eightbitbrand Design

Looking at Wes Anderson and his unique style in movies and real life.

I am not a big movie fan, in fact when I speak to someone about movies the immediate assumption that people make is I haven’t seen it. Some big movies I missed out on include Pulp Fiction, The Godfather, Green Mile, and many other movies “everyone has to see”.

Although I’m not a big movie fan, I have watched some though. Some favourites of mine include La La Land, Oceans 11 – 13, and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

The latter, however, is the one I want to talk about. The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the first Wes Anderson films I watched and I was amazed by him from that moment on.

The colours he uses has become his trademark.

Wes Anderson has a brilliant way of using colours within his movies, it’s one of the key things that stands out to me. When I first watched The Grand Budapest Hotel, it was the colours that got me.

The bright pinks of the hotel in the movie is immediately striking, bringing immediate life to the scene. Especially striking is the backgrounds of some of his shots, the bright reds and the blues are trademark to his unique style.

This striking style is evident when you visit his designer cafe which is part of the Fondazione Prada in the heart of Milan. The below picture of Bar Luce is an excellent example of his extraordinary use of colour, stolen from copytyper’s Instagram and shows how he has translated his unique movie style into real life.

A picture of Wes Anderson's coffee shop in Milan, Italy. Showing his use of bright colours and textures.

The way he frames his shots, to me, is completely unique.

What really strikes me when watching a Wes Anderson movie, more than just the unique colouring, is his framing and panning during a shot. This, in my opinion, is something only he can pull off well.

It’s uniqueness isn’t because of who is in the shot, but it’s how each shot in the movie transitions. In the films, the characters are always filmed from the same angle and transitions from scene to scene are seamless. In my limited knowledge of movies, and wider TV/filming, it’s something I’ve never seen done quite as well.

The shot of the train in the Grand Budapest Hotel is something that comes straight to my mind. Using the window as a framing device to keep the scene fresh and new is a stroke of genius. You are still listening to what the characters are saying, but you don’t get bored because there is still activity behind them.

This is just one of his ways of approaching shots. I think Wes Anderson has become one of the leading people in the movie industry to do these types of shots and they repeat throughout all of his movies.

Branding yourself with such imagery, in marketing, is gold and really difficult.

I’ve spoken about trademarks on this blog before. In marketing the use of colours, imagery and styles of shots are important to how a brand is perceived. It’s really difficult to pin down a style like this, some brands will go through life never getting such a staple style.

Wes Anderson has mastered this in a way some brands take years to build which, as a creative person and a marketing person, makes me incredibly annoyed because of how easy he has made it look.

Although a movie buff could better analyse all of his movies and how good or bad they are. All I can say is the way Wes Anderson has branded himself and his approach to movie making is incredibly standout and doesn’t happen often.

This is something he has perfected and it’ll take someone even greater to take those styles away from him.