Film poster
Key art & poster design for BOSS, a film written and directed by Bogdan Mirică (Umbre, Câini). Coming to a cinema near you on April 21st.

Client: 42 km Film, Bad Unicorn

Work delivered: Concept & execution

Photography: Adi Marineci

Main poster

The job
The film tells a character-driven story, zeroing in on one of four gangsters involved in an armed robbery. Bogdan Mirică's narrative sharply dissects this character's mind in real time, as events unfold, capturing his emotions and exposing his inner meltdown.

Early ideas & attempts
I started with a myriad of different ideas: photo collage comps, frame captures from the movie and typography-driven solutions.


Then it all naturally glided towards deconstruction: "let's break the character into small shards, let's twist his image, let's smudge and distort actor Laurențiu Bănescu's face till it sings." It was fun. Also, it kinda worked, because there were excellent photos to go around. But this was supposed to be a poster, not a painting, or a diagram of the story. It had to be simple and easy to recognize.

Ideally, it had to leave you, the viewer (at least a little bit) intrigued.

The concept
One way to look at this character is through his inner conflicts. Show the opposing sides of the same (tormented) mind.

Two opposing faces, in complementary opposite colors.

The first thought was to slash the visual in two, but that didn't feel like it worked. The solution came late in the executional phase: the four slices. The number four is important in the film's structure. For the poster, it added that fine touch of arbitrary.

Concept sketch

The photo

Scrolling through the movie set photoshoot, one image stood out. It captured a balanced expression of quiet intensity, that simply worked for the poster. The dark environment and subtle lighting set the mood just right.

Photo by Adi Marineci

Cropping the photo so tightly could have meant a loss of resolution. But the original photo provided more than enough information, and with AI-powered upscaling, sky's the limit: this photo can easily be turned into a building-sized billboard.

Discarded attempt: AI-powered reconstruction and noise reduction.
While spectacular, AI noise reduction would have diminished the photo's subtle texture.
The original high-ISO look proved more expressive, as shot.

Snapshot: premiere night, before doors open

Ioana Bugarin & Laurențiu Bănescu, the stars of BOSS, premiere night. Photo: Bad Unicorn

Photo: Bad Unicorn

BOSS is coming to theaters from April 21st.
Here's the official trailer.

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