Last night us Brits got all razzed up about the BAFTAs, the annual UK precursor to the Oscars hosted by bona fide national treasure Stephen Fry which always exhibits a charming bias to homegrown films. This year Human After All worked with Malika Favre, one of our favourite illustrators, to create the poster for the event and five different covers for the brochure representing the Best Film nominees (Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game).
“I approached the poster as a stand-alone illustration to start with, keeping in mind that the brochure illustrations have to be the continuity of that main image.” Malika told us. “The challenge was to create a very classic and slightly retro glamour atmosphere while creating a modern and edgy poster.
“This year is all about ‘The Big Reveal’ and what happens in the shadows as much as what comes into the light, so we had to find a visual solution to tell a story of the event as well as the heritage with as few lines as possible. We also wanted the image to retain several narrative layers – a bold and striking poster from afar as well as a hidden story when looking up close. I was highly influenced by film noir and old Hollywood photographs for this project; the challenge of modernising those iconic film moments was very exciting.”
Malika and the Human After All team were keen to maintain aesthetic cohesion when it came to the brochure covers but of course it was quite late in the day when they discovered which films had actually been nominated. As she often does, Malika started out laying down some ground rules for herself – “each image will need to show a source of light which will vary depending on the context of the film and each image will need to tell the story of the film by using the shadows.”
Malika says: “Like the poster itself I wanted people to be able to look at the various images without even seeing that shadow so there was a bit of a magical moment when the viewer discovered the trick. Some were easier than others of course but hopefully we manage to get the essence of each of the films and tell a story.”
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