8 Questions to Illustrator Brandon Schaefer

Not too long ago, Brandon Schaefer began to make waves in the alternative movie poster world with his excellent minimalist inspired graphic movie posters. Chances are, if you’re a fan of this genre, you know and/or have definitely seen, his work. Since then, Brandon has continued pursuing new and varied ways to represent some of his (and your) favorite films and if you follow him on Tumblr and/or Twitter, you know his quest to create meaningful designs stems from a genuine passion for his craft. Additionally, he is co-creator/curator of the wonderful Silver Screen Society which features the work of various talented artists/designers who create pieces inspired by a different film every month. We’re pleased as punch to have Brandon participate in this feature and can’t wait to see what he’s got coming up next! 1. Describe yourself in 5 words or less. Just passing through. 2. How long have you been a designer and what made you want to be one? Since I was thirteen or so. The idea of being one didn’t cross my mind; I fell into it trying to get websites about superheroes up on Geocities, and then sort of lost track of the time. 3. What would you say are your biggest influences? Old dead guys with beards. Thoreau, Tolstoy, and William Morris in particular delved into the relationship between work, life, and simplicity in their writings, and that’s done a number on my perspective. Separately, Woody Allen, who cracked the creative struggle when he said, “It’s better to try and fail humiliatingly than play it safe, or worse, curry favor.” 4. What is your favorite thing about being a designer? The nearsightedness. 5. What’s the worst (non-design related) job you’ve ever had? I had to wear a sparkling silver cape in the middle of a mall while taking pre-order numbers for the midnight release of the 6th Harry Potter book years ago. This is one of those first world problems. 6. Who are some of your favorite designers and why? Bob Gill and James Victore are at the top of the pile for their commitment to intelligently communicating ideas that mean something, while not getting bogged down by what others say good design is supposed to look like. John Heartfield for making people look long before there was Photoshop. 7. What are some of your favorite movie posters of all time? John Mattos’ poster for The Rocketeer is head-and-shoulders above most superhero keyart from the 90s; doubly so today. And then there’s a strikingly clever one-sheet for Dancer in the Dark floating around by the agency POV that the Harvard Film Archive used to advertise their showing of the film. That thing had a good 4 year head start on the whole minimal movie poster movement.

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