Wingsart Studio – Spring 2023
Welcome to Spring 2023! The new year is off to a busy start for me, with two new fonts completed and some exciting (and currently very secret) projects that I hope to share soon.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my career goals lately too, in particular a long-held ambition to make a movie. I’ve loved cinema for as long as I can remember, and always knew I would work in the industry. But while I’ve been content to design titles and posters (I do also love the design side of things) I’ve started to take the idea of filmmaking more seriously. We only live once after all. I’m not short of ideas, but I struggle with story. Not just constructing a compelling story, but also finding an idea that motivates me enough to devote all that much time and energy.
So I do what I always do in these situations; I read the crap out of something until I feel halfway confident enough to try it for myself. Which leads this issue to an overall filmmaking theme, full of my usual film and book recommendations, font spots, general ramblings, and even a word search! Enjoy, and don’t forget to use your exclusive discount code on my new fonts!
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Never one to shy away from nostalgia, both of my latest fonts are heavily inspired by visions of the past.
First, we have “Sleeve Notes”, a loose, hand-written script based on the sleeve (or liner notes) you used to find inside LPs, CDs and cassettes. Largely overlooked in the age of streaming, the packaging was (for me anyway) an important part of buying an album. Not just from a cool design perspective, but also the sense of craft that went into the overall experience.
My second release is “Space Rocks”, a light-hearted font based around television sci-fi of the 1950s and the adventure that awaits on the rocky planet of Mars. It’s an all-caps design, specifically intended for big, bold titles that evoke classic shows such as Lost in Space, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits and Star Trek. Click on the thumbnails to see more visuals, and use the exclusive voucher code below for 10% off!
Click on the thumbnails to see more visuals and use the exclusive voucher code below for 10% off!
I’ve written before about how Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead is an all-time favourite of mine, even inspiring the name of my first ever font, Zombie Punks. This was later used in the trailer for the Dungeons & Dragons movie, and in a rare scan through Instagram I was thrilled to discover that the artistic duo at Phantom City Creative employed my follow-up font, Street Punks in their official ROTLD poster art – thus proving what goes around, comes around.
Another recent Font Spot includes my ever popular, Last Dance, as seen in the trailer and social media marketing for Sky TVs A Town Called Malice. A perfect fit for a show dripping in 80s style. And another appearance for Endless Sunrise, used in the poster for Sara Hennessy’s Ride or Die, designed by Nathan Boone.
When I hit a wall with a project, my reaction is to buy all the respected books on that subject and engage in some extreme reading. This might be procrastination in the name of research, but it does at least leave you with knowledge and an itch to get to work. While not definitive, this list does represent the best of what I’ve read recently, and well worth your time.
Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner by Paul M Sammon:
An exhaustive look at every aspect of this amazing film, starting with the original book, to script troubles, production design, financing, effects, the incredible soundtrack, and all the eventual versions and format releases. Addictive reading for mega-fans.
My Life in Movies by Irwin Winkler:
With achievements including, Rocky, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Right Stuff and Wolf of Wall Street, Irwin Winkler’s life as a producer tells the story of Hollywood from the 60s to today. An intelligent insight into some of cinemas most influential films.
Confessions of a Puppetmaster by Charles Band:
Experience the world of exploitation B-movies through the eyes of Charles Band, director and producer of effective, low budget horror movies including From Beyond and Re-Animator. He guides you through his success, bankruptcy and back again with an enthusiastic, can do attitude from inside Hollywood’s sleazier side.
Cinema Speculation by Quentin Tarantino:
An infectious, enthusiastic shopping list of movies filled with Quentin Tarantino’s knowledge and unique maker/fan perspective. Focusing on the 1970s, it’s describes a formative period and offers an appreciation of films (such as Rolling Thunder) that you might have otherwise overlooked.
Blood, Sweat and Chrome by Kyle Buchanan:
The notoriously troubled tale of George Miller’s action masterpiece, Fury Road. Told through interviews with all levels of cast and crew, this detailed look at the production reveals an extreme working environment, held together by Miller’s unwavering commitment to vision.
Four Screenplays by Sid Field:
While more technical books exist for the budding screenwriter, I found the analysis and commentary on four films, Thelma and Louise, Terminator 2, Silence of the Lambs and Dances with Wolves, particularly insightful for the first hand thought process behind these stylistically different projects.
On Writing by Stephen King:
A no-nonsense guide to writing from one of the most successful writers in the world. It offers practical advice spun through an entertaining memoir with tips you’ll immediately apply to your own work. I know for example, that this description could have been twice as wordy and say the same thing – be simple. Thanks Stephen!
Hands-down my favourite film of 2022. This tells the story of Hollywood in transition from silent to sound during the 1920s, while playing with the myth-making scandals as written by Kenneth Anger in his similarly titled books. It’s a frenetic three hours of masterful cinema, with unforgettable set-pieces buzzing with an electric energy that holds you long after it’s closing credits. It oddly divided critics on release, with Joe Dante calling it “A hate letter to Cinema”, and Mark Kermode adding “an exhausting mess”, while audiences would claim it as the best film of the year. Partly let down by a mediocre marketing campaign, i’ll predict it’ll be rediscovered and regarded as a modern masterpiece. Another reason to consider Damien Chazelle as one of todays leading filmmakers.
The shy boy in the corner compared to Babylon’s party animal, Steven Spielberg directs this personal story of Sammy Fabelman, whose love for film fights its way through family turmoil, high school strife and anti-semitism. It’s a lesson in following your passions despite self-doubt and the ignorant around you. Relatable for anyone who’s tried to make a life out of a perceived hobby.
All That Jazz:
An expertly choreographed death spiral of a man addicted. Not least to booze, drugs and women, but also audience applause and idea of legacy. Essentially a snapshot of Bob Fosse’s life during the simultaneous making of Chicago and Lenny, this is a grown-up drama that dances through an otherwise bleak tale.
The Cutting Edge:
The Magic of Movie Editing
While I would describe Bullitt as a dry cop thriller elevated by style, soundtrack and one killer car chase, if you dig deeper on the Blu Ray you’ll find two exceptional documentaries; Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool, and The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing. This editing doc is the true gem here, offering a history of film through an editors razor, with contributions from Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn, Steven Spielberg, Walter Murch, James Cameron, Jodie Foster, Paul Verhoeven, Quentin Tarantino and more. It’s an essential look at what a film editor does, and it’s probably already sitting in your Blu Ray collection!
Can you find the 19 hidden words, picked from the topics covered in this newsletter? Some are easy, some are a little harder, and made all the more difficult when displayed in a mix of my fonts! Click on the image for a printable PDF version with answers on page 2.