God Forgives, Refn Judges

Wednesday, October 16 2013
God Forgives, Refn Judges

Here it is, the Steelbook version of Only God Forgives, the epic tale from Nicolas Winding Refn.

In a unique move, as reported on The Raygun newsletter, Icon and Lionsgate, as well as director Refn himself, partnered with Empire magazine’s online arm for a competition to design the Steelbook version of the film.

The director’s latest outing is, if anything, his most stylish yet and has already been driven (no pun intended) by some cracking artwork (check, among other things, the vinyl version of the soundtrack here), so this version, available exclusively via Zavvi, had to look equally impressive.

Readers at Empire’s website were invited to submit their own take on the film, with Refn himself judging version he liked most, with that one going into production for the early December release and Zavvi’s exclusive.

When launching the competition, Empire’s Helen O’Hara said: “A few years ago we started challenging our forum users to “mash” movie posters to a theme each week and they amazed us with the quality of their work. (Examples here) More recently we have tested those skills with competition challenges to design film posters for festivals and, in the case of a couple of small films, for UK use. But the chance to design the worldwide Steelbook cover for a film like Only God Forgives has seen our forumites really push themselves to new heights. There have been a huge number of entries already and, with the deadline extended to Monday I expect to see lots more that have been tinkered with down to the wire come in over the next few days.”

And now the process is complete, and Refn has made his mind up. The winner was Sharm Murugiah, here, and below, are his winning designs.

Refn says: “I’m amazed at the extreme level of creativity that people sent in to this competition for Only God Forgives, it’s better than anything I could ever conceive. I’m actually jealous.”

Commenting on the competition, Zavvi buyer Joe Anderton adds: “Zavvi is delighted to be involved in such a collaborative project involving Nicolas Winding Refn, Empire Magazine and fans of Only God Forgives. We have worked on many exclusives over the course of the year, of which this has been one of the most enjoyable. It also helps that the movie is such a great one and has already established such a loyal and passionate fanbase, which I’m sure has directly lead to the amazingly high standards of the competition entries.”

“The winning design is a stunning piece of work and really helps showcase why physical product will remain so essential.”

The final word comes from Lionsgate’s Kaz Mills, who says: “All of us here at Lionsgate and Icon took great pleasure in seeing the entries for the Steelbook competition come flooding in. With comps of this nature, there are often one or two entries that are head and shoulders above the rest, but that certainly wasn’t the case here. Countless designs impressed us enough to be considered for use at retail.

“It was fantastic that Nicolas Winding Refn got so heavily involved and found time to go through the entries and pick the winner. Congratulations to Sharm Murugiah, who had the winning design.

“From a publicity and marketing perspective, it was a unique way to launch our campaign and, with help from the fantastic team at Noble PR, one that proved to be extremely successful. There was huge word-of-mouth and online buzz about the Steelbook and home ents release while the comp was running, and when the winner was announced, via a video message from Nicolas posted on Empire’s homepage, the Steelbook design was everywhere online.”

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