Drew: The Man Behind the Poster (2013) - full transcript

A documentary on legendary movie-poster artist Drew Struzan.

There is one artist
for every couple of decades...

that encapsulates what film experience
was for a couple of generations.

And I think for my generation and
the generation right before me,

Drew Struzan was the movie.

There's images that Drew has drawn
that are burned in my brain forever.

They'll never go away.

His posters
are modern day classics.

That's not an opinion.
It's a statement of fact.

It's not just an ad, you know?
It's the first notes of the piece.

It's the beginning of the story.

His artistic interpretation of
what that story is, in one image,

really made you want to
run out and see that movie.

He is a storyteller, and that's
what makes him very, very unique...

and ranks him with the great
poster artists of all time.

And when you're talking about
the best of the best,

you've got Drew sitting
right up there with those guys.

He's one of the first artists who's
become a pop star, a rock star.

Myself and my other artist friends,
we would just drool over his stuff.

He just got your attention. It was
like, "Wow. I wanna go to that place."

I wanna be there.
I wanna be in that light.

"Whatever makes you look like
that, I want that shit around me."

You anticipate
the new poster from Drew.

Almost anybody who's anybody
in the film business...

wants him
to do posters for them.

He's been such a benefit and such a kind
of second sight to a lot of my films.

Everyone. Everyone,
arguably worldwide, knows his work.

They may not know his name,
but everyone's seen his movie posters.

He did
the Back to the Futureseries.

Drew did Gooniesfor me. He did Hook.
He did Batteries Not Included.

Drew really came along for the
long ride of the Amblin years...

and just made
a tremendous contribution.

He does just a great, great job
of bringing out the best...

in whatever it is
that he's painting.

I had to almost live up
to the art...

that we later were going to ask
Drew to create for the poster.

He will inevitably influence
every artist that comes afterward.

- I'm a big fan of Drew Struzan.
- It's beautiful work.

It's just great work, and there's only one.
He's one of a kind.

- Nobody else is Drew Struzan, I promise you.
- There is nobody else like him.

- He's the best.
- He's a legend.

- He's an original.
- He's amazing.

He's part
of the movie experience.

Having Drew Struzan
do your posters...

Almost worth
making movies just for that.

We have a lot
of original art here.

You've done a lot of different
kinds of things for us,

with all different
kinds of demands.

And the fun part is that they've
been all different kinds of scenes.

You get something like this,
you're getting into minor characters...

Jabba the Hutt's too minor a
character, but it's still...

That was one of the rare times you
didn't have to paint Han, Luke and Leia.

- Right. Or no laser swords.
- Yes.

Thanks for...

So you got to do fat slugs...

and crazy little
Muppet-type characters...

and a lot of crazy musicians.

- All of which... They're very memorable to us.
- Yeah.

I like that picture a lot.

It's the painting where
I can show people my heart...

and my experience
and my knowledge...

or understanding or passions
or whatever it is...

That's how I express it,
and that's how I share it.

I guess that's
what makes us human...

Is that we can share knowledge
and wisdom and experiences,

and painting is how I do that.

They say I could draw
before I could talk.

That doesn't mean
I didn't talk till 15...

It's just what I do.
It's what I've always loved to do.

They told me I used to draw on the
toilet paper and roll it back up...

'cause that was the only
available paper in the house.

So, you know,
you just take what you can.

If you don't know what you're
lacking, it doesn't bother you.

As much as, like,
we say we need love...

If you're never given any,
you don't know what you're missing.

You don't know you don't have
it 'cause you've never seen it.

I didn't have any as a child.

Parents didn't love me,
didn't like me.

They were afraid of me
for some screwy reason.

When I left home
and got out of high school...

I said, "I want to go
learn something." So...

I didn't pack my bags.
I didn't have anything. I just went.

I left, and I didn't
lose anything by leaving.

They didn't want me
anyway, you know.

I actually went home
for the end of one term,

and they locked me out of the
house, so I never went back.

It was 1966.

We were actually
at a dance in San Jose.

And we had both
been drug there...

Me by my sister
and him by a friend of his.

And I don't know... There he
was, across the room,

and he was just... really cute.

My life changed when I
found somebody to love me...

and someone
I could give love to.

He and Dylan met
when they were teenagers,

and they've been together
ever since.

