The Andy Warhol Diaries chronicles the remarkable life of Andy Warhol from the vantage offered by the artist’s own posthumously-published diaries, contemporaneous footage of the pop-art icon and interviews with those who knew him, from John Waters to Rob Lowe.
When we were brought on for the film design portion of the series, Rossi and his team had a rough cut for most of the episodes. This gave us a great jumping off point to begin the design process based on the very specific feel of the existing edits.
From there, we moved into designing other elements of the film including treating interviews, developing org charts, fine-tuning the archival Super 8 shots and portraits of other featured Warhol work. Our collaborative relationship with Rossi’s team empowered us to lean into the years of work they’d put into the series and find things through our research and exploration we might not have otherwise tried.
One example of this is the organizational charts we designed to explain Warhol’s journey moving between mediums and through eras as an artist. Warhol was not only an artist, but a film director, publisher, TV producer, band manager, scene maker and celebrity.
The series takes a comprehensive look, from Warhol’s childhood in Pittsburgh to his groundbreaking work to his relationships with Jean-Michel Basquiat and others to the attempt on his life in 1968. We designed several sequences that focus on some of these noteworthy events, one standout being the Polaroids Warhol took of prominent figures of the downtown New York City scene and transgender activists, including Marsha P. Johnson.
As with so much of this project, handling these materials and designing for them in a way to feature their beauty while keeping them as close to their original form as possible was a challenge we really enjoyed.
Much of the series is B-roll shot in museums, studios and various other art world locales, and that was something we played off of with our design. We wanted our design and the art featured in the series to feel very organic- almost as if placed in a catalog space.
This led to our design carrying this almost museum-like feel to appropriately feature the art and other series elements, like interviews, so that it could flow seamlessly with the B-roll.
Joining The Warhol Diaries toward the end of what had been an ongoing labor of love for its creators pushed us to maintain a healthy pace in our process. We have a lot of Warhol fans here at the BigStar office, and because of that, we handled the project with immense respect and put a lot of effort into our shared goal of getting this series out in the world. We couldn’t be happier with how the design and series turned out and thank our partners, Andrew Rossi and team, for entrusting us with this work.