Horror DVD Cover

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Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:00 am

One of my big projects now is to create a dvd cover, dvd label and a promotional poster. It can be of anything we want so long as we don't break copyrights, so I'm doing a retro styled horror movie. I had actually started writing the first couple scenes for it back in the summer, cause I wanted to someday film a black and white horror movie at my grandpa's farm.

Anyway, I'm trying to get that handpainted retro look, but I'm having a bit of trouble. I also can't really get a good red printed off in CMKK in Photoshop. It always printed off as a dull magenta. Any advice?

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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Robert » Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:29 pm

Hi Vanessa, looking pretty cool. I am not sure what you mean by a "hand-painted retro look", can you elaborate?

Also, composition-wise, the different elements feel too spaced apart. I would bunch all the actor credits in the same area, or have two on top and two on the bottom. Also, the guy in the window is too sharp/defined compared to the window... it makes him look pasted in.

The red is striking, and looks good with all the black. The red is showing up as an illegal color on my screen, so you may want to fix it ... you'll probably get a better red when printing if you do.

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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:56 pm

Yeah, I'm going to blur the guy in the window, and I'll have to figure out something to do with the red.:/

By retro look, i mean stuff like this:
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby michael-e-w » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:14 pm

Agnes Moorehead has that extra E in her name, Nessa.
As for design elements, I would move the title up to the top -- you have more leeway with movie posters of where a title can rest, but DVDs are usually racked like comic books, and the titles need to be up top for easy sorting. Also, the title needs more umph. Right now, it just looks like a very basic font. You could add some texture to it, or bring the yellow in to give it an extra something. Another dynamic change I would suggest is that you pull back from the house a bit. This way, you can add some features/texture to the hillside to define its shape better, the house itself will look more imposing and dramatic, and you could apply the rule of thirds to the overall image.
One more note, it would rock if you added clouds around the house and hid the skull in it.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:12 pm

Thanks for the advice!

I wasn't really sure what to do with the title font, and I'm still considering changing the name completely.

I actually do have an altered version with the skull hidden in clouds, so I'll fiddle with it a bit more and post it up again.:)
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:54 am

I've been making quite a few changes to it, but now I'm unsure of where to put my actor credits. I've made the house smaller, so the credits can no longer sit inside and around the house. I want the credits to still interact with the image.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Robert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:28 pm

Mixing the credits with the image is hard to pull off, unless they compliment each other in some cool, artistic way. Simply pasting the credit over the image is what detracts from your original version.

Looking at your original version, it looks too basic to me. Are you allowed to use actual images? Finding a cool "haunted house" and real skull picture then tweaking them into a cover design might look better than the flat outline drawing you have.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:42 pm

Robert wrote:Mixing the credits with the image is hard to pull off, unless they compliment each other in some cool, artistic way. Simply pasting the credit over the image is what detracts from your original version.

Looking at your original version, it looks too basic to me. Are you allowed to use actual images? Finding a cool "haunted house" and real skull picture then tweaking them into a cover design might look better than the flat outline drawing you have.


See, I did use real pictures of a house, a guy and a skull, and used them to trace over. I don't want to use the actual photos for my cover because I want more of a hand done look.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby sunnightraider » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:17 pm

I actually agree with Robert on this one -- right now, that house and the guy are much too flat for their own good...I think what Robert suggested is the way to go, ie: using those pics you traced over but trying to do it a bit better. For example, I think that the house would look much cooler if you shot it at a more skewed angle, to give the thing more shape and depth, I also think you should add some simple lighting -- basically keep the whole silhouette thing going on but highlight certain parts of the house to give it that extra 'oomph.' The glows coming from the windows are a tad cheesy but if that's what you're going for then I think you should add some subtle streams/tendrils of light issuing forth from the windows to really give the light a very supernatural/ghostly effect. Someone else mentioned that you should get rid of the actor-credits, I concur, they draw the eye away from the main focus of the image. I would also suggest desaturating that red just a tad, it's very striking but a little 'out of the tube' for my liking -- look at the example posters. The image overall needs better framing also -- I would suggest perhaps placing the merest suggestions of gnarled tress in the foreground, perhaps obscuring certain parts of the house, these will help lead the viewer's eye towards the house and will also give the image a better use of negative space.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:05 pm

Here's some changes I've made.

