Tuesday, 15 October 2013

BLOG SPOT #17: Olly Moss

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Welcome to this month's Blog Spot, the section of the blog which I devote to other reviewers or creative artists I admire. Apologies that this month's edition is a little late: as I said in my last WhatCulture! post, I've been busy with both the Metropolis screening in Exeter and A Man For All Seasons over in Tiverton.

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This month we're taking a break from the video reviewers of That Guy With The Glasses and Chez Apocalpyse and turning our attention to fine art. In this age of digital marketing, it's no longer the case that a good poster will make or break your film. But there is still great artistry and creativity that goes into creating their unique designs - and there are few better out there right now than Olly Moss.
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I first came across Moss' designs through an animated tribute to the Evil Dead series, which I posted up here back in June last year. The tribute was inspired by Moss' poster for The Evil Dead (below), whose striking design captured my attention. I loved how bespoke the artwork was, how it captured all the details about the films that I recognised as a fan, and yet still felt like an original work. I subsequently drawled through his official site, taking in every image of his that I could find.
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There are many things that I love about Moss' designs. The colour schemes are ravishing: the reds feel deep and passionate, the blues cool and icy, and the blacks inky and forbidding. He is a master at manipulating easily recognisable shapes, creating double images or illusions which force you to keep looking at them, such as the poster below for An American Werewolf in London. There is immense attention to detail in the composition and colours, giving the impression that he taken hours to lay out every aspect by hand. And he has a dry but playful sense of humour, as seen from this poster for Four Lions here.
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Most of all, Moss' work, like so many of those I've promoted here, is a challenge to our culture of standardisation and formulas for doing everything. So many modern film posters are constructed on the basis of artists' contracts or tried-and-tested marketing formulas: think of all those rom-coms with Matthew McConaughey leaning on someone. Ultimately these formulas make the individual films less distinctive, and therefore the marketing fails to do its job. Moss treats every film or product he designs for as a totally unique product, deserving of the very best quality. I daresay the likes of John Landis or Sam Raimi would have killed to have him on board when their films first came out, and contemporary directors would be stupid not to hire him.
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You can see all of Moss' great work at OllyMoss.com, along with higher resolution images of all those I've included here. You can also follow him on Twitter @ollymoss, or like his Facebook page here. Join me next month for another Blog Spot - which will hopefully be on time.

Daniel

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