October 4, 2011

Chris Whetzel - Internet Piracy Turns into Bribary

"August was great month because that was when Boo Davis at Seattle Weekly contacted me for a huge Village Voice Media project. Working with LAWeekly's Darrick Rainey, she was putting together a universal feature to be used in several of Village Voice's papers.

The subject was about a band of lawyers basically blackmailing those who illegally download movies; the sample cited often is Person-X downloads a movie he/she may not be proud of watching (something adult-oriented), and these lawyers track them down and mail them a letter saying "Pay us X-dollars or we will take you to court and make you Asian schoolgirl fetish public knowledge." Although frowned upon by many courts, it it really a sad situation as people typically just pay the money to stay out of court where the case would most likely be dropped as was the case in many examples in the article.

In the sketch phase, I tried to hit all the various angles of the story to give the art directors lots of options. 

In the end, they decided to work the piracy angle, and I was quite excited to take their selections to final. One suggestion was to add the "digital element' to the images by having the images feature pixellation. So I made the skull look like it falling apart (to some, being shot) and the waves of the ship image feature cresting/droplets of pixels. The spots use pixels as waves crashing against the ship and as the gun's spark:" - Chris Whetzel

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