02 April 2013

Blow Out

These are a couple of unused cover concepts for The Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma's Blow Out. The brief at the time was to bring the technology of the story somehow on to the cover design. John Travolta plays a movie soundman who's an ear-witness to a murder. His tools of the trade are a microphone and a reel-to-reel recorder. There's a terrific shot of the tire going pop and it seemed a natural to me to fuse it with an image of a tape reel. When the Travolta character retreats to his sound studio to piece together the crime he attempts to synchronize it with a moving image --thus the perforated audio tape with the X that marks the spot. This was one of those titles where the type was freighted with specific requirements. The stars names have to appear above the title in the same size and color as the film title. It's a tricky proposition when their names are as long as they are and the film title is as short as it is. Eric Skillman came up with the cover that was ultimately used. He cleverly laid type over space and objects in the frame which helped to direct the eye and let the title be readily seen.