The Movie Poster Master

Posted September 25, 2013, under Gee Whillickers!

Many of us here at Rigney Graphics enjoyed our childhood in the 1980s, during the rise of the neighborhood video store. It was often on the flimsy cardboard sleeves of VHS rentals that we got our first look at the movie’s poster art.

The ’80s had a lot of great movies (admittedly, for many, their greatness did lie in their high cheese content), and there was one guy who showed the rest of the world how to really sell a movie at a glance.

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Unfortunately, artist Drew Struzan’s style appears to be inimitable; others tried and failed, and instead of simply giving him all the work, the industry resorted to, as director Frank Darabont (Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption, among others) said, “…Photoshopped pictures of actors striking saucy poses and staring at us like a troop of lobotomy victims.”

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Lest you think we’re overstating the man’s influence and skill – well… the word “iconic” is overused, but it certainly applies to the examples that accompany this Lunch Meat. These images are all from Struzan’s website, so they don’t have the movie titles. Bet you can name them all, anyway.

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Struzan’s work not only has a photo-realistic (even hyper-realistic) quality, but his mastery of composition allows him to tell a story with the poster. He draws us in and rewards closer examination. Again quoting Darabont: “He crafts a piece of art that honors your film instead of just merely trying to sell it.”

We grew up to be graphic artists thanks in part to Drew Struzan: After staring at his work in awe, we thought, “Man, I want to draw something as amazing as that.” Sadly, there aren’t many modern posters that do that for us.

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johnny dangerously

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