Over the weekend, I went out and enjoyed the rare treat of a night at the cinema. “I Love You, Man” with Paul Rudd and Jason Segal provided a decent level of amusement with a bevy of awkward moments now common to American comedies.
Unfortunately, the film also contained on of my greatest pet peeves: misrepresentation of the graphic design profession. The entertainment media loves to perpetrate myths and falsehoods about a variety of professions, as I am sure any student of science will point out the host of fallacies within the latest disaster pic. However, I find that creative media professionals pop up in more than our fair share of television shows and films.
Often the creative career of the character just acts as background and affects the plot in a limited manner. “I Love You, Man” does not fall into this category, and as such the following does contain spoilers for those of you who have not seen the movie. This particular graphics related transgression impacts the design profession at the very crux of frequent problems, client provided files.
In one scene, Segal’s character photographed the groom-to-be Rudd using an iPhone. How is that for product placement? Now here is where things get tricky, the phone’s 2 megapixel images are then used to produce crisp and clean billboards. This may seem like a small issue, but frequently I receive similar quality images from clients who believe this acceptable for print use. Perhaps next time I object to using such small shots I’ll hear that they saw it can be done in a movie.
But as professionals how to we resolve this issue? Clearly the answer is open communication with clients to educate them about the needs involved with the production of their work. Sometimes, all I need to provide is a gentle reminder that 300 dpi is best, and that, no, it does not work if you simply change the resolution setting in your image editing software.
Any thoughts on other creatives in film that portray a false image of the profession?