For those of you who aren't familiar with Struzan's work, he's an illustrator that's been designing classic movie poster art since 1981, starting off with the classic film Raiders of the Lost Ark. He went on to create posters for films such as Back to the Future, The Goonies, Masters of The Universe, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pans Labyrinth, Hellboy, The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist, and several more films. The guy is a movie poster legend!
The book goes into great detail about each poster, and tells the story behind how each one was created. He talks about the people he worked with, as well as how the business of movie posters was run. We also get to see several different never before seen concepts of these posters that were created leading up to the final approved versions.
There are a ton of interesting stories in here. One that stuck out to me was when he was hired to do some comps for the Disney Animated film, The Rescuers Down Under. He only did three poster comps for the animated feature and none of them got picked up. He went on to say that the guy who got the project founded his own company, and ended up designing all of the Disney animated movie posters, with a "very slick, airbrush style." Now it doesn't say it in the book, but that artist's name was David Willardson, and I worked as his assistant for three years. He is a great guy, artist and businessman. I just thought that was an interesting tie-in and something I could add that not many people know. Unfortunately airbrushing became obsolete when Photoshop and Illustrator came around, Willardson ended up losing the Disney work to younger, faster, and cheaper artists. He had to re-invent himself.
One other part of the book that I wanted to share with you was his view on the Harry Potter movie posters. He only did the poster for the first film, he hasn't done any of the other Potter posters, in fact he calls them "all horrible, ugly, what Frank Darabont called the blue tinted floating faces of lobotomized zombies." Ha! He was supposed to do six movie posters for the films. He ended up doing the poster art for the second film just for his own satisfaction, the studio never used it.
This is a fantastic read for anyone that is interested in posters, illustrations, art, movies, and even business. Seeing all the different posters and designs is really cool stuff, but it's the stories behind these posters that are the real interesting part of this book. It brings these poster to life, and gives us a whole new outlook and respect for them.
I loved this book, and you should definitely go out and get yourself a copy if your into this stuff.