“This is Gallifrey, our childhood, our home”

Only three weeks left to the premiere of Doctor Who Season 9. For this occasion I publish a composition I made before the introduction of the War Doctor in The Name of the Doctor and the new direction of the series.

The accompanying music is, of course, This is Gallifrey; composed by Murray Gold, arranged and played by Mark Fowler – he does amazing stuff, check his website and YouTube channel!

Ben’s Sunset

This update is the first part of a series called Light of the Force. Its title: Ben’s Sunset.

Ben’s Sunset is an idealized depiction of the old Jedi master who contentedly faces his last adventure. Ben is the archetype of the old hero whose last task is to pass on the knowledge to a faithful pupil. Two characteristic places, the beginning and the end: the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and old Ben’s hut on Tatooine emerge from the orange background of the binary sunset. He has an old friend and mentor from the netherworld of the Force who helps his path: Qui-Gon.

My First Poster for The Force Awakens

Last week’s photos in Entertainment Weekly gave me inspiration to create my first poster for Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens, entitled Heritage.

The picture shows Kylo Ren and the stormtroopers of the First Order destroying a village on Jakku (also seen in the trailer), taking on the cruel heritage of the Sith Lord Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire.

EDIT 27/10/2015: I made slight modifications on the poster. For those who are interested, I post the original version here as published 18/08/2015:

The main differences are the following:

  • removed frame,
  • new lightsaber blades,
  • corrected logo
  • different flame elements.

“Art is gone” – an interview with Drew Struzan

Ten Minute Interviews had an e-mail conversation with Drew Struzan, creator of the Star Wars episode posters, the poster for the first Harry Potter movie, Back to the Future I-III, Indiana Jones and many, many other movies. He talks about his past, his inspirations and artistic style, the recent trends in poster design and the place of art in the world. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

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“I love the Impressionists for their color. I like color. I want my paintings to be beautiful. I like strong composition. It gives power to a piece. I learned from Cezanne and Degas. I love quality art. I think art has the power to make the world a more beautiful, happier, loving place. I picked up style and techniques from those who have done the very best throughout history.”

“Mel Brooks told me “the movie poster is an invitation to go see the movie.” It is to excite you, show you something that interests you and makes you curious as to what the story behind it is about.”

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“I’m trying to give back to the director what he’s been trying to give to us. I do that in one image.”

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“There is no movie poster industry. It’s all done on computers, directed by business men. It’s become an industry that’s been given over to businesses rather than artists. Art is gone.”

You can read the full interview here!

Doctor Who Series 1 Poster

Here is a poster about the first series of the revived Doctor Who, starring the fantastic Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler.

Rose is filled with the supernatural energy of the time vortex that gives her enormous but life-threatening power as we saw in the season finale. The Doctor helps her but this self-sacrifice leads to the death of his 9th incarnation.

And this is the accompanying music, the Doctor’s Theme, by Melanie Pappenheim:

Fantasia 2000

This update was inspired by the last chapter of Fantasia 2000, Disney’s wonderful experiment with short animated stories composed for classical music.

Fantasia 2000 has seven segments; the last one is designed around Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and tells the story of a Spring Sprite and her friend, an elk – and the sinister spirit of a volcano. As the introduction of the piece says, this is

a magical story about life, death and renewal.

If you have not seen Firebird Suite already I think you should watch this masterpiece. I found only a low-resolution version on YouTube but it is worth to get a perfect one (e. g. from Amazon).

The Nature of the Dark Side – Analysis

The Nature of the Dark Side originates from the novelization of Return of the Jedi by James Kahn:

He contemplated the dense impenetrability of the deep space beyond the window. Densely black as his soul – as if he were, in some real way, this blackness; as if his inner spirit was itself this void over which he reigned. He smiled at the thought; he was the Empire, he was the Universe.

This paragraph was the core of the poster, combined with one of the few feelings Palpatine can feel: the lust for power over all things (the other one would be rage). Therefore, the key messages were: total power and hopelessness.

Instead of pure blackness, I decided to use the galaxy on a black background and merged it with Palpatine to illustrate the sentence “he was the Universe”. Darth Sidious looks like a tumor; his presence distorts the spiral arms of the galaxy and replaces the brightest center of the galaxy with blackness and the Death Star. This is his true aim, the aim of the dark side: replace life with death.

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