Thursday, September 24, 2009

Searching For Elliott Smith

I have been very honored and privileged to work on a documentary for the past few years that is actually about one of my favorite musicians of all-time: Elliott Smith. During all of my three years at Art Center, I set aside extra time to (painstakingly) create hand drawn, frame-by-frame animation for several spots throughout the documentary. It took more than just a long time, but in the end I'd realized that the large amounts of caffeine and all-nighters were well worth the pain. I was given more than a ton of freedom from director/producer/editor Gil Reyes to create these spots, and now that the documentary has finally been completed, it awaits its moment in the spotlight. (It is set to have its world premiere at the CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival this October in NYC.)

Now that the film is complete, it's time to focus on marketing... I've been given the opportunity to create a poster or two for the film, so I thought I would post the first drafts of them. We are considering a guerrilla marketing campaign in addition to the usual marketing ideas as well, though it will mostly likely be based in and around Los Angeles. A website is also definitely in order, and will be arriving soon. (Yet another project I'm looking forward to!)

I am very, very excited about this film– it has been nothing but a five year long extraordinarily intense labor of love, especially (and mostly) on Gil and Tony Ayala (cinematographer and editor)'s behalf. I am so unbelievably honored to be a part of something that I hold near and dear to my heart, and hope that the world re-discovers Elliott Smith's genius... or discovers it for the first time.

First poster: this is a revision of Gil's original idea.

Second poster: This was my initial idea for the poster... the absense of Elliott from a familiar place that his fans associate him with. (Solutions! memorial wall/"Figure 8" album cover, c. 2006) I did not want a beautiful shot of this wall in keeping with the sort of lo-fi spirit that comprises a lot of Elliott's earlier recordings. I was asked to keep the type the same, but was free to change the imagery.

Third poster: still keeping the type– a hybrid that plays off of both Gil's original idea as well as mine. The Polaroids contain some of the participants in the film. (Clockwise, L-R from top left: Steve Hanft, Ross Harris, Mary Lou Lord, Larry Crane, Jennifer Chiba, Sean Croghan, Tony Lash, David McConnell, Gus Van Sant.)

I'm hoping to create an illustrative version of the poster as well sometime in the very near future (along with a few more others), but in the meantime, here goes nothing!


Darragh Duff said...

is there any way to get one of the posters from the movie?

if so would you please send me an email and let me know thank you

Anonymous said...

Love the 2nd poster with the wall but the first makes me a little sick. I don't feel like Chiba should appear as equal to Elliott on the poster or as his "leading lady" as she appears. It was far from a pretty "love story" and I think most of his fans and esp the people that knew him would feel the same way.

cringcring said...

Anonymous, do you feel that way because you think she killed him? And what do "most of the people that knew him" feel about her? Just curious.

Sammy Sundae said...

I can't wait to see the animation you did!! I love Elliott Smith! 2nd poster is my favorite :D congrats Jennifer!

docsthatrock said...

saw it at CMJ...thought your animations were pretty amazing..wish there had been a few more in the film too!

viva la rock said...

hi jennifer! wanted to send you an email about the film dist plans but can't find contact info. can you email me at thank you!