Fans and followers of Ben Wheatley’s career will know that his films are usually supported by a wealth of posters created by different artists. The same applies to his latest work, Free Fire, which hits cinemas today, on the back of a new set of ‘character’ posters from Empire Designs.
When Wheatley spoke to CR about the making of Free Fire the director briefly discussed his love of film posters – and the changing nature of their role online. Wheatley is serious about the elements that surround a film’s promotion – from the poster campaigns to the Q&A tours of cinemas where he gives away T-shirts featuring his own designs – and he can be relied upon to muster some great creative support, such as US designer Jay Shaw (check out his Free Fire poster at kingdomofnonsense.com).
“I think if you like cinema you take it as a whole package,” Wheatley told CR. “It’s interesting, over the last few years with the posters, the kind of received wisdom [was] you wanted an integrated campaign which was just one poster and you just hammer home that image. But the net has changed all that. So, certainly with High-Rise and now with Free Fire, there was just dozens of posters and they penetrate through the net to different audiences. And I like that.”
“Obviously it was lovely in the past when you had one definitive design, one poster, but as a filmmaker, if you were on the receiving end of a poster you didn’t like – which happened more often than not – there was no where else to go with it,” says Wheatley. “But now, you’ve got every kind of poster from the brutally commercial, which tells people to go to the cinema, to the incredibly arty as well.”
Free Fire opens today across the UK via StudioCanal UK. See freefirefilm.co.uk. Empire Designs has created all of the posters for the film’s UK release