Actually, it started out
at the Ping-Pong tables.

And I realized that he wasn't
gonna make any kind of move,

so I just managed to hit my
Ping-Pong ball over to his table...

You know, get things rolling.

I think of them as a unit.

I think of them
as a single person, in a way.

We both didn't have much
of a home and a home life,

and we were both lonely.

And... couldn't put words
to it at the time,

but it was two people
in need of love.

We found one another that wanted the
same thing and did it the same way...

and it's still the same today.

That was summer break
when we all met.

And he went back to school,
back to Art Center.

And he sent... The first letter
had a portrait of me in it.

That's... You know.
That's pretty powerful stuff.

When you go to college, before you
go to class, you go to the counselor.

And they ask you the question
you're supposed to ask in bars.

"So what's your major?"
You know.

I said, "What's my choices?"

I mean, I was naive.
All I really wanted to do was learn art.

He went to Art Center
for six years,

and that school... That's not just
a couple of little art classes.

Six days a week,
you paint every day.

It was cheap at the time,

but it was 100% more than I had.

I'd go in the front door in
the day and get some class...

and then the counselors or the
accountants would come around...

and kick me out
'cause I didn't pay.

So they'd kick me out and I'd
come back in the back door.

I'm gonna pay eventually. I didn't want
to miss any of this education, so...

That's how I put myself through
college, is just slowly.

I'd sell paintings I did for
homework to other students...

and then I could pay for it.

Art Center was always supposed to be a school
that teaches you to be a professional.

And he really
learned that lesson.

He wasn't eating or anything,
so he had a lot of extra time, right? No.

Starving artist that he was.

Um... No, seriously though. He worked
very, very hard all through school,

and I just think
he has that ethic.

I used to eat only two days a week,
when I went to see my girlfriend,

and five days a week,
I didn't eat.

We were so poor
when we started out.

And I worked at the county in order for him
to go back and get his degree at school.

First year I was married,
we had the baby.

He cost 1,500 bucks.

We got the best doctor in L.A.
to deliver and care for the baby.

I made $3,000 that year.

So we lived on 1,500 bucks...
A family of three.

That was so hard. Just so hard.

I didn't make enough money for us to
have child care and eat at the same time,

so we spent a lot of years
below the poverty line.

So far below the poverty line,
they didn't count us, you know, but...

We were happy as could be.

I think you don't become
a master artist like Struzan...

without putting in those hours
and dedicating that time...

and really, really doing...

what you have to do.

Quite simply,
I just gave up eating.

'Cause that's a waste of money.

So I spent my money on paint
instead of eating.

I know exactly what
Struzan's talking about...

when he says that he had to
choose between paint or food.

It's-It's... You know.

You make the obvious choice.
Unless you're dying, you choose paint.

You use just...
Just a little bit.

And paint on both sides
and the edges.

Unless you come from
a privileged background,

as an artist, you're going to
literally starve a little bit.

Being an artist isn't a means to an end.
It's a means to a means.

And that happens even
when you have no means.

You just... I mean...

I can imagine...

I'm putting words in his mouth,

but you get pictures in your
head, you gotta get 'em out.

You can't do that
while you're waiting tables.

If Drew had a backup job...

in case the painting
didn't work out,

then 99 times out of 100,
you end up doing that backup job.

Because the art... Doing
that, that's just too hard.

To this day, I'll just squeeze out the
littlest amount of paint from a tube,

and I spread it very thin.

Poverty produced a technique.

Drew found the thing very
early in life that he loved,

and he stuck with it.

Just like, you know...

Just like he found Dylan.
He loved her, and he stuck with her.

You know, and they
stuck with each other.

After school,

he worked very hard
at trying to get work.

And that was kind of
a difficult struggle...

because nobody wants to give you
work when you haven't done work.

I think he was smart enough
to know that fine art...

wasn't gonna be right for
him right at that moment,

with a wife and child...

It takes years to become
a recognized fine artist.

You just don't do it overnight.

Even though sometimes it seems like it
is, it takes years, sometimes a lifetime.

And he needed money
and he needed work.

That's when he decided... about a
year after he got out of school...

To take a studio job.

At that time, we were probably one of
the top three companies in the country...

doing album covers.

Just doing album covers.
That's all we did.

