American Realities

March 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm · Filed under Advertising / Campaigns, Copy / Writing, Drawing / Illustration, Print / Editorial

American Realities film series posters: Roger & Me | Hoop Dreams | Troublesome Creek; digital plot outputs; 24 x 36in. (each) / 2002

We Americans are conditioned to think that ours is the best country in the world—that this is the land of opportunity, and we can achieve anything here if we try hard enough. And, by all available evidence, there seem to be plenty of other countries in which people are a hell of a lot worse off than us. But life in the U.S. ain’t all sweet apple pie, and opportunities are easier to come by for some than others. Of course, you’d never know this by watching most film or television. With so much false “reality” pervading contemporary media, it is shockingly refreshing to see the true struggle of real life shown so eloquently in some powerful recent documentary films.

As one of three projects assigned in our Visualizations course in the Visual Communication Design program at the UW, we were to develop a theme around three movies of our choosing for a film festival of sorts, then design a corresponding promotional poster series. With American Realities, I thematically linked Roger & Me, Hoop Dreams and Troublesome Creek, as poignant revelations of Americans forced to work extraordinarily hard just to make ends meet, often against opposing forces of others’ opportunities.

By visually expressing the emotional tension of these stories, I aimed to generate awareness not only of these filmic case studies, but also of the true elusiveness of the American dream…

Roger & Me tells the story of Flint, Michigan residents as their town withers away in the wake of GM moving eleven of their factories from Flint to cheaper labor in Mexico.

American Realities: Roger & Me movie poster; digital plot output; 24 x 36in. / 2002

Hoop Dreams follows the lives of two inner-city boys who try to use their talent for basketball to escape the ghetto.

American Realities: Hoop Dreams movie poster; digital plot output; 24 x 36in. / 2002

And Troublesome Creek shows Russ and Mary Jane Jordan as they try to save the farm that has been in their family for over 100 years from new bank owners eager to foreclose.

American Realities: Troublesome Creek movie poster; digital plot output; 24 x 36in. / 2002

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