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Category:    Home > Reviews > Posters > Art > FIlmmaking > Promotion > The Art Of Drew Struzan (Posters/Book Review)

The Art Of Drew Struzan

 

Drew Struzan & David J. Schow/2010/Titan Books (Book Review)

 

 

Rating: B

 

 

There was a time when movies were so rich in their presentation that even the promotion was an art that was enjoyable in itself, as recent collections of movie trailers on DVD we have covered shows.Another aspect of the art behind this art is the poster.Posters were king back in the day when films were silent and TV was decades away, though the studios would go out of their way to do displays and other ballyhoo, it was the way to show how good a film promised to be.Not that they always lived up to what was on the poster, but this was also a time long before computer graphics, so many great artists (too often not getting credit) were called upon to come up with great art to make the great sell.Drew Struzan is sadly the last of a long lone of great artists to create such art and you can see it in extremely well reproduced pages of the fine new coffee-table sized hardback book The Art Of Drew Struzan.

 

Turns out he has been a favorite of the Lucas/Spielberg team as well as of many other filmmakers who wanted more than big fat headshots of the actors that we get all too often today.Struzanís work proves that the classic approach is not an indication of a cheap production but a confirmation of how great art begets memorable filmmaking.Here is a list of some of the titles here, including art that was never used:

 

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (unused)

Legend Of The Lone Ranger (unused)

John Carpenterís The Thing

Under Fire

Back To The Future

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (unused)

The Money Pit (unused)

Big Trouble In Little China

Police Academy 3: Back in Training (unused)

Masters Of The Universe

Adventures in Babysitting

Coming To America

Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade

Harlem Nights

Back To The Future II

Back To The Future III

The Rescuers Down Under (unused)

An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (final altered)

Hook

Boomerang (unused)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992/unused)

Angels In The Outfield (unused)

The Flintstones

Radioland Murders (unused)

Waterworld (unused)

Harry Potter & The Sorcererís Stone

Harry Potter & The Chamber Of Secrets

Creature From The Black Lagoon (special retro commission in 2001 of 1954 classic)

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones

Hellboy (unused)

The Shawshank Redemption (2004 DVD reissue)

Sahara (unused)

Zathura (unused)

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith (unused)

The Green Mile (2005 DVD reissue)

Panís Labyrinth (unused)

The Mist (unused)

Blade Runner (2007 DVD reissue)

Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (unused)

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (unused)

 

 

There is a pleasant, smart, rich character to all of his work and it is hard to imagine the blockbusters that started showing up in the 1980s being as fun, exciting or as interesting without Struzanís work.The detail and way in which his particular work enhances the narrative of the film before and after you have seen it is what all good poster art is about.The book is good on text, with a forward by Frank Darabont and is mostly personal comments (often extended) by the artist.I even wanted more, but these are the decisions you make and the book is only going to have so much room.

 

But there is also the story of Struzan not being respected, his work being ignored or lesser versions being derived for the final release.You can be sure his story is not unique as more and more real talents in all aspects of the film business (and other businesses) are tossed aside to cut costs and make things generic to squeeze the last penny out of anything.The problem is that this is not working in the arts and especially in filmmaking.

 

It is no coincidence then that has real art for posters has been replaced by bad photo art another unimaginative ways of promotion (I could name radio ads better than much of the promotion I am seeing and hearing these days), the actual product is becoming as generic and weak, which is why the Summer 2010 box-office was so bad and if you remove the computer animated features, a wasteland with few films anyone will remember in a few years.

 

The Art Of Drew Struzan shows the amazing work of an amazing artist whose work is as iconic as anyone in film today and he deserves much thanks and respect for what he achieved.Maybe when the movies become the movies again (versus the overly processed jokes of bad sequels, remakes and cynical gimmick atrocities we get almost every week), weíll get such great art.We and Mr. Struzan should not have to wait that long.I hope this book makes an impact and difference and the so-called critics and serious fans start to rally for a return to this kind of greatness in poster art.This book is well worth your time.

 

 

-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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