In America is Jim Sheridan’s 2003 film about a family of Irish immigrants trying to follow their dreams in 1980s New York City. Hillman Curtis, Inc. had a long standing relationship with Fox Searchlight at the time so selecting them to do the microsite for this film was a very natural step.
At the time Hillman himself was in the process of transitioning his studio from a web design consultancy to something that incorporated film in a more central way. At that time I was just beginning my time with the studio and Hillman allowed my love of illustration take a central role in the project.
“…his illustrations set the tone for a movie site we worked on together. The site was for the major motion picture release of “In America” (Fox Searchlight Pictures). There was extreme pressure and high expectations from the studio and I was able to rely on Ethan to, not only provide the signature illustrations – over twenty of them in all – but also to also help out with the complex Flash build out of the site. The result was a resounding success, with positive feedback, not only from the studio, but also from the filmmakers themselves.”
The illustration work served as a way to transition from film previews into the actual site interface.
The site had obvious needs to communicate salient information about the film – bios, a gallery, plot summary etc. But in the end the decision was made to let the movie speak for itself as much as possible. After all, people are there to interact and enrich their experience with the film.
The end result is a site that is technically speaking on the simple side, but very cinematic in its experience.