Old work colleague Andy Frain was running Island Visuals Arts when he invited me in to act as creative director for a new label they were setting up 'Manga Films'. A company that would license Japanese animation films and distribute throughout the rest of the world. The thing about these films was they were like something we'd never seen before. Like Disney on acid - mind blowing visuals and dynamics with a Punk ethic.
The logo was created around 3 basic elements - The rising sun, A comic style treatment to the typography and the word Manga written in a calligraphic Japanese style. The idea was to make the brand look as authentic as possible. Working with Josh Riley and my Japanese make up artist Michi who wrote the word manga in a brush style for me we created a graphic that became one of the most recognisable film brands around.
Ghost in the Shell
I read the screenplay several times and came up with some thumbnail ideas which were then sketched up into visuals by Sharon Pinsker. The chosen image was then sent to the animation team in Japan to be artworked. Two weeks later a package turned up which we nervously opened. The artwork was superb but unusual as it was created in cell layers as it would have been for the the animated film.
Having watched the series I came up with ideas for each video sleeve and commissioned James Goodridge to do the illustrations. I was particularly happy with a terminator type image of the Guyver emerging from a wall of fire which we turned into posters. This scene actually did happen in the animation so it wasn't a total rip off!
Manga used to send out cut up promo films to clubs like The Ministry Of Sound which got projected onto the walls while dance music blasted out. It occurred to me that given the popularity amongst the club goers one could create a clothing range and diversify the brand. So I invited fashion designer Clare Fazal in to create the Manga clothing range which she did. Photographer Salvatore Salamone photographed pop duo 'Stretch & Vern' wearing the gear.
The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb
As part of the Manga Films they also distributed ICA Films which meant I also got to work on the sleeves and posters. This took me to Bristol where I got the chance to work with the Bolex Brothers and do a photoshoot with them for their award winning film ' The Secret Adventures Of Tom Thumb'. The film is an incredible feat of stop frame animation - I'd never seen any thing like it. I particularly liked the image in the poster of Father Christmas on the cross.