Posted: Saturday, May 07, 2016
I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a huge Screen Junkies fan. One day we were watching one of their programs, Movie Fights. On their set they often have fan-art from people all around the world that is pretty clever and is either movie related or Screen Junkie related. At the end of the show the host, Andy Signore, gave information on where to send fan-art and anything that might be used as props on their Screen Junkies set.
My wife encouraged me to send them something. At the time I was finishing up a poster I created of Tony Todd as Candyman. I figured it was worth a shot.
The poster arrived at their studios in California in about a week and my wife and I eagerly watched that week’s episode of Movie Fights hoping that my artwork would appear on their set. It just so happened that weekend they were announcing their premium channel, Screen Junkies Plus, which included a bunch of exclusive content on their own subscription-based platform (which I am a proud subscriber). I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t on their set, but I figured they were pretty busy with trying to get all of this stuff announced and launched, so I tried to not let it bum me out because I also had to think there were probably dozens of people sending them stuff all the time.
Later that very night Andy Signore reached out to me on social media and thanked me for my poster and asked if I would be interested in creating a poster for them. This was way better than what I was hoping for! It wasn’t just going to be some movie-themed art that I created, it was going to be a piece specifically for them!
Part One: The Direction
The direction I was given was to create a cereal box design that highlighted the core group of Screen Junkies — Andy, Hal, Dan, Nick, and Spencer — and that had a lot of inside jokes from the shows. I was given a reference that was a parody based on the Captain America films.
Part Two: Research & Development
I began watching the Screen Junkies channel in 2013 when I stumbled across Honest Trailers on YouTube. My wife and I pretty much set our weekly schedule to the shows and have seen every episode of every show, so it was safe to say that I am familiar with the content.
I looked at many references of cereal boxes and kept coming across the retro/vintage boxes. They had a timeless look to them that was very similar to the UPA animation style. I decided the solution was to go with this style (and it was somewhat similar to my illustration style, so win-win).
I wrote out a list of word associations and synonyms that described cereal and also any sort of inside jokes, puns, or catch phrases from the shows.
Once that was complete I derived the best elements and began to create thumbnails and test-sketches, and stylized test-sketches of the Screen Junkies team.
Part Three: Digital Recreation
I scanned all of my hand-rendered drawings and imported them into the drawing program I use and began to recreate the characters, and any logos I didn’t have available, and began designing the layout based off of my thumbnails.
Part Four: The Final Artwork
After a lot of tweaking and resolving I arrived at a piece that was the most objective and creative solution to the direction I was given. I included the main Screen Junkies brand and also made the call-outs (that you normally see on a cereal box design) not just cereal puns, but to highlight the Screen Junkies shows, network, and show schedule. I wanted to be intentional about using the design to drive people back to various portals of Screen Junkies.
Oh, and I think there are some pretty neat inside jokes from the shows and personalities too…modestly speaking of course.
Conclusion and Post-Script
After creating the artwork and being in contact with the Screen Junkies team the poster was created and sent to their studios. Their producer contacted me and was very enthusiastic and thanked me for my artwork.
On April 20, 2016 Screen Junkies Plus aired an episode which they talked about my poster. The fabulous Alicia Malone (whom I’ve drawn as a Centaur) hosted that night along with Dan Murrell and Andy Signore and they were all very gracious and complimentary.