Behind the ‘Mermaids’ poster

“For some time, [Patricia] Rozema had the idea for the film’s poster in her head, an oversized Magritte-like photograph of McCarthy’s face, floating on water, disengaged from the world. She wanted a poster that would not only sell the film, but that would be aesthetically pleasing, so that people might later hang it in offices or homes. She discussed the idea with Toronto graphic artist Robbie Goulden, who did the assembly on spec—with promises of payment if the film sprouted legs. The actual photograph used was a family shot, taken by McCarthy’s own father. The poster line taken from the movie, ‘Isn’t life the strangest thing you’ve ever seen?’, was suggested by Rozema. Rofekamp thought the poster extremely effective. ‘Everything in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing is really unimportant except for the face of this woman. People liked it, and it worked.’ Eighty percent of all buyers of the film, he notes, used the same image in their promotional campaigns.”

— (via Canadian Dreams by Michael Posner)