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Before Photoshop There Was…Drew Struzan

October 22, 2013 | No Comments » | Topics: Art

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Before cheap Photoshopers took over the entire movie-poster business, Movie poster composition was a full-blown art form, entrusted to some of the finest artists in the world. Then shoddy photoshopers took over and the artistry was sucked out of it. Movie posters these days are dominated by the trend of inpidual ‘character’ posters, which are nothing more than simple photos of the characters.

 

The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

Somehow Struzan was able to make these felt characters look incredibly life-like. Still amazing to look at.

 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1990)

Back to the Future Trilogy (1985-1990)

Click to view the full-size image in full detail.

The Goonies (1985)

The Goonies (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

Ladyhawke (1985)

 

DuckTales: The Movie – Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)

 DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)

Hook (1991)

Hook (1991)

Struzan said one of the best experiences he ever had was when Dustin Hoffman came to his studio in-person to pose until the two of them got Captain Hook’s appearance exactly the way they wanted it. Most of the time, he has to work from on-set still photographs, often of films he hasn’t seen yet, because they’re still being made.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Tall Tale (1995)

Tall Tale (1995)

Star Wars – Special Editions (1997)

Star Wars - Special Editions (1997)

Click to view the full-size image in full detail.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Unused)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Unused)

Sadly, Warner Bros. Decided to switch to shoddy Photoshop posters after hiring Struzan to do the iconic Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone poster, leaving my favorite Harry Potter poster unused and sadly little-seen.

Star Wars – Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)

Star Wars - Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

One of the rare instances of a poster being far superior to the movie.

Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy (2004)

"His posters have a warmth and humanity that I feel is completely lost in posters today." – Guillermo del Toro

Zathura (2005)

Zathura (2005)

It’s important to point out that Photoshop itself is not the real problem, it’s just a tool, and is only as good as the person who wields it. And while there are very talented photoshop/digital artists out there, the studios simply don’t hire them anymore.

The Shawshank Redemption 10th Anniversary (2004)

The Shawshank Redemption 10th Anniversary (2004)

Frank Darabont, a huge Struzan fan, wanted Drew to do the poster, but the studio refused. 10 years later, for the anniversary home video release, he was finally able to not only have Struzan make 2 pieces of beautiful art for the film, but Warner Bros agreed to let him feature Struzan’s art on the cover.



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