Where the Wild Things Are

February 1, 2010

Geoff Mcfetridge:

This is a small collection of some of the work I have done for Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of the book Where the Wild Things Are. Champion Graphics and Geoff McFetridge created the entire graphic package for the liscensed products related to the film. This includes special products for Urban Outfitters, Opening Ceremony, Colette Paris, Lakai Shoes, Girl Skateboards, and Ugg Boots.

We also created the trailer titles, main titles and type treatments for the film.

I met Spike around 1998 and I have worked with him a lot over the years. This usually involved creating piles of work that amounted to a very small contribution to the project. This never bothered me, because it was an incredibly creative, fun and rewarding process that led up to the scrapping of my work!

I noticed a difference when I began working on Where the Wild Things Are. For the first time I felt that Spike and I were working on a project where I could actually contribute in a significant way. Much less of what I was making was being discarded, which was a first. I was given the opportunity to interpret not only Spike Jonze’s interpretation of Where the Wild Things Are, but also Maurice Sendak’s original book. It was an amazing opportunity.

Like any kid growing up in the 70’s I was greatly influenced by Mr. Sendak’s books. His books are not just on my bookshelf they are in my blood. What I did with the titles, type treatments and marketing graphics also owes greatly to the heavy creative lifting done by Sonny Gerasimowicz who designed the creatures in the film and the Art Direction of K.K. Barrett.

Spike was closely involved in all of the work I did. I believe that he saw what I was doing as another part of the film making process, and treated it with a directors attention to detail. This meant coming by my studio on his scooter to go over T-shirt graphics or to force me to draw things with my left hand. He wanted to ensure that all the material created by the film reinforced the spirit that went into it’s creation. In critiquing the work he would often say; “It should look handmade…” and would recoil from things that looked “too good”. For him this was a handmade film. It’s images were not made of pixels; they were sewn, molded, carved, drawn, photographed and scratched into reality.

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