To say I’m a movie poster buff is an understatement. The hours, days, weeks, and months I’ve spent painstakingly detailing these zombified works really stems from my love of the originals they’re based off of. Sure, decaying stuff and adding in blood vomit is a hoot, but it’s studying the masters I grew up on that’s given me the greatest personal kick.
There was a time when movie poster art was it’s own separate thing to cherish and admire. Sure, it was meant to sell the movie, but it was also a work of art that stood on its own. Something that was larger than life, told a story, and yet was able to capture the mood all in a single image.
Now, 99% of what you see is amateur Photoshop disaster. It’s a quick fix, for the so-called artist, the so-called art director, the suits, and sadly, it’s also an acceptable fix for the audience. No one really cares.
That’s not to say a photo-based poster or something created in Photoshop can’t be great- it certainly can. But the art, the design, the aesthetics these days are all but lost.
One of my favorite contemporary illustrators is Tommy Lee Edwards, who, by the way, produces art both traditionally AND digitally. He has worked on a plethora of Hollywood licensed properties, and produced a lot of movie poster comps. His experience with Hollywood ad agencies is similar to my own. You get paid to design a ton of great comps, but in the end, the suits STILL go with two large heads, compiled in Photoshop with no grace whatsoever.
Speaking of Tommy Lee Edwards, he put together an incredible blog a few years back, detailing some specific examples of great classic movie posters, yet when they were released on current formats, like DVD, the new package art is atrocious.
Click here: TLE BLOG
Seriously, nothing can prepare you for these examples. You have to see them.