Rural turn-of-the-century Australia and Hollywood in the 1960s are bound together by a book, P. L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, in a new Disney movie starring Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks.” Re-creating the two distinctive locations through ads, signs and décor elements fell to Martin T. Charles of SagaBoy Productions, Santa Monica, Calif., an award-winning graphic designer. Charles researched old photographs, developed hand-drawn illustrations, digitized the images and then commissioned Roland DGA Corp., Irvine, Calif., to print the images on artist canvas using Roland large-format printers.
Charles focused on two large scenic venues, the Allora Fair in Australia and the Los Angeles airport. The images printed on canvas were enormous, some as long as 30 feet. Used as backdrops to the film’s re-created “Mary Poppins” movie premiere scenes, the images reflect a colorful nostalgia for the entertainment icons of more innocent times. The images also transform a ‘60s LAX into a mid-century modern launch pad for dreams of the future. More than 2,000 square feet of printed graphics were installed on the sets of “Saving Mr. Banks,” including canvases with difficult-to-reproduce metallic accents. “To achieve an authentic look, we literally stomped on the prints to age them,” says Charles. The results worked for the producers, director and, apparently, the audiences. The movie has garnered critical attention and one Golden Globe award (for best actress). For more, visit Roland DGA.