Movie Article

Most Wanted Poster

Deconstructing the ''V for Vendetta'' poster -- Joel Silver and the poster's art director talk about the eye-catching ad

Now and again, a movie poster arises that puts its formulaic brethren to shame. This is that poster. What makes it so compelling? The colors? The fonts? Natalie Portman's bald head? Here to deconstruct it for us are V for Vendetta producer Joel Silver and the poster's art director, Ron Michaelson.

FULL OF BOLSHEVIK
''We were in London shooting, and I went to the Tate Modern's room full of incredible Bolshevik posters,'' says Silver of the bold pre-Soviet era design. ''I knew immediately that that was the feeling I wanted to capture.''

RADICAL ART
''I wanted people to feel as if the posters came directly from the movie, that they were actually in the movie,'' says Silver. ''I said, 'If we were actually going to mount a revolution here, what would the imagery look like?'''

SKEWED VIEWS
''Everything's at an angle,'' says Michaelson. ''And the type is arranged perpendicular to the main axis, a form that was used in Russian revolutionary posters.''

A MASKED MAN
''We had something unusual to deal with,'' says Silver of the main character. ''Usually you see the faces of your movie's stars.... You don't have to deal with that with something that looks like a puppet from Team America. ''

FUZZY THINKING
''There were some rough edges we intentionally added to make it seem a little more hand-done,'' says Concept Arts' Michaelson.

IN THE RED
''The ability to reproduce full color was limited when these posters were originally done,'' says Michaelson, ''so we chose that more limited, muted palette.''

Originally posted Mar 10, 2006 Published in issue #868 Mar 17, 2006 Order article reprints