I grew up in a tiny village tucked away in the heart of the Cotswolds, in the west of England. Trips to the cinema felt rare and were much cherished.
There was a more regular source for my passions, however. I’d often see key art reproduced as advertisements in my Mickey Mouse or 2000AD comics. Seeing Robert McGinnis’ wonderful artwork for Live and Let Die for example — even in low-resolution black and white — meant on some level I could experience the film in the absence of actually seeing it. I remember imagining the films based on the details of each poster: the events that led up to this boat chase, or the appearance of that crocodile, or what could be causing that composition-defining explosion behind Roger Moore’s laconic, iconic figure. So I suppose my current vocation was in some way predestined.
Adventures in music retail kept me off the streets until one day the fates lent me a bent copy of Photoshop 4.0. It’s not a great exaggeration to say Adobe saved my life. I have never looked back (but I have purchased legitimate versions).
It’s still my ambition to inspire in the viewer that same sense of excitement or intrigue that I felt lying on my bedroom floor leafing through monochrome advertisements: that need to discover precisely what feelings, ideas or emotions the key art represents, what treats and surprises are in store when the viewer steps into the world of the film. For me cinema is still the most magical of medums; having the opportunity to work with filmmakers and compressing their ideas into a single, reductive, seductive image is a dream come true. And with every project I aim for my work to inspire others, as I was inspired all that time ago.
The opportunity to create inspiring work that is unique to each individual film I work on is the challenge that keeps me going, every film presenting a new world to explore and decipher. In an age of increasingly absurd levels of visual overload, creating ‘standard’ key art just won’t cut it any more – and I am hoping to lead the charge into a slightly more interesting future. If you’ve got a project you’d like to show me, then I’d like to help you introduce it to its audience.
I look forward to meeting you.
The Work of Jeremy Saunders (Solo)
Dungog Film Festival, 2010
The National Film and Sound Archive, Canberra 2011
The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra 2017