As a kid I loved old films of the 50s and early 60s - especially cheesy science fiction (with a side of horror for fun if you don’t mind!). It wasn’t just the stories that intrigued me back then, it was the bombastic scores, the dramatic lighting, the self-important dialog and characters that you had to acquire a taste for – it was ALL of it!
It was the vibe that the whole production would communicate that most captivated me. If it pushed my disbelief just a bit further than I was willing to suspend it, they had me.
To see what I mean, do yourself a favor and watch the 1963 movie The Man with X-Ray Eyes with Ray Milland, a favorite of mine, then and now. When I started creating illustrations for clients in the style that I’m showcasing here (HiFi) it was my chance to convey that same inner feeling I had as a kid to others.
I love creating concepts in this style, imbibing them with a bit of grit, drama and nostalgia – always hoping I’ve been able to push the image just enough to take the viewer just beyond their disbelief… then I know that have them!
My Mystery Movie Still
I love making retro photo illustrations - it’s like directing a scene in an old movie that no one has ever seen. In this tutorial I take a few random images and create what could be a still image from an over-the-top psychological mystery. Come along and learn how I do it.
Note: For clarity, this image will be 5” x 7” at 300dpi – knowing this will make all the function settings I suggest accurate.
Step 1. Beginning with the Background
One thing I like to try to mimic is old grainy film stock. It’s not difficult as long as you know how to Add Noise to an image and play around with Gaussian Blur. The only other secret I add in is enlarging a section of the “noised” sample before blurring it.