We wanted that last poster to be JUST right.  

We originally had planned to use the prom picture as the poster (it was custom designed to match the end of the ep for that reason), but it doesn't work vertically and it didn't cover the season--we needed Ethan.  We needed menace.  
The first poster created was the zombie poster which was then used on the boards as a spoiler.   It's a great poster, but it doesn't show the whole gang.  And the season really wasn't about zombies even if the episode featured them.  We were very aware that while this was an episode poster, it was also very much our season's LAST poster, the series' final poster...

We had so many things to consider here.   Ideally the finale poster  would show something representing the Dawn/Ethan story arc plus feature the whole gang.  Perhaps it would have something representing Buffy's struggles to accept being a Slayer, as well as a nod to Katako and Faith...  Of course it should be angsty and scary but ideally also upbeat and happy and positive.  How could we do it all?   There were so many factors to take into consideration!   

We started with variations on a theme with slightly different effects.

We liked the sword and scythe crossing blows, representing the different Slayers and their natures, and we liked pairing Giles and Ethan.  And the title fit well with the prom picture.  But all in all, the poster just didn't grab us.   It was missing the power and energy we tried to put into the last episode.

So we tried simplifying it in different ways, to see if more space would give each element more impact:

That still wasn't right.  So we  thought to go another way entirely, focus more on the episode events:

That was getting closer, but neither got in all the gang or all the events.  We fiddled some more and then decided to take a break and move in yet another direction.  We had all these different elements, so we began merging multiple images in different patterns:

All appealed in one way or another...and looking at the huge range, we knew then that we couldn't let all of them be deleted forever as so many other poster variations have been in the past.  

So we created the rough draft of this BtS page and showed it to all the Lunatics and asked for more input.  Everyone looked at ALL the options and put in some ideas, and we ended with the Poster for our Season/Series Finale, 'Til Death Does Its Part:

A final note:  of course all of the above only represents a fraction of the test posters.  

We had over 80 potential poster mockups.  Some were created very quickly just to try out ideas and others took hours of manipulation.  Some  were simply variations of fonts, colors and positioning.  Here are just a few of the others with somewhat significant differences (each of these, as well as the ones above, might have had four or five variations of their own!):  

Not all posters took as long as this to make.  Some were done in virtually a single draft.  But some posters did take quite a bit of tweaking.  We hope you agree with all our final choices!

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