New Movie Posters – Los Poncheros and The SHU

by Jimmy on July 2, 2018

Paul Valéry once said, “A poem is never finished; it is only abandoned.”  The same can be said for a screenplay.  You can go through dozens of drafts until finally a producer or financier gives the green light.  More likely though is you move on to another idea and hope that one day the screenplay you put down for a sleep will wake up and come calling again.  Or you could be like Derek Cianfrance and do 66 drafts of your screenplay.

For me, the act of moving on to another script has to be marked with a symbolic act.  And that act for me is making a movie poster.  So without further ado, here are two movie posters for my two most recent scripts.

Los Poncheros cover


Los Poncheros logline: The racially diverse members of a poncho-wearing gang find themselves on opposing sides of a developing conflict in a turbulent Western territory. The former friends must choose between their old ideals of cooperation and diversity and the territory’s current ideals of individualism, greed, and segregation.

The Searchers western movie poster The Female Bunch exploitation film movie poster Silverado western movie poster










Inspirations behind the movie poster: Although Lew Dang, aka The Asian Ponchero, should be viewed as the protagonist, Los Poncheros could also be considered an ensemble feature much like other Westerns such as Silverado or Lonesome Dove.  In trying to showcase the diversity of characters in the story, I decided to put all of the main characters on the poster.  I also wanted the three Poncheros to resemble bats somehow and the illustrator, Ron Batchelor, came up with a great subtle pose to do just that.  In laying out the poster, I drew inspiration from Western movie posters such as Silverado, The Searchers, and The Female Bunch, a 70s exploitation film that I never watched, and non-Westerns such as Mad Max.  Those posters fit a lot of characters and information into a limited poster space with style.  I needed to do the same because my poster will be used as a potential graphic novel cover or to pitch producers on a movie or TV series.  My poster would be used to set expectations for the reader.  It would be cool to do a simpler or minimalist movie poster, but that would require someone to read the script or graphic novel first and then go back and look at the cover and confirm the cleverness of the minimalist design.  My movie poster has to do the opposite.  It has to get the reader excited to actually read the story first.  I want them to think: “An Asian Cowboy wearing a poncho?  With a Black and White cowboy in ponchos?  A sinister looking old guy with orange eye watching over everyone?  A beautiful looking Indian woman weaving on a loom surrounded by canyons?  I’m in!”

The SHU indie movie

The SHU logline: Two childhood best friends, a Vietnamese boy and Black boy, witness a murder that leads to a wrongful conviction. Sixteen years later, the former friends reunite to try and free the innocent man, but to do so, they must face down their former bully and find the actual murderer.

Above the Rim movie posterHoop Dreams documentary movie poster










Inspirations behind the movie poster:
 I’ve always wanted to make a movie with iconic basketball scenes and The SHU includes three such scenes.  It’s not a basketball movie by any means, but there is a basketball scene in each of the three acts of the movie.  So with this poster, I wanted the two protagonists and the basketball court to take center stage.  There is a bit of symbolism with Mac, the Vietnamese boy, guarding Butternut, the Black boy, and trying to keep him from the hoop, which is purposefully situated right by the incarcerated man with dreadlocks.  The rowhomes in the background help to establish the setting of the movie.  For the discerning eye, those are Richmond, VA rowhomes.  Again, the purpose of the movie poster is to get potential producers and collaborators excited about reading the script so I had to include a lot of memorable scenes and images from the movie on the poster.  Of course, with my movie featuring basketball, kids, and inner city life, I had to take inspiration from movie posters such as Hoop Dreams and Above the Rim in creating The SHU’s movie poster.

Now I’m ready to move on to my next script.

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