Separated at Birth?

Can anyone explain to me why these posters for the Adelaide Film Festival (first) and The Durban Film Festival (second) are so similar? Not pointing the finger at anyone, but they are both really similar to each other – not just from an idea standpoint but stylistically similar as well, they could all have been produced during the same photo shoot. They both must have been produced at around the same time, was there some ‘consensus of vision’ as far as the promotional material for both events? I tend to think not because of the difference in how the typography is handled. There were more in the series for the Adelaide event, but these two presented here were they only ones I could find online, sorry about the quality of the ‘set of 3’ below for the Durban event, I took a screen grap from a pdf giving a sneak peak of a book soon to be released by Durban design firm Disturbance. I seem to remember there being an Adelaide one similar to the Durban ‘hair salon’ one as well. Maybe it’s just a case of the collective zeitgeist clashing in the same idea at the same moment – you don’t know how long I’e been waiting to use the word zeitgeist in one of my posts! Regardless, they have both ‘borrowed’ heavily from avante-garde music and visual art group The Residents, though clarification on the matter would be appreciated.


Monica from the Durban Film Festival was kind enough to reply and shed some light from their perspective on the whole scenario – seems it is just a case of synchronisity at work! She does raise a good point about where I sourced the images though, and if you’re interested at seeing more of the Durban Eyeball guy, go to their site here to check it out.

2 thoughts on “Separated at Birth?

  1. Monica Check out the live action EYEBALL Guy…riding taxis.. and GETTING READY… the campaign tag for the posters and the animation was ARE YOU READY? EYEBALL GUY was a helmet with a hand painted lens, which rendered all who wore it blind. The skateboarder character managed to skate one line without a crash (apparently he ran right into a police car in one shot!). Eyeball has been a theme that Disturbance was mining since 2005 — successfully I think — 2005 saw a dancing Eyeball and a surfer Eyeball (Disturbance does the Wavescapes Surf Festival poster which runs concurrent with DIFF and then tours the country) then in 2006 they gave us flying eyeball ‘eye monsters’. In 2007 Disturbance really wanted to do a live action shoot and I think that was the main motivation for the helmet Eyeball. Plus an Eyeball helmet lead more easily to 8-different shots posters which were used in various media – huge banners etc – over the campaign’s run. These were: “Eyeball getting ready”; eyeball & eyedrops, eyeball getting eye-check-up, eyeball getting a relaxing massage, doing yoga, trying to get a date, eyeball stocking up on carrots, eyeball putting one glasses to study film. We dropped the hairdresser’s as there wasn’t room for them all and we liked the other eight better, but at the salon was included in Disturbance Design’s history book “My Favorite Things”. Wavescapes Surf Film Festival Eyeball guy was especially stunning shot … the colours and light make the image quite hyper-real. The 2007DIFF campaign’s first photo shoots were developed and published months — late 2006 — before going public in an advert Nov 2006 where the similarity was instantly remarked upon! By then we were committed to the eyeball filmreel and needed all the shots which were finished in early 2007. BTW Adelaide and Durban remarked about the synchronicity and shared a rye chuckle. I think Adelaide’s Eyeball was a digital add-onto their posters and not a hand built model? Disturbance has a website but it is still in development. I think that is where you took the pdf of their book — perhaps you can link to this site as a courtesy?But you question the inspiration. I think that people are inspired by everything around them all the time and are ‘re-inviting’ and ‘paying’ homage to these inspirations. However I dont know if Disturbance even knows the work of The Residents…but they arent the only ones who used Eyeball themes…there are so many eyeball inspired moments in art. The Residences at show a history of about 2 years post Madballs Wacky toys so perhaps the Residents Eyeball Masks should be attributed to inspiration by exposure to these toys? But who knows where in the Zeitgeist inspiration comes from! I agree with you it was interesting that both festivals went the same route at the same time though. You are welcome to place our images on your blog, eg the poster you have already posted for discussion — but please can you link them back to our site? All blogs should state where they get images from…?All bestMonica


    It is an obvious (perhaps too obvious) solution, so “synchronicity” was probably inevitable. No doubt there are many, many eyeballs on heads out there. Perhaps why a different approach would probably have been best. Quite like the barbecue shot though. Many thanks for the plug by the way. At least they didn’t resort to this. “worst of Perth” McDonald

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