You submitted nominations for awards given to the Valley's emerging creatives and the results are in. Introducing our Big Brain 2012 Finalists.
Leading up to the Big Brain Award awards announcement and celebration on April 7, Chow Bella and Jackalope Ranch will introduce the finalists.
Up today: Victor Moreno
Victor Moreno remembers sneaking across the street from his parents' house outside of Los Angeles to rent as many B-list movies as he could get his hands on. He saved his money and rented two or three at a time, each for 50 to 75 cents. In a few years, he'd gone through the video rental shop's inventory.
Moreno's a proud film buff and can easily talk shop about what's coming out next week as well as what was coming out of Japan in the late '70s. When he moved to Phoenix, he renamed half of its destinations after movie and television references (Liberty Market is Mayberry; Paradise Valley is 90210).
And when he finally put his movie obsession together with his love for design, he says it all kind of clicked.
Moreno, 33, comes from a family of lawyers and moved to Phoenix to go to the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law. He'd always been interested in art and film, and taught himself design, but was told (kindly) by his parents that he had to go to real school and get a real job to support his passion.
He spent the next three years designing websites for Sony and MySpace pages for big-name bands to pay for law school.
He met fellow film nerd Andrea Beesley-Brown, who was programming films at the now-defuct Paper Heart in downtown Phoenix. Fast friends, Moreno followed Beesley-Brown to MADCAP Theaters in Tempe and then to The Royale.
The two worked together on programming events. Beeseley-Brown and Moreno chose the movies, and Moreno started designing limited-edition movie posters for each event.
He says he designs each poster after watching the movie (more than) a few times and can usually pick out a character or scene that sticks out.
He'll then either hand illustrate or use design software on his computer to compose the scene in a way that usually differs from the movie's original poster - and would be something he'd want to hang on his own wall.
The posters became as popular as the ticket sales, and soon Moreno brought other local designers on board.
When The Royale closed in December, Beeseley-Brown took a break and Moreno took his operation back to MADCAP where he currently heads up Cult Classics, a monthly screening of a cult film, with entertainment and limited-edition prints.
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