If you’ve watched any number of the documentaries or read about the artists that created classic movie posters in the 20th century, you can’t help but notice a subtext about the small circle of artists that became well known for their work. Ego and competition among artists is a recurring theme. In 2014 here at borg.com we looked at Drew Struzan via a documentary exclusively about him and his work. Three books discussed here are about Struzan’s contributions to movie poster art. A new book in 2014 chronicled works by John Alvin, reviewed here, and another book reviewed here documented the movie posters created for the Star Wars franchise alone. Originals of some lesser Bob Peak poster art are being offered at more than $6,000 here. In 2014 the greatest collection of movie posters ever assembled was offered at auction, discussed here. Movie posters are still popular and do not appear to be fading away anytime soon.
In most accounts and interviews, movie poster artists of the past 50 years lament the decline of the movie poster. But has that ever really been true? Isn’t every artist in every medium always faced with competition from new creators and new tools of the trade? Every year countless artists design movie posters that entice moviegoers. Should we really be discounting creators who aren’t using pencils or paints to create the final product? And is it enough for fans of movie posters that options like Mondo and new, up-and-coming poster artists are looking back and providing updated views of films via their poster releases?
Director Kevin Burke’s latest look at movie posters, called 24X36 to reflect the size of the standard marquee print, focuses on two classic poster artists, John Alvin and Roger Castel, Alvin known for countless posters for blockbusters and Castel for his often reproduced Jaws poster art. The documentary also steps forward with interviews and discussions with more recent artists in the craft, including William Stout, Jason Edmiston, Laurent Durieux, and Gary Pullin. We’ve looked at the works of Laurent Durieux here at borg.com previously.
Here’s a preview of the documentary 24X36:
Look for 24X36 in select theaters beginning in September 2016.