollywood, and rightfully so. Even the recent Oscars had to look to an independently produced film, EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE AT ALL ONCE, to give it's highest awards to.) So perhaps audiences seeking something fresh, just haven't been looking in the right place.

THE FP is nothing if not an original idea. The brainchild of it's monocular writer/director/star Jason Trost, the film (actually there's so far four films in the saga) is an irreverent dystopian science-fiction action comedy centered around two gangs who battle for control of the titular Frazier Park by, get this, competing in a video game called Beat Beat Revelation (think Dance Dance Revolution with added death by eletrocution for the loser and you aren't far off).

I was happy to be requested personally by the director to create the outer packaging design for the Blu-ray collection of the film series. The film's colorful characters and quirky visual effects provided ready-made inspiration for my cover design. It was just a matter of fitting the disparate elements together into something cohesive while still representing the somewhat chaotic nature of the dream-like universe of the films. 

This is one of those cinematic experiences where afterward you mentally question what you remember seeing, because it's just so fancifully preposterous. But if you can open yourself up to something different and just go with the new flow, it's a rewarding venture. Four rewarding ventures.


Time to Chow down with Stephen.
Next time.