Rayon Vert is a Toronto-based production company for the films of Colombian-Canadian filmmaker Lina Rodriguez and her producing partner Brad Deane.
Art direction for independent film
Since 2012 I have been honoured to partner with the duo on the design for their films.
In 2012 I was approached to create the key artwork for Señoritas, a dramatic feature by director Lina Rodriguez. Set in Bogotá, the film follows Alejandra, a free spirit who lives with her mother in a small, comfortable apartment and spends most nights drinking or dancing with her close but complicated circle of friends, including her some-time boyfriend Tomás. Señoritas is a subtle examination of the way one young woman navigates the daunting terrain of sex, desire and identity.
Rotating the image caused a (desired) unsettling effect, especially once I created a photomontage with another, non-rotated image of pool water. The final poster creates the perception of a forward or falling movement, that coexists alongside the viewers' knowledge that, intuitively, this cannot be.
After viewing a rough-cut of the film and having several fruitful conversations with Rodriguez and Deane, I generated a number of concepts. Among these, a version featuring the main character listlessly floating in a pool stood out because of its strong thematic connection to the film: The image mirrors how Alejandra is paradoxically both inert and in a state of constant motion.
Craig has worked with us on both of our features. He is well researched and takes the time to understand our goals for each project. His ideas are always innovative and he brings multiple concepts, making sure that the final work is both creative and speaks directly to our intended audience. Craig's dedication and passion make him a pleasure to work with and we look forward to continuing our collaboration."
—Lina Rodriguez and Brad Deane
When Rodriguez completed filming her second feature Mañana a esta hora (This Time Tomorrow) she and Deane again asked me to collaborate.
Mañana a esta hora is an intimate portrait of a family’s everyday life before and after a tragic incident. The film is designed around a constant tension between presence and absence, and I could not have asked for a better thematic jump-off for the film's design.
By representing the film's theme of impermanence through the interplay of negative and positive space, the poster evokes Mañana a esta hora's melancholic atmosphere, its ghostly qualities, and — hopefully — its beauty.
In my view, Rodriguez's work shares formal qualities with certain independent films of the 1970s, and as a nod to that the image was completed with a halftone pattern, evoking the duotone posters of that decade.
For Mañana a esta hora, in addition to the key art for marketing materials our collaboration extended into designing the opening and closing credits — a graphic system that was carried over into the trailers for the film.
For Rodriguez' next project, Ante mis ojos, she asked me to create some digital assets that could be used online ahead of the film's premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Given that the 7-minute film was an experimental, dialogue-free, grainy Super 8 look at Colombia's mythic Lake Guatavita, we were not going to produce a comprehensive marketing campaign, but still needed to create a few assets for places like Twitter, Instagram and IMDB.
When developing the concept I quickly settled on a still and a layout for these materials, but struggled to find a balance of grain and colour that might capture the magic of the film itself.