Film Design in the Spotlight at South by Southwest

The UnBeigemobile didn’t make it down to Austin earlier this month for South by Southwest (SXSW), but we’re happy to report that design is becoming more prominent at the burgeoning music, film, and interactive event. This year, SWSW heeded the suggestion of Austin-based designer David Horridge and bestowed its inaugural award for excellence in title design. The international competition was open to all title sequences created as part of a film completed since 2009. Finalists were judged by a panel of industry experts that included Susan Bradley (Pixar), Karin Fong (Imaginary Forces), and Remco Vlaanderen (Submarine Channel’s Forget the Film, Watch the Titles). The big winner? Designer Ben Conrad‘s titles for Zombieland, the Zombie comedy directed by Ruben Fleischer (who just inked a deal with DreamWorks). Crop artist Stan Herd earned both runner-up honors and the audience award for his titles for earthwork, a movie based on his life.

Like us, SXSW also loves a good movie poster (another initiative of Horridge, an AIGA Austin board member). The film festival handed out its second annual award for excellence in poster design to Joseph Ernst for Feeder, his vomit-inducing experimental short that was filmed entirely inside someone’s mouth. Free of characters, location, or dialogue, Feeder tells “a simple story of excess over the course of a single day.” Watch the trailer here, but only if you’re OK with skipping lunch. Brussels-based designer and animator Gilles Vranckx was chosen as runner-up for his retro poster for Amer, a neo-giallo crowd-pleaser. The poster design award category was judged by Craig Crutchfield (Chaos Concept Mfg.), Craig Denham (Sanders/Wingo), David Frost (AllCity), Marc English (Marc English Design), and Tim League (Alamo Drafthouse).

2010 SXSW Film Design Awards
Excellence in Poster Design
Winner: Feeder
Designer: Joseph Ernst

Runner-up: Amer
Designer: Gilles Vranckx

Audience Award Winner: Richard Garriott: Man on a Mission
Designer: Michael Anderson

Special Jury Award: Equestrian Sexual Response
Designers: Martim Vian and Zeke Hawkins

Excellence in Title Design
Winner: Zombieland
Designer: Ben Conrad

Runner-up: earthwork
Designer: Stan Herd

Audience Award Winner: earthwork
Designer: Stan Herd

Special Jury Award: Enter the Void
Designers: Gaspar Noé and Tom Kam