Design Spotlight | Creating an opener and graphics for Black Girl Film School

SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Black Girl Film School is a collection of media experts, filmmakers, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, directors, teachers, instructional designers, and below the line crew – all with one common goal of increasing the number of Black women working in the industry above and below the line. We spoke to The Mill’s Senior Producer Holly Dyroff and Art Director Henry De Leon on what it was like creating a series of inspiring graphics for the film school.

How did you decide on the creative for this project?

Henry: There were a few challenges, but the first was getting the opening right and everything else would follow. We were limited to 6 seconds and we wanted to not only speak to the girls about possibilities as filmmakers but also to visually say this is a film program. The solution was, make it look like a film leader, which is the count down before a film starts. It was a clever way to move through our narrative quickly and its execution harkens to the origins of the film industry.

Interpreting the BGFS curriculum must have been fun – talk us through the process?

Henry: It was important that we knew the structure of the program so we could see the scope of the project. After we figured out its separate elements, we needed to find out how to make this wealth of information appealing to the age group. So we did a deep dive pulling visual references and as well as looking at any preexisting branding that could help us find the note we wanted to hit. There were a few pieces front their branding guide that helped us get a start. From there what evolved is an upbeat, current and celebratory graphics package.

What’s your favourite element of the design?

Henry: I really enjoyed making the icons for the girls. Most of the work I’m doing now is based on character designs, and it was so nice I could fit that little piece of myself in the project. It was important that we got different shapes and sizes so it would be inclusive and the girls could relate to them.

You can find out more about Black Girl Film School on their website or Instagram @blackgirlfilmschool and get in contact with our Design Studio here. Discover more of our work at The Mill’s Design Studio.

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