This project was very enjoyable for me. Not only do I love photography, but I love movies and humor. In this Photoshop assignment, I was able to combine all three of those elements.
DISCLAIMER: As a photography student I do not intend to make a profit off of any of the images I used for inspiration or created as a result of said inspiration. This project is for educational and practice purposes only.
Movie Poster Inspiration
First came choosing the movie poster I would replicate. Perks of Being a Wallflower immediately came to mind since it’s a favorite. Here’s the original movie cover:
Movie Poster Setup
Next came the setup. I enlisted help from my husband and his twin — yes, you heard me right, they’re fraternal. I placed a trigger light right in front of my camera, a Nikon D3200, placed on a tripod. Here’s the setup:
I wanted the light in front so it would produce a nice butterfly lighting on our faces. It wasn’t until way later in my photography process that I realized the original movie poster has more of a loop lighting look — whoops. More than anything ever before, replicating someone else’s work for this project showed me the importance of details.
Since I’d be removing the background anyway, I took two separate photos. One with my brother-in-law Zac, and another of my husband Nate and I. The blue “X” was just for my reference on where to position my camera since I had to use the timer. Nate and Zac are actually the same height, but so I could position myself correctly on my husband’s shoulder, I made him crouch a little. These are the pictures after I did some initial editing in Camera Raw. I made Zac’s shirt white — it had some text on it — the headband I was wearing red, changed the color of Nate’s suit and tie, then corrected some acne.
As you can see, my husband forgot to shave. I did my best to edit it out, but ultimately decided to make him take another picture with the same setup.
For the background, I went to textures.com to find a white brick wall. I color matched the green using Photoshop’s eyedropper tool and created a brush layer with that color. I also adjusted the exposure, contrast, etc. using adjustment layers. I used dodge and burn effects to copy the “spotlight” look on the original movie poster.
I selected Nate, Zac and I out of the images I took and placed them on the background, using the original movie poster as a background template for spacing. I used dodge and burn effects on our photos and applied several camera raw filters to match the same kind of coloring and general photo editing as the originals. It took me several times to get it right. My hair was actually easier than I imagined, I basically just used the eraser tool with low hardness and “chopped” it off.
For the text I again used the original as a background template and matched the font as best as I could to the original, imputing mine and my “crews'” names instead. To spice things up of course I had to make a spoof of this year, so I renamed this feature film Perks of Being in a Pandemic. The movie text and rating underneath is also filled with puns and funnies. As I said before, this project was really enjoyable for me.
To finish things off, I included a background shadow on a separate layer just using a brush tool with low hardness and opacity in black. Here is the final result.
And the two side by side. Let me know what you think.
As a side note, before I decided to share this with others I felt super self-conscious about my work. I hadn’t seen anyone else’s, but I just felt like it wasn’t good enough. When I shared it, immediately people told me how amazing it was, and that they couldn’t believe I could create something like that. The moral of the story is to believe in yourself and keep trying! Even if you feel like something looks dumb or isn’t right, someone out there will love it, I promise.