The Matrix trilogy was produced by Australian Village Roadshow and Warner Bros Pictures and mostly shot in Sydney between 1999 and 2003. The series is based on a cyberpunk story which references various philosophical and religious ideas, mythology, Japanese anime and Hong Kong action films. The films used a wide range of innovative special effects.
This limited release teaser poster was used to promote the Australian release of the final two films in the series. It features the distinctive, eye-catching Matrix 'digital rain' typeface code designed at Animal Logic in Sydney. (1) All three Matrix movies open with this 'computer code' which comprises 'the Matrix'. One of the characteristic special visual elements of the films, the code, appears as the key design element of the poster.
Surprisingly, the 2003 teaser poster does not feature portraits of the actors or characters. The date and title, '2003, www.The Matrix.com', the innovative use of a reflective metallic 3 dimensional holofoil finish, and the Australian-designed typeface were sufficient to communicate to audiences that the latest in this series of cult science fiction films was about to be released locally. Using the 'digital rain' and a 3D holofoil format for the teaser poster immediately resonated with those who were familiar with The Matrix's innovative special effects, and for people less or unfamiliar with The Matrix film, it created an immediate sense of intrigue.
The Matrix films were the first films to be shot in the newly opened Fox Studios in Sydney and became the first 'big budget trilogy' to be produced in and around the city of Sydney. (2) This helped establish New South Wales as a major film production centre. Indigenous Australian singer and actress, Christine Anu played Lazarus in the final two films.
The 3 dimensional holographic holofoil design of this 2003 Matrix poster echoes the popularity of holofoils for early Game Boy collectables like Yu-gi-oh and Pokemon (Pokemon: The Movie 2000 released 1999), Beyblades collectables and even Harry Potter cards which were sold to young collectors as packs, decks and single cards.
Anne-Marie Van de Ven with Kerry Dougherty, Curators, 2012
(1) Attribution contributed by Lewis Morley, 27 July 2012
(2) The Matrix. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Matrix (Accessed 29 July 2012)