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First Entertainment Member Profile: Martin Charles

Knowing the names of people I deal with at First Entertainment makes all the difference. I can call them at any time, and they return phone calls, they return emails, they follow through, and the relationship means that they take chances because they know, you know, in the entertainment business how it works and I think there’s a special consideration for members that way. Being an artist, you know design takes on a whole different perspective. You see beauty in things that normally is overlooked, but a car is beautifully design; its art. At 18 I got involved in art and went on to college in New York City. Going to New York, the whole world changed for me, but I grew up, and here I am. My job as a graphic designer is to make things seamless and to integrate it into the storytelling and the world in which the film is set as it would be without being obvious. And if it’s obvious there had better be a reason for it to be obvious. If it’s bad design, it’s going to pop out as out of place, so the designer, graphic designer, is called to to recreate that visual world, typography, imagery to tell the story. The driving force in my graphic doesn’t come from graphic. It comes from the joy of life and the excitement of making things work. Once you have that conceptual idea, now you go through the process of trying to make that, to replicate the Seabiscuit graphic world, the Catch Me If You Can graphic world, the Charlie Wilson’s War graphic world. So when you walk into the set of Charlie Wilson’s War, you walk into the Capitol. My gosh, it feels and look real. The set dressing looks real, the props are real, looks real, the graphic design. Where is the graphic design in this set? I don’t see graphic design? Ah, look beyond. Look into the walls. Look at the paintings. Look at the inscription. Look at the floor. Look at the tiles. There is graphic design, but it doesn’t scream because it’s an integration of design into the set. When they invited me into the Academy, it was actually an amazing feeling because it meant that you are recognized. I’m very thankful and very humble that I’m part of that that group, quite an elite group, actually. I’m Martin Charles, and I’ve been with First Entertainment since 1997.

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