This is a guest post from Zoë Saunders. Zoë is an American cinephile and head of the Linacre College Film Society in Oxford, where she recently completed a masters in archaeology, following in the footsteps of her hero Indiana Jones. The second set of posters will be published here next week.
When I first got to Oxford’s Linacre College, the Film Society consisted of two dudes who occasionally watched movies together. They welcomed me into their email thread, but I had bigger plans for the group, so when I became president last year, I mounted an ambitious program of weekly screenings of cult classics and new independent films, as well as monthly themes like LGBTQ month in February.
To get the word out about this newly revamped Film Soc, I posted flyers, sent emails, and created Facebook events, but the most successful part of this publicity push was when I decided to commandeer an underutilized 2’x3′ chalkboard in college.
Without asking anyone’s permission, I brought my own chalk along and drew up an ad promoting that week’s film, and now my weekly chalk drawings have become a beloved, quirky part of college life. Although I have been drawing and doodling my entire life, I had never really worked in chalk before, so there has been a bit of a learning curve as I test the limits of the medium (e.g. learning how to shade, working with only 6 colors, and using the ‘negative space’ of the black background). Every week I create a design based on an existing poster or my own impressions of the film. It usually takes me about an hour to execute each drawing, most of that focused obsessively on the typography. While I work, college staff or other students will stop by to watch me work or pay their compliments. It’s been a fun and rewarding experience, which has drawn more people to our Film Society events and given me the opportunity to practice my art.
Part two will be here next week!