Night On Fire
A few years back a good buddy of mine and I had some free time as well as idle hands, and opted to put our heads together coming up with a concept for a comic that we could have some fun with. He was an ace on snappy dialogue with a slant towards the humorous side, and I was looking for some big, gritty action on the visuals. I was also disappointed with the fact that no one could figure out how to handle Marvel's Doctor Strange (This is hipster territory pre Marvel Studios mind you..) and suggested doing something of a Ghostbusters meets Army of Darkness type story. We were meeting up regularly for some caffeine induced brainstorming, when one afternoon we happened to notice a flurry of activity across the street involving several ambulances and a small brigade of fire engines- while someone had struck another vehicle, inspiration had struck us (Everyone involved was okay before you accuse me of being an asshole on top of making terrible puns).
We started to lay the groundwork for what would become Night On Fire- a buddy "cop" story mixed with a healthy dose of the supernatural and subbing out coppers for some brash EMT's/firemen. We made some headway on the project, outlining the overall story and scripting the first issue. Unfortunately, several big life changing scenarios happened (Children and moving really cramp your style!) for each of us and ended up taking us away from the project...
Above- Early concept art, character designs, and layouts from the initial pitch.
Later in school I was tasked with creating media for two different classes and found these tasks perfect to revisit the story that we had been cooking up. The first piece was a poster for a 'grindhouse' style movie. After submersing myself in researching the genre, I couldn't help but think of how much the story could benefit from a little late seventies injection in its style. The research of the style and timeframe of the grindhouse cinematic movement dramatically influenced where I saw the story going, and I immediately had a visual sense of what the poster would be- bold, iconographic and BLOOD RED.
As a follow up to the poster design, another project came up where I was tasked with designing print materials for a CD or DVD of 'original content'. I had still been thinking about Night on Fire and had gotten to the point where I had put together an inspirational soundtrack to accompany the story as I worked on it. I went on to interpret the playlist as "music from the motion picture" and began thumbnailing visuals using colors and design elements from the previous poster as a springboard.
From here the process moved pretty quickly. Artwork was created combining graphic elements from Getty Images and the ghostly silhouetted image of the fireman was an illustration produced using referenced images of a 1/6 scale 'action figure'.
Added bonus: If you're a Spotify user, you can check out the actual 24 song soundtrack in a playlist.