Guide Alien (BFI Film Classics)

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  2. BFI Film & Modern Classics
  3. Out-of-this-world cover designs for sci-fi Film Classics | BFI

From TV Sunday matinees through to late-night horror screenings, most films have burned their way into my subconscious on one level or another.

In the film an otherworldly phenomenon has plagued the inhabitants of the area throughout history. I liked the idea that these manifestations had become part of the local folklore and reference to them could be found in surrounding signs and symbols. I used the stained glass window idea as a way of recounting the events of the film as if it was a form of archaic historic record. The concentric circles were a nod to the original movie poster artwork.

This piece was created entirely digitally. I used this concept to try to fit all of the design elements into a series of radiating circles. I remember being shocked at an early age watching a film called The Green Slime Strangelove is an insane tale about the insanity of the cold war. At some tender age already I was appalled that these beings were represented in pinks and blues; cute and infantilised.

I wanted the piece to reflect the surface of the planet; something uneasy and undulating, with a feeling of tension.


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Compared to other animations of the time, Akira had so much more detail, not just in the storytelling but also in the animation itself. The movements and angles were more dynamic and the colours were so striking. With my design I really wanted to use these techniques to capture the feel of the film. To create the piece I sketched out my design in Photoshop and then used a number of different textures to create a more organic feel for the final piece.

I think my earliest film memory is watching Flash Gordon on a constant loop.

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I first selected all the elements from the movie that related to the emergence of the alien form of life. The first version of the sketch included a sequence of white shapes on a black background that led to a body of the alien. Outlines of a moon, an egg and a strange head emerged from the dark space. But for the final design, this was all reduced to the characteristic profile of an alien suspended over the horizon.

BFI Film & Modern Classics

The simple and dark image resembles a mysterious, floating ghost as well as an X-ray photograph of an organism subjected to scientific examination. I use the technique of painting with bright pigment on black paper and have been working and experimenting with this method for years. Even though I am able to foresee its possibilities and limits to some degree, the final effect is always surprising. Transparent and overlapping layers of ink form a complex pattern of soft outlines and suggest an extraterrestrial context.

With this, I aimed to portray the theme of order and control, which can dehumanise the world.

I sketched out the initial idea with pencil and then drew each section individually. I then scanned it into Photoshop, in which I added the colour and some hints of texture. I think it was going to see Beauty and the Beast in the cinema and being oddly attracted to the promiscuous duster. I am a collector of images and translate them into my own style using colour in an unusual way. I graduated from the Art Academy Arendonk, Belgium and found my own way of painting — my artworks are the result of hours of research and I then pick up my brushes.

The pieces are often swiftly painted in my favourite medium, oil paint, and always contain an element of surprise. Beautiful gothic cover designs for Film Classics. Back to the top. Teaching film, TV and media studies. Viewing theatre hire. Archive content sales and licensing. Stills sales. BFI Southbank purchases. Skip to main content. Search for mobiles. Main navigation for mobiles.

Out-of-this-world cover designs for sci-fi Film Classics | BFI

Out-of-this-world cover designs for sci-fi Film Classics Some of the best contemporary designers set to work to create covers for sci-fi special editions for nine titles in our BFI Film Classics book series. Latest from the BFI News, features and opinion on the world of film.

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