Artist and Designer Lauren Caddick on creating the original artwork for the re-release of “Rocco and His Brothers”

When Milestone called and asked me to design the poster for Rocco and His Brothers, I was humbled and excited. The opportunity to work on a film of such magnitude with Martin Scorsese's name attached was a dream I wasn't going to turn down. Both Amy Heller and Dennis Doros know that my love for the dramatic holds no bounds...and this film was no exception. 

Before attending design school at NC State University, known for it's architectural foundation and technological advances, I apprenticed with an oil painter for almost five years. All of my design fundamentals originate from the core of atelier or "in studio" painting. While learning from a master painter, I learned to love big brush strokes, bright pops of color, and constantly shifting textures.  

During my time at NC State, I was able to incorporate some of my painting into my work as an undergraduate, but for the most part, my paints were set aside for Adobe software. Knowing this and looking back on my process to create the Rocco poster, it doesn't surprise me that I attempted to create a digitally rendered poster at first; I wanted to have the ability to change the narrative based on the decision of each brushstroke in minute detail - from color to shape to size, digital software allows for a constantly shifting story to unfold.  

But I could do better for Rocco. The film tells a raw story of love, family, and career that could not be reflected in the impermanence of a digital line — it deserves a poster that shows its authenticity. Amy Heller knew long before I did that it should be hand-painted, just as it would have been in 1960 for its original release. It just needed to be updated for modern eyes and modern printing. 

Painting Rocco was great challenge and one I won't forget for a long time! It was a graphic design puzzle and a truly humbling undertaking as an illustrator.

Completing this poster reminded me how much I enjoy storytelling through painting and thinking back on this experience encourages me to continue working and challenging myself creatively. I am so grateful for the inspiration that Milestone Film provides for me - an artist with an archivist's heart. While no assignment is ever dull, Rocco and His Brothers had everything I could ever ask for. 

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