Taking poster designing to another level
Sreejith N, the creative design head of Oldmonks, the go-to design firm for many emerging and established Malayalam filmmakers, talks about their working method
In an age where digital technology has taken over nearly all aspects of filmmaking and promotions, a firm called Oldmonks is slowly bringing back an interest in movie posters, some of which are designed by hand. Each poster is distinct from the other and conveys a lot with so little.
Recently, the first look poster designed by the team for Lijo Jose Pellissery's next film, Jallikettu, impressed many, including those who are not much into cinema. Also striking were the new posters of Prasobh Vijayan's Lilli, which is scheduled for a September release. Cinema Express got in touch with Sreejith N, the creative design head of Oldmonks, to learn about the team's working method.
Oldmonks has designed the posters for all of Lijo's films except the first. "In the past we have used calligraphy for the poster of Amen and digital effects for Double Barrel, but when it came to Jallikettu, we thought of doing something different. Given the nature of the story (by novelist S Hareesh), we decided to design the poster by hand. We used actual mud along with a little red paint to show a mix of mud and blood. R Mahesh is the artist who did it."
Oldmonks has become the go-to design firm for many emerging and established Malayalam filmmakers. Sreejith says, "Be it Lijo Jose Pellisserry, Amal Neerad or Rajeev Ravi, they narrate the story or screenplay of the project they are going to do next because we have already become part of their team. There is already a great rapport established between us."
So where does a poster idea first originate? "It all depends on the nature of the project a filmmaker is working on", says Sreejith. "Sometimes we are asked to do a first look poster based on the things they tell us, sometimes we wait for them to complete filming so that we can see the final cut to figure out how to go about the poster designs. Also, we'll have to keep in mind the audience that particular film is targeting."
In the case of Lilli, Sreejith knew the film's producer CV Sarathi, and, as per his instructions, decided to come up with something bold, given the fact that the film was made on a small budget. "We designed some appealing posters that would give the film maximum exposure. As it was awarded an 'A' certificate, we added a 'Censored with Clean A' to it. The reason it got an 'A' was the violence and our intention was to bring this film to the notice of the kind of audience it's meant for."
Sreejith says they use all sorts of tools at their disposal to design these posters. "We also use things that are lying around us. For the first look of Ustad Hotel, we used a tyre. We have got nothing against doing things digitally--it has made things a lot easier for us--but Photoshop is not the only tool we rely on. We also use charcoal, watercolour or mud (as in the case of Jallikettu)."