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Meet Instagram’s movie poster mashup maestro
When not hard at work in his graphic design studio, Malaysian artist Jaemy Choong likes to play with movie poster cards. Using nothing but his smartphone he mashes up Hollywood blockbusters and real-life, casting his friends, family and pets in upcoming features. Sometimes the results are flattering, and at other times they’re anything but.
Choong’s creative movie poster mashups soon started getting traction on Instagram – he now has around 15,000 followers – so we caught up with the designer to find out more.
For those not familiar with your Instagram, when did you first get started doing movie mash-ups?
I think it started in June 2014. A few friends and I had finished watching the movie, Maleficent, and I was just looking at the movie poster card in my hand and was like “Hey wouldn’t it be nice if we got behind it and did Miss Jolie a favour by “completing” her body?” My friends played along and when the picture came out it was so funny we just had to do more. I think you can see it on one of my earlier Instagram postings. I’ve always had a keen interest in movies and I work in graphic design so this project is kind of a merge of my interest for both subjects.
Was it instantly popular? Or was there a spike in likes at a certain point?
Well the picture of “Maleficent” got a pretty nice response, so I just decided to do more and keep the humor going with one-liners and the quirky poses. Eventually websites like ViralNova and BoredPanda started picking it up and it landed on even bigger sites like MTV.com and (geeking out a bit here) the Stan Winston School of Character Arts (Terminator, Jurassic Park, Predator). That was pretty darn mind-blowing.
#Abstinence never looked this hot. #virgin #rawr #stevecarell A photo posted by Jaemy Choong (@jaemyc) on
Which of your images was the hardest to line up exactly right? How long did it take?
Oh wow. Honestly most of them were not easy to line up AT ALL. Let me see…. Any shots with animals! Those stubborn canines are always there to test my patience. Behind every shot that worked, there were probably 99 thousand shots that didn’t work and didn’t get uploaded. So every shot is tricky in its own way.
Who are the people you get to model in your posts?
Friends, family, pets, willing slaves. I’m fortunate to have these very obliging humans around me who are crazy enough to play along with my antics and directions. Hats off to them because most of the poses aren’t particularly pleasant to hold.
Are you aware of Sleeveface? It’s similar sort of thing for album covers.
Haha yes I remember it being a thing some time ago. We should start something like that too and have a community site where people share their pictures of movie posters and real-life mashups. Would be fun to see what people from other parts of the world can come up with in their different environment. Then everyone can live their dream of being “in” a blockbuster movie. Or rather, a blockbuster movie poster…
A photo posted by Jaemy Choong (@jaemyc) on
Which image are your most proud of? Which has been most popular?
Oh man… so many! I really like the ones we did with “The Shining” (the different depth of the 2 models), “Fight Club” (multiple models again), “300” (the rainbow umbrella and that raised feet!), “Where the Wild Things Are”, “Godzilla”, “Les Miserables” (the hair flow position is perfect), “Cats and Dogs”, and so many more.
As for the crowd favourites, they are usually anything with puppies and kittens. You can’t go wrong with puppies and kittens. I think I’ve done 3 shots with my parent’s pups – Fifi & Luna – and they seem to get a lot of love instantaneously. My selfies don’t come anywhere close to the attention those clueless animals get.
Who is your internet hero?
Satiregram is genius. Also, Zach King’s Vine vids usually play on repeat a few million times before I move on with my day. My friends and I enjoy scratching our heads trying to figure out how he does his special effects!
You guys, the heat (and the vday weekend) is, like, totally making me SO miserable. #cny #lesmiserables #valentinesday #single A photo posted by Jaemy Choong (@jaemyc) on
Finally, any plans beyond Instagram? A blog? A book?
I’m open to anything interesting that comes along, really. I collaborated with 20th Century Fox on a few pictures when they were hyping up “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” back in December. That was a pretty fine gig. I’d love to produce a compilation of all the favorite shots I’ve taken with my mashup idea one day when I’ve truly feel worthy of it. It would be nice to flip through the pages and tell people how awkward it was getting a particular shot and how the “model” was threatening to kill me behind the lens because of the pose I was making him/her do.
When I’m not forcing people to hold awkward poses for me, I’m usually up and about running the creative side of my graphics studio, Kickatomic. I also tried my hand in writing for a short film recently and our film got through to be one of the finalists in the recent Tropfest South East Asia held in Penang, Malaysia. So I guess that means it’s just a few more steps before that big fat Hollywood blockbuster deal lands on my lap right? Right?!