With Pacific Eye & Ear,
it was in the hands of a pro.

I started hiring illustrators,
because in those days,

more than photography,

was really desirable
on album covers.

They actually liked unknown new artists,
'cause they'd do something different.

This guy calls and says,
"I'd like to come show my book."

"Okay. Sure. Go ahead."
You know?

So guy shows up,
and it's Drew Struzan.

I mean, every time
I turned a page,

it was like, "Oh, my God. This is
like... I've never seen work like this."

When we got through talking,
he said to me,

"You know, I'm having
real trouble finding a job."

I've got a brand-new baby.

"I've got a wife,
and I need to get a paycheck."

He said, "If you hire me",

I'll work five days,
and you only have to pay me for four...

"until you see
that I bring value."

I said to him...
I swear to God, I said...

"You know what, man?
If you can do the work like this book,

you work five days,
you get paid five days."

I thought that was heaven,

that I could work
and actually get a check...

and count on it
at the end of the week.

And that, while it wasn't a lot of
money, it was twice what I was making,

so it felt like a lot of money.

And even though we didn't
have a life of luxury,

at least we were able to eat.

He pretty much stayed
to himself.

He was... It was all
about family.

It was about him and
his wife and his kid.

He didn't really
socialize with us.

We'd all go to concerts...

and hang with the bands and stuff,
but he never did any of that.

He was always at home with his wife
and his kid, and we respected that.

This guy was so focused, it...

He was oblivious to all of
this kind of chaos,

distractions and everything
that were going on.

We'd be having a brainstorming
session or something.

He'd just be talking and adding to
it, but he'd be sketching.

And by the time we
were landed on an idea,

he goes, "You mean like this?"

It was like, "Oh, shit.
How'd he do that?"

A classic one
is Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath.

I only remember it because people keep
it alive. They keep talking about it.

And I was just instructed to
draw a picture of a man dying...

Was the way I recall it.

So I said, "Let's do front
and back cover."

Let me do the front cover
a bad man dying.

And the same man if he was good,
and we'll put him on the back cover,

"and this is what it would look
like if it was a good man dying."

Drew is the character on both front
and back. He drew himself in there.

That's him with the snakes
around him on the front,

and on the back,
he's the peaceful guy laying in bed.

I was a huge Alice Cooper fan,
huge Alice Cooper fan.

And I remember
when that album came,

and I got it and I loved it.

I was like, "Oh,
it's that guy who did the artwork."

Alice was really neat.
He's a nice guy.

He used to come around the studio
where I was working and watch me paint.

When I did
Welcome to My Nightmare,

he wanted to change the image
a little bit, the self...

Instead of all the makeup and
the bugs and the scary stuff,

do something classy.

So I said,
"Okay. Put him in a tux."

It's not Alice Cooper at all...

from what I know
of Alice Cooper...

The dark, sinister...

Snakes and everything he did.

He's a wonderful musician
and a wonderful cover.

That's probably what made it work.
It was such a left field kind of cover,

where he comes in so clean
and immaculate and everything.

It was like somebody of real quality
and a high degree of talent...

took some time to put his head
into what my head,

as a 14-year-old kid,
would be in approaching this album.

My sense of anticipation, my sense of,
"What is this? What am I gonna hear?"

No doubt that Rolling Stone picked it
as one of the top covers of all time.

It's a beautiful cover.

The blessing of that job
was that...

what I was doing
was getting printed...

and it was getting seen.

I was the first guy in L.A...

to really do
creative advertising...

on a boutique freelance basis
for the studios.

Tony was...

A huge part of what might
be termed my success.

He really gave me big breaks
when I was young...

and unconnected and didn't
know what was going on.

When they had a big album,

the record company would buy a
billboard on the Sunset Strip.

One day, I was driving...

down Sunset Boulevard.

And I happened to look up,

and I saw a very striking

And the billboard was
Welcome to My Nightmare.

I almost just jammed the brakes
to get a better look at it.

And I went right from there to
Tower Records to buy the album...

so I could find out
who the illustrator was.

Turned out to be Drew Struzan.

Then I went to work,
went to Seiniger's, and I ran in.

I go, "We have to find
this illustrator."

So I called up one day...
I called up Pacific Eye & Ear,

and I go, "Hi. Can I talk
to Drew Struzan, please?"

