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July 28, 2011

‘Cowboys & Aliens’ gets Mondo poster treatment

Posted in: Movies

We recently brought you a pretty cool feature about the energized scene of pop-culture poster art and one of the leading names in that scene, Mondo, will release a new series of limited-edition “Cowboys & Aliens” posters on Friday (keep an eye on Mondo’s Twitter account for details). The series was curated by “Cowboys” director Jon Favreau — he personally picked the artists from the Mondo roster — and the filmmaker is a big fan of the Mondo shop after working with them on the “Iron Man” franchise as well as the memorable Janee Meadows one-sheet for “Cowboys” that became a viral sensation in June.

The series includes work by Daniel DangerTom Whalen and Florian Bertmer and we got some comments from each of them about their approach to creating singular images based on a new popcorn universe. (Click on the “Captions On” option in photo gallery to match the artist with their work.) You’ll also find video below of Danger at work — and don’t think it wasn’t fun to type that phrase.

Danger: “The fun of doing these special artist posters for movies is finding a middle ground between my own aesthetics (themes I play with and my own personal style) and the often very different aesthetics of the movie itself. You have to hunt through the film and find where your paths cross and explore that connection. In this case, I’ve been playing with a reoccurring motif of ghosts and spirits floating above old houses for years, so when I saw the scenes where citizens of the town are yanked into the air by the alien cables, I knew I could use that narrative element to create an image that’s specific and iconic to the movie, but also feels like a piece I would have created myself. I didn’t want the spacecraft to be terribly prominent, so I used just glimpses of lights and beams to show their presence…but between that and the cables, it’s just enough to show that whats going on here is out of place in a traditional western.”

Whalen: “The seed for this poster was planted while reading an interview with Jon Favreau during the movie’s production. I was excited when I heard that he intended it to play as a straight western… that just happened to have aliens in it. When I received the assignment to design a poster for the film, I remembered that intent and wanted to channel some of the incredible spaghetti western poster design that graced movie theaters in the 1960s. Much like the tone of the film itself, I wanted my design to read as a western poster first and let the alien references throughout slowly reveal it to be something much more.”

Bertmer, whose poster will be unveiled Friday: “When I started to work on this project, the first thing I was certain of was that I wanted it to have a strong vintage aesthetic. I wanted to combine the western and sci-fi elements of the movie in a believable way, but at the same time didn’t want the sci-fi elements to be too obvious to the viewer at first glance. If you took a look at the ornament from afar, you probably wouldn’t realize it is made out of alien tech and bullets — it looks like a classic antique ornament. The main image itself is extremely dark, finding the right composition was quite hard because I couldn’t show too much of the alien, but after a few back and forths with Favreau himself, we finally found the right balance. I love the idea of Daniel Craig stepping into the belly of the beast while standing his ground in a classic gunslinger pose. You can’t beat that.”

– Geoff Boucher

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