Today, on October 21st, “The French Dispatch” premiered in cinemas worldwide. Wes Anderson’s latest film honors journalism and again sets new standards with its film graphics. Forward Festival Vienna speakers Annie Atkins and Erica Dorn are the creative minds behind the movie’s design and together with Anderson and actors like Tilda Swinton or Timothée Chalamet create another visual masterpiece.

 

(c) Wes Anderson

 

What is the first thing that comes to your mind, when you hear the name Wes Anderson? Probably his very special aesthetic using a deliberately limited color palette, slow-motion walking shots, the use of flat space camera moves, and a hand-made art direction, often utilizing miniatures. Visualists adore his movies for a reason, and one of these reasons are definitely film designers Annie Atkins and Erica Dorn. After “Grand Budapest Hotel” or “Isle of Dogs”, she is once again responsible for the film graphics of Anderson’s latest strike “The French Dispatch”.

 

(c) Wes Anderson

 

Wes Anderson officially called the movie “a love letter to journalists” and was inspired by the legendary magazine “The New Yorker”. The film crafts that Annie Atkins created for “The French Dispatch” include authentic newspapers, on-point magazine covers, and journalistic research tools amongst others. Each and every film craft is carefully curated and created by hand, as Annie told us about her creative process when working with Wes Anderson: “I usually start with the script, which completely immerses me in the time and place and the story of a film. There’s not a lot of time in filmmaking, so on my first read-through, I’m also entering all the required graphics into a script breakdown. If there are pieces I’ve never made before – banknotes from a certain country, or a particular style of printing, for example – I’ll also have one hand on my keyboard image-googling as I go. But the real research is usually in finding actual physical pieces to recreate.”

 

(c) Wes Anderson

 

For “The French Dispatch”, the process of creating the film graphics was slightly different this time, as lockdowns and social distancing kind of got in the way of a regular production and also pushed the movies’ release date back. It officially hits the theaters today, on October 21st, and before that Annie Atkins sent out a note saying that she also cannot wait to finally see the movie: “I haven’t seen the movie yet, as is always the way when I work on a Wes Anderson film: even though I read a script and see storyboards and take direction from him multiple times a day, I never really know what to expect until I sit down in the movie theatre.”

 

(c) Wes Anderson