Woody Allen Film Festival

DIRECTIVES: To create an integrated system of branded materials for a film festival celebrating the themes of life and death in the films of Woody Allen. The target audience consisted of Woody Allen film fans, film students, or people interested in film festivals.

TACTICS: I created a film festival identity, stationery system, festival catalogue, schedule, DVD packaging, and tickets for at three films all on a theme highlighting an aspect of the director's style or work. I began my research looking into the background, biography, and filmography of Woody Allen. I screened his noted films looking for reoccurring themes, visual style, nuances, and key dialogue that could be used in the materials. When screening the films I looked for imagery I might be able to recreate through my own photography. I based the designs on the prototypical Woody Allen male protagonist, visually playing on his wardrobe and surroundings through textures and patterns objects that may be found in that character's apartment.

The type design was inspired by Allen's 1945 Olympia typewriter, which he's used to write every one of his scripts and stories. The final logotype emphasized the festival theme: Life, death, and Everything in Between by using a subtle graphic timeline below the letter forms. The color palette was inspired by the contrasting ideas of Allen's films—the looming preoccupation with death while hoping for a rosy, idealistic present. The color palette balances masculine dark shades with contrasting feminine, pastel hues.


I also rummaged through book shops, libraries, and art museums to find unique items to use as part of the design. Primary elements were vintage books and pieces of antique card stock found at a antique store. The piece that tied all the visual elements together was the Poster inspired by 17th-Century Dutch Vanitas paintings during my art museum trips. I created my own version of a Woody Allen vanitas—featuring objects from his films, symbolic elements, and the integrated the festival pieces.

INSIGHTS: What stood out to me in many of Allen's films was his characters dialogue over questions of their mortality and a pervasive fear of death. In my research I found that Allen has significant Thanataphobia—that is, fear of death. I decided to focus the festival on Woody Allen's preoccupation with death and how he deals with this inevitable fear through his characters and films.

ASSUMED PERSONA: To develop the festival theme and visual materials I had to become an investigator, biographer, film analyst and critic, copy writer, editor, photographer and creative director. Taking on the role of production designer, I did numerous reconnaisance missions to find production areas to photograph. Finally, as production manager and art director, I brought all the various pieces together in final production completing the unified system.