Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Creating Theatrical Posters

By Ratul Debnath

Posters are a great tool for promotion and if you still believe in the power of print, you know how far a good poster can go, to reach your audience. Posters are not limited to print though. Blogs, social networks, mailing lists can all extend the reach of your visual communication.

We recently shot a campaign for promoting Humbug: a theatrical fashion performance presented by Pie Media Group, in support of the Sick Kids Hospital. Director and producer of the show, Sandra Roberts styled the shoot to carry the same vintage vibe that the book and movie "A Christmas Carol" (a Charles Dickinson brain child) was based on. The script of the event is based on it, thus, the root of inspiration. 

For those of you who haven't read the book, Scrooge is an old, rich, heartless businessman who hates Christmas and gets intervened by three ghosts on Christmas eve to resurrect his soul and revive his sense for humanity. Main characters for this shoot being Scrooge, both in his early years and when he gets old, the three ghosts and Scrooge's nephew. 

As with any good production, you need a strong team as a backbone. A team of exceptional talent got together to make this happen. Stylist Sandra Roberts, hair stylist Karli Rockbrune, makeup artists Melissa Hall, Jenni Lin Baldwick and Julia MacNeil and photographer, yours truly, started with a very clear unified vision of the end product and the models stepped right into character from the get-go.

The nephew, a role played by Glenn Coulson, is a modern day, successful businessman and philanthropist. Rich but kind; proud, but down to earth. Since his character is based entirely on present times, his styling was designed to emulate that.

This is a portrait of Scrooge in his early years, with his first, but lost love, roles played by Micheal and Lindsey. The styling and makeup takes you back in time, around the forties with the big bow tie, round framed spectacles, laced umbrella and thin distinct eyebrows. But her Wildfox sweater and Hunter boots definitely portray the multitude of layers of this show.

The three ghosts of Christmas (from left to right): Kirsten (ghost of Christmas past), Tiny Guy (ghost of Christmas present) and Michellyn (ghost of Christmas future).Dark makeup and neutral expressions really added to the ghostly feel of this shot.

Finally, the character the script revolves around: old misanthropist Scrooge. Played by Frank Ferragine, who had his hair sprayed white and heavy makeup to portray a man in his late sixties. I still haven't asked him how his kids reacted to his look when he picked them up from school Halloween day with his makeup still on, right after the shoot. Frank came up with the brilliant idea of incorporating new Canadian bills to make clear that the story is set in the present, although the miser that he is, he hasn't bought anything new over the years. I used a wide angle lens to make his head seem bigger and almost give it a cartoon look with expressions seeming more animated.

One of the final products (image below) that went to print for the Mady Centre windows was designed by Ainsley from Orange Sky Creatives, fusing modern typography with the vintage inspired pictures. A clear example of great talents from various arts, successfully collaborating to create one vision. Come to the show to witness this team live, in flesh, and in full throttle. 
Ticket and show info available at

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