Still playing around with the text.

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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Robert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:03 pm

Looking better. Definitely going in the right direction, IMHO.

If I can nitpick some more, I think using a photo of some good storm clouds would look better than the clouds filter.

The hand-drawing of the house, skull and blood is just not working for me. It looks more cartoonish than scary.

The actor credits are better bunched in the black space, but as it is now, it looks kinda 'blah'. I would pick a different font (Times Roman is a good one, if a bit standard) and not spread the letters on some of the names as you have done. You can also try putting two names side by side above the title and the other two side by side at the bottom to create a "four corner" credit box.

Random thought: Make all the house lights dim, with only one window bright (and nix the man). As it looks now, the real "horror" of this house is it's waste of electricity, am I right folks? But, seriously, I think the house would appear more spooky if it looked like an empty house, with just one light on in an upper room... as if daring someone to come and investigate.

Sorry if I am going at this too much, take what you want and ignore the rest. Sometimes I just like to hear myself type.

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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Robert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:45 pm

You got my creative juices flowing and I couldn't resist taking a crack at the DVD cover. It's easy to throw suggestions at someone, but I thought I'd try and put it to practice.

I pulled the house and skull images from google and tweaked them. I reversed your color scheme simple because red lettering on black is more effective than black (or white) on red. Plus I liked the house bathed in red. Other then that, I tried to keep a simple look to it.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY, no horror DVD cover is complete without a cheesy tagline!

Image


Sorry for the "overpaint", I just find it easier to show than tell at this point. If you want me to pull this down, just let me know. No worries.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Robert » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:59 pm

I was googling DVD horror covers and saw this. Thought it was funny enough to share.

Image


Okay, my coffee pot is empty. Time to get off the internet.
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby Vanessa » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:45 am

HAHA! Awesome Bob Ross poster!

Your repaint is good and it shows me a different way of looking at things, but I'm not sure it's where I want to go with it. I want my poster to be the kind of thing I'd want to have on my wall as a piece of art. Most modern movie posters aren't like that.

The premise of the movie is that a young woman and her fiancee come to visit her aunt in the countryside for a family reunion. They find her aunt dead upstairs, and when the rest of the family arrives, they say they're there for the reading of the aunts will, and not for a family get together. When they try to show the family their aunts' body, it's gone missing. There's a seemingly invisible killer inside the house and he slowly starts killing off the other family members in unusual ways.

This is the rationale for why the house is fully lit ( It's full of the family, arguing and searching for the killer), and why there's a shadow in the window (the killer).

The poster, dvd cover and dvd label are all due on Friday, so I'm not sure if I should be ditching all my work and go in a different direction right now. :?
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Re: Horror DVD Cover

Postby sunnightraider » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:58 am

I think Robert's take on the cover is really what you should have strived for Vanessa -- it grabs the viewer's attention immediately and is pretty classy looking to boot. I also think having only one window lit up like Robert did would add even more atmosphere to your pic -- right now, the house actually looks quite welcoming all lit up like that whereas if only one light is lit it'll look even more lonely and foreboding. I know you explained the plot and what-not but how many times have you seen a dvd/book/comic cover that adheres precisely to what goes on in their stories? Most covers you'll see (since time immemorial) will focus on grabbing the viewer's attention, story bedamned.

You seem pretty set on going ahead with what you've done and while it's solid I think if you put in that extra little bit of work you could really impress. Friday is still a whole three days away so I can't see why you wouldn't be able to get more stuff done before then.
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