As always one of my favorite things to do is to work on one sheet designs for films. It had been a minute since I worked on anything creatively so when I was asked to create one by Marc of Popcorn Frights for the upcoming Graham Skipper film SEQUENCE BREAK, I was glad to give it a go. Sequence Break is “a surreal sci-fi romance wherein a beautiful young woman and strange metaphysical forces threaten the reality of a reclusive video arcade technician, resulting in bizarre biomechanical mutations and a shocking self-realization.”
From the get go when discussing it with Marc, we both agreed the poster should revolve around the arcade machine found in the film. From there it was just a matter of figuring out how to showcase it while making the poster eyecatching yet still tie it into the films story somehow. I started out searching for images of an arcade machine I could use as a starting point, however there were none I found suitable so I decided to just build the thing from scratch in Photoshop. Which was definitely not the EASY route, but it felt like the right way to go. It was time consuming but also a welcome challenge. So I started building it piece by piece (shape by shape) then added textures over the shapes to give them some depth and lighting. I definitely had to experiment with them a bit to get one that worked and looked real enough for me.
Since the film at it’s core is a love story, I originally wanted to feature the character of Tess (played by Fabianne Therese) somewhere on the poster, but it unfortunately just wasn’t working out the way I had hoped. I really did want to make it work and even had a work in progress version with her (seen below) but it just wasn’t going to fit my vision or be horror enough so I had to scrap it. I was kind of at a dead end and my brain just wasn’t working so I had to step away for a bit which sometimes happens when you don’t start out with a totally clear vision.
I briefly was going to scrap everything and create an advertisment inspired by old arcade machine ads, but it ended up just not working for me and I returned to the previous idea. So in reevaluating my concept, I still wanted to stick to the dripping arcade cab, but needed something to tie it all together and also stand out visually, so I opted to include visuals from the game found in the film itself. I watched the clip where main character Oz plays the game and paused it, I then did my best to recreate the vector shapes (not fun) found in the game so they would be faithful to the film, and used those in the background to provide the image some much needed color and pop. Upon showing Marc he suggested perhaps including the still of Tess screaming in the image somewhere and that was a great help as it fit pretty well on the screen and added the horror element that the image was otherwise missing.
Then speaking with my friend and frequent collaborator Matt Durston, we both agreed the arcade machine should be backlit somehow and there needed to be a grid somewhere in there. So I eventually settled on the neon green crackles of electricity and mist/light coming out from behind it along with the neon pink grid floor. Then it was just a matter of tweaking little by little here and there to fine tune it till it looked right in my eyes. When it was all said and done it finally felt like it was where it should be and I thought it would be a nice companion image for the film. I have to thank Marc and Matt for their little bits of input that helped me along the way when I hit a brick wall mentally. I hope you all dig the final poster image and I hope it inspires you to check out Sequence Break when the opportunity presents itself. Creating the poster was a much needed jolt of creativity for me and I am proud of the final product.