by Geneve Lau
photography courtesy of Sam West and Adobe
When you think of a movie poster, the standards are usually high. They line the walls of the movie theater promoting the next must-see films, and lead to excitement to see the trailer to get more context for the story.
Last year, Adobe partnered with Zach Braff, the actor who portrayed J.D. on Scrubs, to put on the #moviepostermovie contest. Open to college students, the challenge was creating a poster for a movie that did not exist yet. Meant to put a spin on the usual creative process, and show that the possibilities are endless with creativity, the winning poster would be made into a short film by Braff.
Out of 1,100 submissions, Sam West (CFA ’19), stood out. The film, In the Time It Takes To Get There, was released on April 2nd and can be viewed on Adobe’s site here. Her poster and the subsequently produced movie, have been talked about on multiple media outlets including E! News.
As a graphic design major, West first learned about the contest through social media—Instagram, specifically. “As a designer, I follow the Adobe channels,” she noted.
West most recently held a position as a digital design intern and consultant at Everytown for Gun Safety. She previously was the art director for The Buzz, and also worked as a Mugar Greene Scholar for the Mugar Memorial Library at Boston University, designing media to engage with and promote resources to the community on campus.
The inspiration for the poster came from a painting class she took last semester. The assignment? A $15 limit at a thrift store on anything, and using the materials to compose a three-dimensional painting. West felt “drawn to the way [the pre-owned objects] lent themselves to the visual narratives that [her] classmates were creating.” Additionally, she mentioned a “fairly messy desk” helping her creative juices flow in the creation of the poster.
When she had found out her poster had won the contest, West laughed because she truly thought she was being pranked. “Even now, it is all very surreal. It feels really special when someone else identifies something you made as something that speaks to them,” she emphasized. This love of sharing stories was critical in the choosing of her major here at Boston University.
After reviewing the script, West related to the narrative, being a college student. “The culture of social media influencers is something I’m familiar with and interact with on a daily basis. I think the way that Zach recontextualized that world is so compelling,” she remarked. Sam is still in shock that Braff had been inspired by her poster.
Before reading the script, West had no idea what the movie produced from her creation would entail. “I figured [it] could be about a lot of things—from paper-macheing detectives to apple-eating telemarketers,” she recalled, “However, I wanted the poster to be open to interpretation because I’m interested in the stories we project onto things that don’t necessarily have innate narratives, and what those stories say about us.”
A premiere will be held for the short film this Thursday April 18th at the Fairmont Copley Plaza and is free for all students. If you're interested in attending the event you can RSVP here!