Drew picks up the phone.

In that very kind of quiet monotone of
his, he goes, "Hello?"

And I said, "Hi, Drew. This is Tony
Seiniger, Seiniger Advertising."

I do movie art, and we'd love
to have you do a movie poster."

"Oh, I don't know about that.
I'm very busy here," and all that.

I said,
"Let me tell you something.

I think you'd be really good
at doing movie posters."

"Oh, yeah?" So I finally
got him to agree...

to come over to the office
and meet with me.

Movie business was notorious. They stole all the
good talent because they had all the money.

He came over after work one day.

And I asked him, "What do you
make there at Pacific Eye & Ear?"

I can't remember
the actual figure,

but I was shocked at how little
a man of this talent was making.

I said,
"Let me tell you something."

If you did a movie poster,
you could make as much on one job...

"as you make at Pacific Eye & Ear
all year long."

You could do an album cover
for $5,000,

or you could do a movie poster
for $20,000 or $25,000 or $50,000.

They didn't care.
They had all the money in the world.

I think that gave him the impetus
to leave and start out on his own.

I didn't need
the steady job anymore,

'cause people
were looking for me.

And that was the next step down that
road, is I went out on my own.

At this point, he had left
Pacific Eye & Ear...

and was willing to strike out
on his own as an illustrator.

We gave him a movie called The Black
Bird, with George Segal.

I had this idea... I was always
ripping off Norman Rockwell...

and other famous illustrators.

Not having my own style
and being very young,

I said, "I can paint
like pretty much anybody."

"Can you do this style?
Can you do that style?"

"Can you do
like a Rockwell style?"

I said,
"I can paint like Rockwell."

"Yeah." He's very laid-back.

Drew nailed it.

Then the movie industry started
seeing the work that was being done,

so there's the old thing... you do the
work, you get seen,

and now they know
that you can do the work,

so they start offering jobs.

Once he got going, man,
it was like, that's it.

Everybody else just grabbed him.

So Drew Struzan and I worked
together for almost 20 years.

We started with The Black Bird
in 1975,

and I think the last painting we
did together was maybe Hook in 1991.

Somehow he saw my talent early
on, when I was just in my 20s,

and gave me great work to do.

I mean, actually hired me to do movie
posters when I knew nothing about it.

I knew how to paint, but I didn't
know the job of working in the movies.

I was familiar with Drew Struzan's
work before he worked on Star Wars.

I wasn't hired by George. I was hired
by a fellow student, Charlie White.

Had to be '76, '77, I imagine,

that I met Drew...
I heard about Drew.

He had a design studio.
He was very entrepreneurial. Still is.

And he had that job.
So he designed the lettering...

and he designed the idea of
the poster and everything.

Only trouble was,
he was a wonderful airbrush artist,

but he didn't do portraits.

As odd as it may sound,
I did very few people.

So he knew me
and that I did them,

so he called and said,
"Do you want to share a poster?

I'll do the robots
and you do the people?"

Sure. A job's a job.
Didn't matter to me.

It was Star Wars.
Didn't mean anything at the time.

It was just another job.

So I said,
"I'll do it on one condition,

that I get to watch you paint
some of your part in airbrush."

'Cause I'd never seen
an airbrush in my life,

so I wanted to see how he did
it, being the master of it.

We had, I think,
seven or eight days to do the whole thing.

What was special about it

is I painted the portrait of
Luke and Leia in oil paints...

and he painted the rest of the
poster with dyes and the airbrush.

So it was unique. There was two of
us and two different techniques.

We had to really orchestrate how
we were gonna do it together.

'Cause he'd be painting in oil,
and that was just a real riot.

Had to wait till all of it dried so
I could spray over it... It was just...

We finished it,
they submitted it to Lucasfilm.

They said, "That's
really a nice picture",

but there's no room
for the billing block."

Legally, you have to have a
certain percentage of body copy...

Which would be all the stars,
et cetera, et cetera...

Centered to the title.

Well, I'd forgotten about that,

and so we were way off.

We had to figure out how to
make this piece of art this big.

It's not like today where you
can kind of photoshop it in.

So we came up with the idea of
making it look like it's wild posted.

I wanted it to look used,
like it's been around...

The poster's been around
for a while.

