Adam Levermore is not messing around. He wants a job on Joss Whedon's upcoming Marvel universe production, S.H.I.E.L.D. — and he's redefining the application process to get it. In three weeks, with a donation-funded budget of $3,000 and the help of 20 talented friends, Adam created a seven and half minute short in lieu of an application. The film, written by Amy Berg (Eureka, Leverage) takes place in the Marvel universe and features a surprising cameo appearance by Mythbusters host Grant Imahara. The film-cum-application is so skillfully done that I can't help but feel a twinge of sympathy for the hordes of portfolio-proffering designers who'd also love to land a spot in the art department of S.H.I.E.L.D. (full video below).
A self-proclaimed geek, Levermore is a Stanford-educated graphic designer who has worked on projects that would make any geek drool (designing the Tabletop logo for Wil Wheaton and creating epic set posters for Serenity and Battlestar Galactica, to name a few). Since moving to Los Angeles a year ago, Adam has made friends in the hip geekster community behind some of the best content on the Web, TV and the big screen. Joss Whedon himself has admired his work from afar, having been quoted as saying that Adam's Serenity posters were "masterfully designed."
Earlier today, I had the chance to talk with Adam about his unusual application strategy, his background in design, and what he hopes to achieve with project S.H.I.E.L.D.E.D.
How did you hear about Joss Whedon's upcoming project, S.H.I.E.L.D?
I read the article on Deadline Hollywood. And on Twitter. And on Facebook. My social network sort of exploded at the news!
As soon as I heard the news about S.H.I.E.L.D., I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to get on the show. I turned to Twitter, and asked if anyone knew anyone associated with the show, or could offer any advice for getting noticed by the showrunners. A friend of mine, Taryn O'Neill — who costars in the film with me — suggested I put together a short video showcasing my design work, and talking about how much I wanted the gig. I took that basic idea and built on it.
What sort of production help did you have?
I had a cast and crew of 20, with a core group of about 4 or 5 people who were advising me, including my producer, director, writer and art director. The writer, Amy Berg, is a TV professional who's written and produced for Eureka, Person of Interest and Leverage, and had a lot of really useful advice for me as we went along. We also had the assistance of about 75 donors, who helped us raise close to $3,000 in just a couple of days. A lot of this project was fueled by the goodwill and connections I've made over the course of my career of designing fan-friendly art, and specifically the last year, during which I've cultivated a lot of new friendships and contacts within the industry. I knew this was an all-or-nothing proposition, so I called in pretty much every favor I could to make it happen. But to a person, everyone was excited about the project, and really believed in it, which I'm very grateful for.
We posted it at 9 am on Wednesday, September 19 (donors got to see it a day early), and the response has been phenomenal. Overwhelmingly, the reaction has been, "If you don't get the job from this, I'll be shocked." I'm really proud of the work we did, and I think the positive response is a testament to the skill of everyone involved in the shoot.
Do you think you'll get the job?
I really hope so. I did get a tweet from Maurissa Tancharoen, who, along with her husband Jed Whedon and her brother-in-law Joss Whedon, is one of the three showrunners for S.H.I.E.L.D., giving us kudos for "the most well-produced resume we have ever seen." So, while I don't take it as a given that the job is in the bag, by any means, I think I've done everything I can possibly do to get the gig. If it doesn't happen, then it's just not meant to be, but I'll have no regrets. And, at the end of the day, whatever happens, I've got a pretty cool reel for my portfolio.
For full credits and more background on the film, visit Adam's S.H.I.E.L.D.E.D. launch page.
Want to support Adam and his creative application strategy? Tweet this article with the hashtag #ProjectAdamSHIELD.
Photo of Adam Levermore Copyright © 2012 James Riley.
Artwork, Video Copyright © 2012 Adam Levermore.