Dave Merrell: Re-imagining The Quarry

Dave Merrell is a UK based illustrator and he has produced work for clients like Adidas, Nike, EPSPN and more. He works across both sport and pop culture and always produces stellar art, so when Dave applied for The Quarry commission I knew he’d have a good chance of being selected as his work never ceases to amaze.

Dave also placed in the top 10 during PosterSpy’s portfolio review content in 2019 and was exhibited in London.

Below is his stunning poster for the game, which features the star-studded cast.

We had a chance to ask Dave some questions about his work and about his process:

What made you want to apply for this opportunity?

I’m always interested in participating in new creative projects and it’s been a while since I’ve collaborated PosterSpy is a fantastic community, it’s free and full of all kinds of creatives.

They provided me a solid platform by hosting my work at their Annual Portfolio Review in 2019.
So when a chance to work with Jack comes along, I always take it into consideration – this time was ideal. I love video games, I love horror and love making posters – so it was a win, win, win situation.

What are some of the strengths you believe you brought to this job?

I’m a big lover of horror (especially 80s), which is where some of the inspirations for The Quarry originate – also, I have had the pleasure of producing key art for In Search Of Darkness Part II and III (documentaries based on 80s horror) which was a fantastic experience.

Gaming played a massive part in my childhood and still is today (whenever I get a chance) – I herald from the days of Pong, so I’ve seen some changes in the videogame market over the years, hopefully, it’s helped me along the way with this project.

Would you describe yourself as a horror fan?

Absolutely yes, when I was a kid the internet simply didn’t exist – so you’d get yourself down to the nearest video rental and spend ages looking at the covers of the cases before choosing.
Horror was always the first option and we used to watch all kinds –  the popular ones like Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th as well as the then lesser-known, low budget titles – which were classics in their own right.

In Manchester, there used to be one shop we knew sold ‘Fangoria’ magazine – we would make special visits in to the city, just for this magazine, so the dedication to horror was there, even at a young age.

Do you play a lot of horror video games?

I wouldn’t say a lot of horror game, but recently The Last Of Us and The Last Of Us 2 have been absolute gems to play. They have everything you want from an emotional engagement stance as well as being expertly executed pieces of work.

Early in the project, you submitted several concepts. Did your favourite concept end up getting picked?

I tend not to get too emotionally involved with any concept, because if I do end up having a favourite, it very rarely gets picked.

Early concepts submitted to 2K

What are some of the inspirations behind your art piece?

Definitely a cocktail of Sleepaway Camp, Friday the 13th and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

What was the biggest challenge regarding your piece?

The biggest challenge is always creating an inviting composition and narrative, creating the right mood and still making it a poster of something the viewer must be involved with – whether it’s watching or playing.

Dave’s poster from early sketch to colour work. There was also a border version that didn’t make the cut.

Finally, would you say that working on an alternative game poster is different from working on an alternative movie poster?

In this case, it wasn’t so different as the game gives the feel of a movie but it could be a very different case for another property, it all depends on what you’re trying to achieve with the artwork.

More information on the game can be found here: https://quarrygame.2k.com/

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© Supermassive Games 2022. Published and distributed by 2K. Supermassive Games, The Quarry and Quarry names and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of Supermassive Games Limited. All rights reserved. 2K and the 2K logo are trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Jack Woodhams

Founder of PosterSpy.