So he tore up the edges and
painted the fence behind it,

and I added Obi-Wan
to the side of it...

and made it bigger
and made more empty space.

I think it made it
a lot better poster,

but it was a bit of
a testy time for a moment...

How to do that, to get
all that type in there.

It became George Lucas's
most favorite poster...

until I did
the Special Edition posters.

It's very unusual as a poster.

And it's still unusual
as a poster,

and I think it's gonna stand out
as an important part.

That's one in our collection.
It's one I'm very fond of.

Because it references
the whole history...

of the way posters are used.

Film posters come from a tradition of
circus posters, back at the very beginning,

and it's a reference to that.

It was just a fantastic
experience for both of us.

It was a great privilege to work with
them, and it was kind of an excitement.

That was the first time I actually had
the opportunity, I had a film big enough.

The Return of the Jediposter
was a very iconic poster.

I think you're referring to the poster
I painted for Revenge of the Jedi.

We did a teaser poster,
which was Revenge of the Jedi.

The poster stayed the same,
but the wording changed.

It makes an image
that sticks with you,

touches you, impels you,

and that it happened to be objects that
you're familiar with and interested in...

just made it the more so.

The poster really wasn't
done for the title.

It was done for, in essence,
what was in the movie itself,

what we were trying to
portray in the movie.

You are unwise
to lower your defenses.

Not having seen the movie,
and knowing it was Star Wars,

I couldn't do much except,
"Let's feature Darth Vader,

'cause he's cool,
and the sword fight."

Or the lightsaber fight.

And that's all it is.
It's just a nice design and powerful.

And obviously it was
portraying Darth Vader.

And, you know,
it's the-the end of the entire series,

so it was really about the confrontation
between Luke and Darth Vader.

It combined the two things that I
really always lean on in my work...

Combining two opposites again...
power and beauty... in the same piece.

A painting of Darth Vader,
you get the feeling of pure evil...

and all the things that
are associated around that.

We had done some work
with Darth Vader,

but at the same time,
nothing that was quite that articulate.

There was a lightsaber battle
between Luke and Darth.

I don't know why I painted
them the colors I did.

I think 'cause I thought
it was pretty.

It's usually most of
my reasons for doing things.

And it never crossed my mind that people
would pick on what color they were.

So it wasn't until years later...

When everything became
so specific...

and everybody knew everything
about every detail of Star Wars...

that they started to recognize
they were painted the wrong color.

And it became one of those
great Star Warsissues.

The iconic ones would have
to be the signature pieces...

that we've done.

Certainly all the Star Wars
Special Edition releases.

He did this triptych approach
for the Star Warsfilms...

Three panels that kind of
describe the entire first trilogy.

That is as iconic as it gets.
It's staggering.

That was really when he had
the opportunity to come in...

after these films had sat
in the culture for 20 years...

and take a fresh look at how you
would represent them in a film poster.

One Christmas Eve night,

I get this call
about 9:00 at night,

and they say, "We're coming
out with the Special Edition..."

Three movies... and we'd
like a poster for them."

I always have my foot
in my mouth, as you can see.

So I said, "You're making
one poster for three movies?"

They said, "Yeah."

I said, "You're blowing a really
grand opportunity to do a triptych."

Do three posters
that work together as one.

It'll be really sweet,
and you can open"... Blah, blah, blah.

"Good idea. How do you see it?"

I mean, that quick.

So... So I have to design
in my head,

on the spot, on the phone
to George Lucas.

The idea that they fit together as a
triptych was also really fantastic,

because it just gives you this epic
sense of what the Star Warssaga is about.

I didn't ever do a drawing for them.
I never did a composition.

I never did anything.
I just started painting the first one.

Then they picked it up
and carried it away,

and now I realize
the second one,

I have to match the color, the intensity
and the design to the first one.

But I don't have it here!

So I had to do it from memory,

and then the same thing
happened on the third one.

So that was designed
on the telephone,

painted without any
drawing or comp or design,

and I had to match three
paintings to each other...

without seeing the other
two at the same time.

To put that all together in a very
poetic way, it takes some doing.

And of course, he followed that up
with all the posters for the prequels.

The next three he wanted
to match the first three.

So then I wound up with
that design with the frame,

with the things breaking out of the
frame so they look bigger and grander.

