I was asked to create a new cover for Danny Boyle's (director of Trainspotting and 28 Days Later) first film, "Shallow Grave" starring Ewan McGregor. In this movie, three roommates take on a mysterious fourth person to share their flat. He ends up dying mysteriously and leaves a lot of money behind. The plot takes a turn and things get out of hand very quickly. Without spoiling too much, I will say...more people die. This dark comedy felt a bit like the TV show Friends except with gruesome murder.
There is a really pivotal scene in this film where one of the roommates goes a little crazy and hides out in the attic. He proceeds to drills hundreds of tiny holes in the ceiling so he can spy on the other two roomies. Initially, I focused on that and sent some concepts along that nature. I was also really drawn to this other scene in a hardware store where Ewan McGregor's character discusses which hammer would best be suited to to maim and dismember these mobsters who were after the suitcase full of money.
I wanted an idea that alluded to the dark nature of this film without giving too much of the plot away. In the end, the director felt the hand drawn aspect of the finished cover was a bit too clunky for his aesthetic, but still liked the concept. I have to admit after this was all finished, I think the photo solution looks WAY better than the drawing. Actually a little painful to put them up side by side. Eric Skillman, the art director for this project was kind enough to let me bring on my friend Meredith Jenks
(a fantastic photographer) to shoot my idea. We set everything up in my studio, ran to the local hardware store and gathered a bunch of different hammers and hooks. We did a few different hanging patterns before we settled on this one. Hope you like it! More about this rerelease on the Criterion website. link here