By Junsui Films | May 2011
I am the rocker, I am the roller.
The Film the Blanks creator chats exclusively to Junsui Films about his inspiration and influences behind the collection.
Junsui Films: What is your background in the arts?
John Taylor: I studied Graphic Design and Communication at Ravensbourne University, graduating around 1999. Since then I have worked predominantly on digital communication and campaign work for a variety of London agencies including AKQA, Saatchi & Saatchi, POKE, Mother and LBi. For the last year I’ve taken a break from London to work on my MA in Creative Writing which I will complete next year.
JF: When did you first become interested in crossing genres and creating work based around film?
I love anything that feels creatively synaesthetic. I like mixing and scratching and that ‘search for the perfect blend’ often guides the things I gravitate to. Whether it’s knitted graffiti, musical puzzle games, AV mash‐ups or genre‐splicing literature; I’m always drawn to creative collisions.
Things that work on different levels are always pleasing, even more so if they harmonise unexpected emotional triggers or creative areas. For example when I’m mixing music I obviously select tunes that make you want to dance but I mix them with a sense of humour so the blend makes you want to laugh. If you’re dancing and laughing it’s a win‐win for me.
I’ve always been a massive film fan and I believe cinema and cinematic techniques already naturally cross‐over and influence many creative disciplines. FILM THE BLANKS came about for a number of reasons; I became aware that I had no creative outlets outside of work, mainly due to the amount of work I was doing. The work itself had become creatively unfulfilling; I’d grown tired of the stress, red tape, lack of control and dilution of ideas that can be symptomatic of agency work. So there was a definite pressure building to do something outside work that was purely for me.
Alongside that, I’d seen a lot of lazy movie posters at the time that really consisted of little more than faces of the stars. Ironically by using massive faces on everything the posters and movies became faceless in a strange sort of way. I started to wonder how much you could abstract classic posters and still retain the identity so that became FILM THE BLANKS.
My experiments led to a personal blog where I would post the results. Someone in Japan discovered it and from there it spread around the world. Then the visitors turned it into an impromptu daily group quiz as they guessed the posters. So I rode that wave and made‐up some rules. It ended up being a strange collision of art+design+online+social. But really it was born of frustration with feeling controlled, censored and diluted and I guess that came out sub‐consciously in my ‘blanked out’ reductive posters.
JF: Whose work would you say inspires you the most (art or otherwise)?
There isn’t any one single thing that I could say “that’s it” I’m quite eclectic so my key inspirations tend to shuffle from week to week or month to month depending on what I’m focused on. I’ll give you a slice of what has been interesting and inspiring me over the last month.
BONE: One Volume Edition (Jeff Smith)
Classics by (H.G. Wells)
DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Rick Strassman
Haven’t been watching loads lately because I’ve been mostly writing but this what I’ve made an effort to watch and re‐watch, I tend to like most things by these directors.
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
True Grit (Cohen Bros.)
I’ve been listening to a lot of soundtrack music lately because I find it easier to write with some background music.
The Illusionist (Philip Glass)
The Fountain (Clint Mansell)
HANNA (Chemical Bros.)
ART & DESIGN:
I’ve been enjoying HYDRO 74′s output recently. I got his fantastic recent 4‐print Animal Series. Also I recently got the MONDO Star Wars Poster set by the ever popular Olly Moss.
JF: Is there a particular genre of film that you enjoy creating work for the most?
Not really a genre but there was a lot of very strong poster designs in the 60′s and 70′s that lend themselves to the ‘blanked’ style. I like strong graphic shapes, which is why I love a lot of what Olly Moss does, but I guess most people do judging by his ebay prices! In all my interests I don’t really favour a specific genre but rather (as I said earlier) I enjoy it when genres collide or when someone puts an unexpected twist on a genre.
JF: What are your plans for future projects?
Currently I’m working on my MA in Creative Writing and I’m using the time to work on my first book. It’s genre fiction and probably best fits into steam‐punk. It’s set in Victorian London around the time of the Great Exhibition and the plot revolves around an inventor, a photographer and a detective and their attempts to locate a kidnapped Countess. I don’t want to give too much away but it plays with ways of looking at things and what you focus on as well as meditating on the way science and tech effectively replaced magic and mysticism.
Film The Blanks artwork is available now. For details on how to purchase