Well, they're grand,
but they don't lose human scale.

They feel more human than...

I mean, some of these pictures
get so big...

that you lose sight
of the humanity of the thing...

and it gets lost in scale.

While they don't work
as a triptych...

in the same sense that the
Special Edition posters do,

it continues the style,

so you've got
this very consistent set...

that spans six films
over a 30-year period.

So now he has
all six of them in a row,

and they look like they were
all conceived at the same time.

We went with what we call
"the mountain of people"...

in order to show all of the characters
that are gonna be in the new series,

because they were
very different.

The same characters, but different actors
from what had been in the previous series,

so we wanted to expose
that reality to the fans...

as the first image they see.

It's not just a question of what will
that poster tell you about the film.

It's how will it match up to your
expectation of what you want to see.

How will it kind of
feed that excitement?

Episode I, George...

When he turned my artwork
into the poster,

he said that it would be
the same in every land.

Everywhere it was advertised, that
image would be the one they had to use.

A lot of releases
are now day-and-date...

That's one of the things that we
pioneered with the Star Warsprequels.

It's in everybody's face all over
the world, all at the same time.

From a marketing point of
view, you want one image...

that identifies
a campaign for the film.

And with Star Wars, because they're so...

it made sense
to have the one image...

be what the image was worldwide.

Everybody in the world
is seeing my piece of art...

all at the same time,
and that was unusual.

That has never happened
before in history.

Indiana Jones.

We've also used a different style
with him with Indiana Jones.

Sometimes we've done the
pyramid, but a lot of the times,

we've just done an iconic
depiction of Indiana Jones...

Of him standing in a particular
position with his whip, with his gun.

And that's
always very effective.

When I first began
working with Drew...

on all the Indiana Jonesmovies,

you know, the art just
brought out a kind of...

A kind of "B" movie sort...

But without being
a cheap "B" movie.

He gave...
He distinguished our film,

but he also showed
that our film was based on...

many of the old
Republic serials...

and all those old-fashioned
adventure movies...

that used to be made
decades ago.

And he brought... He revitalized
that kind of tonality...

with the drawings and the
paintings he was doing for us.

Especially the way
he would capture faces.

Especially the way he captured
Indiana Jones's face.

When Drew came along
and started to do the work,

it really made a big difference.

It focused attention
on that character,

gave him a nobility
and a heroic nature.

And frankly, made me look good.

You know. So I...
I was a happy guy.

I have to confess,
when I think of Harrison Ford,

I'm often thinking
of Drew Struzan's...

image of Harrison Ford...

as much as the actor himself.

I know what the actor looks like.
I've seen him in almost all his movies.

But he's captured somehow
in my mind...

by that rendering that Drew Struzan
has done and variations on it...

and all those many, many posters
and images that he's painted.

He's done a lot of
video box art for us.

And he's done book covers for us and
other illustrations for licensed products.

So it's wound up being a very broad
involvement in everything we do...

in marketing these franchises.

It's been enormously valuable...

to the selling of
the movies that I'm in.

I think you got the sense that
this was being taken seriously,

but there was a true sense
of fun to all the daring.

So when you look at
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones,

you get a feeling
of a rush inside you,

that there's some action in this movie,
that there's romance in this movie,

that there's excitement,
there's mystery, there's danger...

All from a piece of paper.

That stuff made me
wanna go see the movie.

It got us excited.
It gave us a tone.

It gave us something,
something to cling to.

While the pieces
have a consistency,

they all have
their own flavor...

according to the film, according to the
things that we find fun in that film.

Drew's original poster
for Raiders...

I know they used
the Amsel image primarily,

but Drew did one of Harrison
Ford and Karen Allen,

and it's one of the best
poster images I've ever seen.

I believe they used it
for the overseas markets.

I really do believe the first
time he had the freedom to create,

to be really creative,
was the Indiana Jonespiece.

The Temple of Doomposter
is one of the great posters.

I wasn't set as the Indiana
Jonesartist at that point, so...

In Temple of Doom,
the second movie,

they had another artist
do the painting...

I don't know his circumstance...
And they opened with his poster.

But within that first week,

they called me and they just wanted to
try something else for whatever reason.

So they asked me, "Do a drawing of
what you'd like to do for this film."

