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americanbeauty

Now what on earth was I going to do for American Beauty for Week 8 of Julie Powell‘s makeover challenge. There have been several different covers for the film which is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening and Thora Birch, in which a ‘sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend’. IMdb

I knew I wanted to avoid a rose but what was my main focus going to be? I decided it was people so I swiped a slice from Tallulah Bankhead, a profile shot of Spacey from Wikipedia and set to work, the idea being that Spacey’s character is yearning for the out-of-reach schoolgirl (alright, so Bankhead was not a schoolgirl even when she was a schoolgirl). If knowing it’s Bankhead disturbs you, imagine she’s Spacey’s wife, Bening!

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 9 American Beauty © Sarah Vernon

To be frank, I’m not enamoured of my treatment but — as so often — time was running out and I didn’t want to miss out, especially as I probably won’t be able to take part next week. Fonts used were Skia Regular for Sam Mendes, Bening and Spacey, Times New Roman for ‘American’ and Zapfino Regular for ‘Beauty’.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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#photorehabcovermakeover Week 8 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 7 This Desert Life © Sarah Vernon

When Julie Powell gave us the challenge of re-imagining the cover for Counting Crows’ album, This Desert Life, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I adore the original by Dave McKean but didn’t want to repeat any aspect of it. Well, I have — as you can see, there’s a fish! I’ve used my surreal Beating the Blues design and changed it to violet so no hint of a desert as there is with McKean’s background. And why violet? I made it a dark lime green to start with and thought better of it because so many of my makeovers have been green-based.

The band’s name is in Shopaholics Regular which looks rather different and pleasing from my having stretched the characters. The title of the album is in PT Sans Narrow Regular.

this-desert-life_counting-crowsThis Desert Life is the third studio album from Counting Crows. The cover art is by noted comic book artist Dave McKean, best known for his work with Neil Gaiman, and was adapted from the cover art McKean did for Gaiman’s picture book The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish. [Wikipedia]

‘It’s likely that critics and listeners will consider Counting Crows’ long-delayed third album,This Desert Life another retro effort by a traditionalist band, but it’s actually their most individual and finest album yet.’ [AllMusic]

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 6 What Dreams May Come

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 6 What Dreams May Come
Original & vintage art © First Night Design [www.firstnightdesign.wordpress.com]

dreams

‘Chris Neilson dies to find himself in a heaven more amazing than he could have ever dreamed of. There is one thing missing: his wife. After he dies, his wife, Annie killed herself and went to hell. Chris decides to risk eternity in hades for the small chance that he will be able to bring her back to heaven.’ IMdb

When Julie Powell announced this week’s challenge, I thought the film, What Dreams May Come (1998) with Robin Williams, was not one I’d seen. The original cover gave me no clue and even the details Julie gave about the movie winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design and a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction didn’t conjure up the story. Only when I looked at IMdb did I realise that we saw it on television a few weeks ago and rather enjoyed it. IMdb’s blurb makes it sound too ethereal for my taste but in fact, it’s a film that makes you think about life, death and love in ways you might not have previously. And the landscapes are luscious.

I have used a design I’m still creating as the backdrop in a bid to show the landscapes of the film. The title font and strap line is in Seravek ExtraLight while the star’s name is in Goudy Medieval Regular – perhaps a little too Gothic but I was running out of time.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 5 The Story of Alice

Julie Powell has chosen a fascinating book for Week 5 of the Cover Makeover Challenge — The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and The Secret History of Wonderland by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst. This is the original cover which I like enormously.

alice

The reviews below are taken from Amazon.

It is the ultimate book about Alice – comprehensive and scholarly, but so delightfully and elegantly written that it’s a true work of literature” (Jacqueline Wilson)

The Story of Alice is the best book on the myriad enigmas of Carroll’s heart-breaking wonderland I have ever read” (Robert McCrum Observer)

Superb…toweringly the best of the dozens of books on Carroll which I have read” (AN Wilson Financial Times)

Douglas-Fairhurst is a startling and exciting writer” (A.S. Byatt Spectator)

This is biography at its best” (Lyndall Gordon New Statesman)

Magnificent” (5 Stars, Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)

Fascinating ” (Book of the Week, Philip Collins Times)

I’ve done two versions this week. The one above uses Mr FND’s drawing (after Tenniel) of Alice and is, strictly speaking, a scene from Through the Looking Glass. Be that as it may, it works well. In fact, I prefer it to the second version which uses one of my earlier Alice images, which is a collage comprising a Carreras Cigarette Card from the 1930s with the facsimile of a page from Lewis Carrolls’ original manuscript published in an 1890s edition of Alice in Wonderland.

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 5 The Story of Alice

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Buy Alice at Zazzle US
Buy Alice at Zazzle UK

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 4 Believe - #Cher © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 4 Believe – #Cher © Sarah Vernon

cher_believeWeek 4 and Julie Powell has given us an album cover to work our magic on. As she says, the original cover does not have a great deal to recommend it.

