Altered States | Skillshare Projects

Lindsay Edwards




Altered States

I will be creating a poster for the movie Altered States.

I have had this idea that I wanted to create a poster series for understated horror movies. You see a lot of popular icons in horror like Freddy, Jason's hockey mask, the Saw puppet, ect but I think there are a lot of horror movies out there that have strong possibilities to become iconic in their own right.

As you have probably guess from the title, Altered States is about a alternative states of consciousness. In this film it is achieved primarily through an isolation tank. The tank its self stood out to me, as well as the typeface used in the title sequence. I realized through the movie that the tank and the type could reflect each other well with some tweeking. I spent most of my sketch phase focusing on that. But I have examined a few others ideas in my thumbnail sketches. 

(Apologies for the giant out of focus thumbnail images)

Also the type is very loose in these sketches, but I have decided that it will look a lot like the sketches above.

This one is probably the weakest of the ideas, but the multi-eyed goat kept showing up in the film so I wanted to try it out.

Several representations of images that were throughout the movie here. I am thinking a photographic background that has images of flower, lava and sky fading into each other. A black circle that would represent the tunnel of conicouness. The tagline "Simple. Hideous. Nothing." which is how the main character described what he perceived human existence.

This one has the silhouette of this mountainous cave opening, I see it as also symbolizing slipping out of consciousness, and pops up often in the movie. I also was thinking about the popular evolution image of the monkey turning into a man, which in this case would be reversed as the main character does spend a portion of the movie as a (kinda cheesy special effects) monkey man.

The isolation tank is the focus of this thumb, with the type inside of it. The background would be a pattern made out of electrodes (that the main character spends a lot of time hooked up to in the chamber) in a cave painting style. There is a important scene inside a cave with an indigenous tribe in Mexico. 


After thinking about the end result of the poster and how it was going to actually look, I’ve completely changed the concept. It’s moved away from my original idea of creating an icon out of the movie and more onto something that just looks cool. Maybe I will explore the icon idea another time, but for now this is how my poster is going to look.

I was thinking more about the idea of human existence being "Simple. Hideous. Nothing." To represent this my new idea is to have a human figure floating in the layout with nothing around him. Inside of the figure would be a landscape representing his life. (and also settings in the film.) This also would put more emphasis on the typography, which is where I have spent the most time working so far and really like.


Here is my sketch so far. I am concerned with the head. It's a zoo, but I am afraid it is looking out of place. I am thinking about turning the head into another desert landscape. Thoughts?


I reworked the head. Like it much more.


Here is the work in progress of the digital version. Not exactly sure whats next. Going to sit on it for awhile and see how I feel about it in a few days.

I tweaked with it somemore and here is the final outcome. (For now, I'm constantly revising old work.)

If anyone has any comments or additional ideas, please feel free to help me out!


Please sign in or sign up to comment.