We talk to Martin Panchaud, the illustrator who has created an epic take on an epic movie!
Martin Panchaud is a Swiss illustrator who has a unique style, which is evident in many of his projects, however none match the sheer scale of his recent undertaking; a vertical infographic that tells the whole story of Star Wars Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and measures 123 meters (4,845 inches) in length!The project has caught the attention of Star Wars fans and graphic designers alike and even Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) was impressed.
Creative Chair caught up with Martin Panchaud to find out more about his Star Wars infographic and his process.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Originally I’m form Geneva Switzerland and I have been living in Zurich for a few years now with my wife and 14 month old twins. I’m an illustrator and I do stylistic research in the graphic novel field. I’m currently working on my own graphic novel.
You recently published an epic project that tells the whole story of Star Wars IV in the form a 123meter infographic. What made you want to do this, and how long did it take?
I’ve been a Star Wars fan since I first saw the film when I was twelve. When I needed a story that had adventure and a great imaginary setup to test the visual style I’ve been working on for quite some time now, my choice was clear.
I didn’t intend to do the whole movie but once I had finished the first three scenes I couldn’t help but continue. I estimated its final length to 60 meters but it ended up to be a little more than that. It took me about 1000 hours and I was working on it for about a year.
The project has been well received, so are there any plans to make the next instalment of the Star Wars franchise, and if so would you do anything differently?
No doubt, I would love to realize the AT-AT attack and Yodah’s house in Dagobah but for the next adaptation I’d have to organise differently since it demands a big time investment and therefore also financial resources.
I have had proposals from people to support me in the realization which is great but I first have to find a way to fund it.
There is a consistent visual style to your projects. How/what are your influences?
In 2009 me and my friend Michaël Terraz, who is also the co-founder of our publisher company l’Octopode had a comic book project for which I had to create a story using only the strict minimum of elements.
This got me interested in info graphs for their capacity of delivering a message or a content in the most efficient graphic way imaginable. I now wanted to develop this quality and combine it with the fact, that human-beings are able to feel empathic to abstract forms if they are put in an emotional context. The result of 4 years of research is a new kind of visual language that leaves a huge place to the readers own imagination and works with almost every kind of narration, and this is what fascinates me most about it.
The 31st 366 Award goes to Martin Panchaud for his outstanding creative work.
And finally, if you died a got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?
Der Ring des Nibelungen