Graham Humphreys has produced this very exciting piece of work exclusively for WoTD, featuring all of our guests for 2017….including our final very special guest announcement!
“As a fan of horror films it’s always a joy to receive a commission that incorporates some of the greatest entries into the genre. However, as with all jobs, there are always issues to resolve….
It’s always problematical to incorporate a number of portraits into one cohesive image without it becoming a mess of mug shots. My approach is always to create a hierarchy, where one head becomes the pivot for the others, building a ‘family tree’. In addition, in order to escape facial uniformity, I try to assemble a variety of expressions to create visual interest and suggest interaction and a background narrative, just like an actual film poster.
In this instance I felt it was important to use a central image that was not necessarily connected to the individual portraits, but would become a focal emblem that added an extra dimension. For some of us (of a certain age!), our first experience of Romero’s work was probably on VHS in the 1980s. My idea was to have a zombie viewer, literally digesting the content. The TV set and VHS tape are from that era, VHS now being as dead as the zombie! (my ‘zombie’ is a work colleage, photographed in this pose with a cardboard box as a stand-in for the TV set).
During the process of designing the poster only eight guests had been confirmed. The late addition of Tom Savini, threw a small spanner into the works! My original concept incorporated the word ‘Weekend’ on the TV screen, distressed by static, like a final broadcast. However, this was the only space I could add the ninth portrait. So where the VHS label was going to display ‘Of The’ (between the ‘Weekend’ on the screen, and ‘Dead’ of the pooled blood) it had to be repurposed.
In order to step away from the obvious ‘whiteness’ of the actor ensemble, I decided to use the blue palette in order to blur the racial uniformity. It’s a simple solution I often use in my work.
Ultimately, I hoped to create an exciting poster that represented the genre as well as portraying the guests.
In many ways it pays homage to the era of VHS and the endangered tradition of painted posters for horror films. There’s still some life in the old corpse yet!” – Graham Humpreys