Chol Soo Lee was a Korean American immigrant who was wrongfully convicted for the 1973 murder of Yip Yee Tak, a San Francisco Chinatown gang leader, and sentenced to life in prison. This documentary focused on his life and the movement to exonerate him. My first assignment was to create key art for the marketing, the promotion, and social media.
Creating key art for this particular film was a challenge. There was only one image I could use and that image had a lot of other people in it. I first wanted to explore a concept using labels. Chol Soo, being a Korean American immigrant, grew up in a society with many prejudices. I wanted to convey, despite the label's given to him, he was a human being. The first design is that direction. The second direction, I used the photo to my advantage. A pointed hand draws focus to the taglines. I used blurs and light leaks to draw focus to Chol Soo. While marketing found the first design compelling, the second design was chosen.
While I was designing the key art, the trailer was being cut at the same time. Once the key art was chosen, I could begin the design for the trailer. I worked closely with the senior editor and this is where the labels idea was used. To keep things consistent, I used light leaks along with the still images and let the photography dictate the text layout. Since this story takes place in the 1970's, we only had still images to work with. To add interest, I cut out Chol Soo and animated a slight move and scale to him. The light leaks were used, as they were in the key art, to keep the campaign look consistent. You can view the final trailer above.