03 January 2021

Poster: King Kong

 I love the original King Kong, it was my Aunt Helen's favourite movie. She saw it many times when it was released. The looks of the creatures and the jungle scenes are just amazing and Kong is one of the few effects that really reads as a real character even today. 

This went through something like 30 iterations before I stopped changing things. Should Fay Ray be on the top of the Empire State? Should I draw the planes coming for Kong? At first it was to be just a long shot of the Empire State with kong seen tiny at the top and the planes arriving.  Finally after going though the film a few times I saw some interesting shots I had not seen used before and decided a mostly silhouetted Kong hanging off the building inspired by the screenshots and Willis O'Brian's preproduction drawings with an art deco design inspired by the opening credits might be best. 

The logo was interesting. It looks normal enough watching the film but if you start to recreate it it's sort of Escher-like in its construction. The letters looked carved but actually could never exist in the real world. I drew a simplified version of the tower and kept Kong mostly black with white highlights and some subtle dark greys to fill in details around his face. I looked at how the stop motion puppet was constructed to draw the feet and hands. 

There were a bunch of RKO logos in the 30s and I picked one that looked the most interesting with the other deco details. I added grain to the background elements so it would have that airbrushed from the period but excluded Kong and the titles so they would be super clear and stand out more. All things considered I am happy with this as it looks like what I was going for and combined my drawing and design skills in equal measure. I think so, anyway. I struggled with where to to put the title as it was on the bottom and small for most of the process and I did not want to cover his upper hand but it fits more on the top and larger and gives it more a feel of a poster from the time the film was released. 

A good start for 2021!


T' said...

I like this one a lot! The grain makes it feel so much like an old movie. That RKO logo is prime! The Kong logo is great, too. The ONLY thing that bothers me is that empty space in the upper right. Maybe just one biplane? I know, that SOUNDS easy but isn't at all. Otherwise, a nice balance of tones and textures. Nice!

Behemoth media said...

I don't think I'll fill that space becuase I think it will distract from Kong but I noticed that space is also on the creature from the black lagoon I did before this one and Nosferatu... so you might have pointed out something is going in my head about upper right corners that might need some thinking about! Maybe I will draw a biplane and see what it looks like. One ideas to put a large plane coming out of the space into the foreground but I was too big a fan of white space to do it!