Now playing exclusively on MUBI, Androids Dream is a piece of minimalist sci-fi filmed in an eerily empty, out-of-season Benidorm, on the eastern coast of Spain. Based very loosely on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the source, of course, for Blade Runner), Ion de Sosa’s short feature conjures up a future world out of contemporary architecture in much the same way as Godard’s Alphaville and Fassbinder’s World on a Wire.
The poster for the film was designed by David Uzquiza, a Spanish designer based in London who works primarily in fashion publications. As a friend of De Sosa’s he was asked to design the titles and the key art for the film, and he came up with a number of designs which you can see below. The final poster uses an illustration with an interesting provenance that appears within Androids Dream. It is one of a number of targets that the film’s android-hunting protagonist fires at in a shooting range.
It turns out the the targets came from a police range in the nearby town of La Nucía. As De Sosa told me, “those are the targets they use everyday for their training. I was expecting something colder like the targets we usually see in movies, without a face or personality. It was a great surprise.”
In order to get permission to reproduce the target illustration as the film’s poster, the producers tracked down the distributor, a retired Belgian police chief from Liège named Francis Dorao who has dedicated himself to collecting, commissioning and producing these targets. His website advertises “realistic paper tactical targets for law enforcement firearms training courses.” Of course, the idea of realistic replicas fits in perfectly with Dick’s story and De Sosa’s film.
Over the years, Dorao has used a number of different artists for his cibles, as can be seen in this article. In the 1980s, and maybe still today, Liège was a hub for talented comic book artists, and Dorao, who was looking for more realistic targets—rather than the conventional concentric circles—to increase police efficiency, decided to commission these artists to produce them.
The specific image used in the poster was created by a Belgian artist named Malik (you can see his signature on patches on the shooter’s jeans and jacket) a.k.a. William Tai, who is perhaps best known for the comic Cupidon.
I asked Uzquiza how he got into designing and he told me, “I’ve always been into the crossover of words and images, and books and magazines, since I was a kid. Then after university I worked in advertising for a few years. I quit just before stabbing myself to death and moved from Madrid to London, 8 years ago. Here in London I work as a freelancer so I can mix profitable projects with others that I choose to do. Since 2008, I have been producing a fashion publication with my friend Adrián González-Cohen, Buffalo Zine, three issues so far. Currently we’re trying to make it regularly as a biannual.” And he told me that although he hasn’t designed other movie posters, he would love to do more—so filmmakers take note.
Some of Uzquiza’s alternative designs are below, the pink sheep being my personal favorite. You can see his website here.
Many thanks to David Uzquiza and Ion de Sosa.