Computer Arts: How did you come to work with Hammer and Tongs?
Rob Corradi: Preloaded has an existing relationship with Hammer and Tongs - we created the Tongsville site and worked on viral stuff for The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which they directed. Son of Rambo was a concept that they mentioned back in 2001 as a film they wanted to get off the ground. Back then they were just working on pop promos etc, but Hitchhikers gave them the stepping stone to start creating their own features. They wanted us to come up with ideas to drum up interest online, but without rolling out a big budget Hollywood thing.
CA: So what's the idea behind the site?
RC: The premise of the film is that two kids with an enormous video camera are inspired to make their own Rambo-type film. We soon started talking about 1980s films, computer games and being kids, and realised that it would be great to try and get that kind of feedback from other people, too. The first step was to commission 30 designers to do illustrations on the themes that the movie explores, and then invite Joe Public to submit entries and to build up the catalogue of 1980s and Rambo-inspired images, sketches and collages.
CA: How were the artists involved chosen?
RC: We approached artists that we admired and had always wanted the opportunity to work with. We compiled a list of illustrators, and ran that by Hammer and Tongs. We also wanted to get a mixture of people who were big names, including Jon Burgerman, and unknowns who could benefit from the exposure. Nobody said no to the commission. Everyone wanted to have a go, and to be honest the payment was more out of courtesy - everyone just wanted to be involved. The submissions on the site have been really successful and we've had about 15 during the last week alone.
CA: Why the gallery format?
RC: We thought about different ways to run a gallery and the Tony Hart/Hart Beat gallery theme came up again and again. Then designer Tony Gooch came up with the idea that what you'd see would be a letter home from school to a kid's parents about their doodling, and that would be the interface.
CA: Are there any plans for the work beyond the website?
RC: Once the film goes into production, Hammer and Tongs would like to run an exhibition or produce a promotional book of the images. The initial idea was that Hammer and Tongs would be able to show the imagery to potential investors and say, 'This is the potential reaction we managed to get out of people of this age group - all these people have produced wild interpretations of the movie'.
INFO Check out the work inspired by Son of Rambo at www.sonoframbo.com. The film is currently in production.