Part 18: Opener Progress

Overnight, I thought about the opener and reread my previous post. I thought about how to make the content a little more front and center, how to make the opening spread a little more interesting and a little more visually dynamic. Typically, it's pretty easy to recognize a profile's subject--there's usually a photo or an illustration of the protagonist. In this case, there isn't a usable main image (by choice, obviously. I could have just commissioned an illustration of Kaufman, but chose not to. That's the easy way out, plus we were hoping to get a self-portrait of the man.)

So today, I played around with a couple variations on yesterday's theme, but this time looking at playing up Kaufman's name, shortening the dek (and splitting it from the headline, looking for a pithier, New Yorker-style treatment). I also had the idea of inserting production stills from each of Kaufman's movies, and placing them adjacent to their references in the lede.

It looks pretty cool, I think, so I'm going to keep going along this path. I need to start laying out the rest of the story--it's running 7 pages--but first I need to show this layout to Bob Cohn, our executive editor, and see what he thinks. I don't necessarily have to accept his feedback, but it will make it easier in convincing Chris Anderson if he agrees with where I'm going. He'll probably have some good suggestions for me and start thinking about how to position the display copy, so once I get his buy-in and feedback, I'll investigate the turn pages.

But I'm running dangerously behind. This story is supposed to go into what we call "copyfit" Monday, which means that the layout should be blocked out and ready for Nancy to trim the galley to fit, write pullquotes and captions. First, I'll need to get with Anna to pull stills from Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine, and Being John Malkovich in order to make some progress.




  • Darrell

    I agree. The pictures are a copout. Types vertical but you you put the picture horizontal so I know which way is up? Thanks but I think I could figure it out. Many of us read Raygun with no problem.

  • Richard Turley

    i mean you are disapearing up your own arse (UK phrase..)

    its illegible, is effctively a 'f**k off' to anyone who just wants to read the article, and and overtly and maybe unessasarily compex. but its also great, a really strong spread. i love the cut off type on the right hand side.

    i think the first of these is stronger, the more elements you introduce (exta colour, pictures) the harder it is to decipher. the yellow is enough to give enough impact about the subject matter. you immediately know that its about kauffman, and one would speculate, Wired readers are smart enough to know who he is and understand that this is going to be a set of pages that play around with form, context and narrative structure.

    also, it feels like your using those pictures because your a bit worried that you need to decorate the page and add elements, which in a way is treating your readers as dumb, by giving them a challenging layout but not having the courage of your convictions to see it through. personally i wouldnt use a single picture of him (or screen grabs or anything) in the entire run of these pages. but maybe your editors wouldnt go for that. as a compromise maybe a tiny one col picture..

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