Illustrator Nathan Marsh is the artist responsible for the images that accompany the end credits of The Grand Budapest Hotel, i.e., those little guitar things (called balalaikas), the dancing man, and others. Anderson characteristically kept Marsh in the dark about the film itself: ”I knew the title!” Marsh tells The A.V. Club. ”And they sent me the end credit’s music.”
But Anderson knew exactly what he wanted. ”Wes had the idea and a look in mind for the credits,” Marsh says. “He detailed that to me, so it was a well-defined place to start drawing from. There were to be bold, icon-like balalaikas of various sizes, and they should keep the character of the real instruments, but I was to give them personality. The dancer he imagined was a jolly, plump cossack on skinny legs. I drew him four cossack men of varying regalia and plumpness, and we worked from there for the proportions and costuming.
“Wes emphasized the balalaikas themselves. Balalaikas are really charming instruments. They’re all defined by a triangular face, but they have a lot of variety: rustic to extravagant, in a sort of comical range of sizes. Often they’re decorated with folk art, genre scenes or curling floral designs or dense pattern. So I wanted to get some of that diversity in these modest little instruments.”
Check out Marsh’s images below. The Grand Budapest Hotel is now open nationwide.