‘[Cher] reached a new commercial peak in 1998 with the album Believe, whose title track became the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK; it features the pioneering use of Auto-Tune, also known as the “Cher effect”.’ Wikipedia

Whether my take has anything to recommend it, I know not! I seem to have continued my penchant for black following my cover for Simon Jones’ film, Moon, although this was mainly dictated by the black & white photograph of Cher from Wikipedia that I’ve used. Since this photo dates from 1989 and the album was released in 1998, I’d guess she had a rib or two removed between the two dates! The font is an interesting one called Heartstrings Regular, which I’ve not used before.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 3 Moon © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 3 Moon © Sarah Vernon

Week 3 and it’s a space movie for the Cover Makeover Challenge now administered by Julie Powell, photographer and graphic artist. Whether by coincidence or conscious choice, Julie has decided on a film directed by a man many of us will have thought about recently because of losing his father — Duncan Jones, son of the inimitable David Bowie.

The film, Moon, which was made in 2009 and has a staggering eight gold stars on IMDb (very rare, in my experience)stars Sam Rockwell as astronaut Sam Bell who ‘has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems’. I haven’t seen the film yet but it’s on my list.

I have used a photograph of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon (or in a film studio under the direction of Stanley Kubrick, if you subscribe to the conspiracy theory) from Wikimedia to create my cover. I used our old friend Times Regular as the font for title, star, director, and tag line, and added a bevel & emboss style as if these had been etched on the moon surface. I also blacked out the reflection on Aldrin’s helmet. We wouldn’t want to be able to see Kubrick’s reflection, now would we!

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#photorehabcovermakeover Week 2 The Money Pit © Sarah Vernon

#photorehabcovermakeover Week 2 The Money Pit © Sarah Vernon

Already it’s Week 2 for the revamped Cover Makeover Challenge now administered by Julie Powell, Photographer & Graphic Artist.

MV5BMTIzODEzODE2OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQ3ODcyMQ@@._V1_UY268_CR6,0,182,268_AL_The challenge this week was to do a cover for The Money Pit, a 1986 film starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long. Frankly, the original poster is very dated, very ’70s in style. You may well think the same.

Storyline:
Walter Fielding and Anna Crowley have to start looking for a new house – but there’s not much they can afford! This soon changes when they meet a lonely old con artist who sells them a beautiful mansion at a ridiculously low price. Only there’s a catch. The second they move into the house it falls apart, starting with the stairway collapsing to the bathtub falling through the floor to eventually the chimney falling into the house! Finally, they have to renovate the house before the frame collapses but the renovations also prove to be a disaster. IMdb

I had no idea how to do a cover for this film and pondered for several days. Today, realising that time was of the essence, I found a photograph of a dilapidated, abandoned house from Wikimedia and looked at it for several hours!

One texture from Kerstin Frank to brighten the original image and a green box with details of the stars, director and producer, and I had to stop and ponder once more.

I was happy with the fonts — Skia Regular for Steven Spielberg and Richard Benjamin, and Shopaholic Regular for Shelley Long, Tom Hanks and The Money Pit — but the box on which I had placed the title and names made it look far more like a book cover than a film or DVD poster. I’ll tilt it, I thought. I tilted it but I still wasn’t happy.

Then I realised I could roughen the boundary edges of the box with one of Photoshop’s distort tools. I ended up using ZigZag. I liked it.

Final touches were the dollars and a DVD symbol from Wikimedia and that was it. It still looks more like a book cover to me but what the hell!

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


#covermakeover Week 1 STORM BOY by Colin Thiele

#covermakeover Week 1 STORM BOY by Colin Thiele

A New Year and an old challenge resurfaces under new management! Julie Powell, Photographer & Graphic Artist, has taken over from Desley Jane of Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist and Lucile of Lucile de Goday to administer the weekly Cover Makeover Challenge and I couldn’t be more delighted.

I created this cover using Searching the Sands as my background before adding an Australian pelican photograph by Toby Hudson which I found on  Wikimedia. This I layered over the Sands image in Photoshop’s Screen mode.

The title font is Zapfino Regular, and the author and ’10th Anniversary Edition’ are in Skia Regular.

Synopsis – Storm Boy likes to wander alone along the fierce deserted coast among the dunes that face out into the Southern Ocean. After a pelican mother is shot, Storm Boy rescues the three chicks, and nurses them back to health. He names them Mr Proud, Mr Ponder and Mr Percival. After he releases them, his favourite, Mr Percival, returns. The story then concentrates on the conflict between his lifestyle and the externally imposed requirement for him to attend a school, and the fate of the pelican.

Click here for instructions if you would like to take part in future challenges.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah

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