• 2.3.15

    Sawdust Cracks the Problem of Change

    Any change can feel like death. When a situation is in flux, what's different feels wrong, and what's obsolete feels missing. The march towards progress is unforgiving and lacks empathy. It is towards the future that we are forced, and its greatest casualty is our complacency.

    Variety, the magazine that gives Hollywood its insider news, sees these small deaths all over LaLaLand, and has done what they can to get as many peoples' points of view on the matter. Compiling 22 opinions on the transformations currently at work, Variety's January 28 issue acts as a sort of symptoms list of what is sick in Hollywood.

    For those in the business it's cruel work, and the story deserves proper telling, including a visual representation that makes the point clear: something, at least, is broken.

    Design studio Sawdust was tasked with illustrating "Broken Hollywood," the result of a place whose ground is shifting underneath them. Like the earthquakes Los Angeles feels so often, the plates beneath the industry are shifting and that's going to leave those on the surface a little worse for wear. Sawdust used the iconic Hollywood sign to illustrate the point that, in their imagining, shows the damage these changes are leaving.

    In Sawdust’s illustration, we see the sign from behind, as Variety lets us see everyday. In this issue as names like Harvey Weinstein, Gary Newman, and Alan Horn show what fissures they see in their short opinions, and Sawdust’s lettering reflects those fissures. What Variety offers aren’t answers, as Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein, Co-Editors-in-Chief of Variety explain. The sign is still in tact, and isn’t threatening to fall over. But it does need to change; it cannot remain this way.  "If there was a reoccurring theme among the testimonies you're about to read, it's that change must be embraced,” write Eller and Wallenstein. “The old rules are falling by the wayside, and the new ones aren't entirely clear." Perhaps the sign isn't broken. Maybe it's just letting the sun shine through.

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