So I did one comp
and sent it to them.

They said,
"That's great. Paint it."

So there were no changes,
no other ideas.

That was straight-up my idea.

No interference of any kind
from anybody.

So I just painted it freely
and with the confidence,

because I had designed it,
that I could make it nice.

Sent it to 'em, and that's what
the Temple of Doom poster became.

And that's when he developed a
lot of different techniques...

for the visual effect
of the poster.

And that was... To me, that was a
really big turning point in his career.

There was a whole thing
with that movie...

Is it PG-13? Is it for kids?
Is if for adults?

And as a kid,
we all wanted to see it,

and that's really due
a great deal...

to what Drew did.

You had this sort of terrifying
image with fire everywhere...

and this guy with a horned helmet
holding a flaming heart above his head...

with this maniacal
glee in his eyes.

And in the middle of it,
Harrison Ford...

giving this look backwards
like, "I got this."

That was the one where they
said, "Gee, we like that design."

From now on, that's Indy.
That is the look."

And from then on,
it was the Indy look.

Every little line,
every little stroke...

is pushing the feel
of the entire film.

Those strokes, those...
It's almost like war paint.

Just like three strokes here
and then a white here...

and something across
the brow, you know?

It's just really... You can't
do that with a computer.

You know, that whole feeling of
texture that he brings into his art,

the feeling that you could almost reach
out and touch it, you feel like there's...

You get a feel of the smoothness of the face
of one of the heroines in Indiana Jones.

You get a feel of the
gruffness of the villains.

And just the fact
it's so tactile, his art.

That's because he paints.
He doesn't keyboard.

It's just polished. I don't mean
polished in the sense of being slick.

It might be that little pencil
stroke that's still in there...

or that not quite finished highlight
stroke he did with a white.

You might say, "He could have
rounded that off a little."

He could have made that conform a little bit
more to the line of this collar or whatever."

But he didn't.
It's just perfect.

We've had to live up
to Drew's art.

And I know...

When Drew did the last one-sheet for Indiana
Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,

and I saw that early picture...

I showed it to Janusz Kaminski,
my cinematographer, and I said,

"Now you've gotta make sure that
Harrison looks as good as that picture."

And by the way,
Janusz made Harrison...

look as good
as Drew Struzan's artwork...

With a little help
from Harrison himself.

Some people accuse me of making him look
younger, but everybody has opinions.

I painted him as he looked.
He just happens to look okay.

He looks more than okay.
He looks better than I'll ever look.

It was an ambition of mine that we
acknowledge the age of the character.

We were completely recognizing
that 25 years had passed...

and Harrison Ford
the actor had aged,

and Indiana Jones
the character had aged.

I made him look like he looked.
'Cause that's honest.

I also believe
in truth in advertising.

If he was good enough to make the
film, he's surely good enough to paint.

He's idealized Harrison Ford,

and in the best possible way.

It's not me. I'm just acting.

It looks like me,
but it's invested...

with the nature and the
character of Indiana Jones.

I've drawn him many times,
on many occasions,

and there's not always reference
materials for the movies...

that are appropriate
for the concepts.

I get into his character when
I design one of the posters.

I have his hat and whip
and his coat...

and his pants and shoes
and all that stuff...

because I often
pose as Indy myself.

So I have authentic costuming
so that it looks good.

What he says about posing
for the subject is true.

A lot of people do that. Um...

But he does it especially well.

Drew has done Harrison Ford's
portrait, like, a hundred times?

Like, I don't know the exact
number, but it's way up there.

I've never met Harrison,
as many times as I've drawn him.

This is Drew Struzan.
We thought we'd... Himself.

About time you guys met.

Nice to meet you, years later.

Nice to see you.

Glad we had the opportunity.

- You've always been so nice.
- You've been very good to me.

Very good to me.

Well, not half as good
as you've been to me.

- Who are you kidding?
- You've done very well by me.

Nice to finally meet you.

Thanks for the good work.

Thank you
for all you've done for me.

Thank you.

He's become
as critical to the mix...

as John Williams,

as, uh, many of the other
important collaborators...

who come together and pool their
talents to make these films...

as successful as they have been.

He's one person that can just
take a portrait of a person...

and turn it into
something really special.

Oh. The Thingposter.

Which I think Drew did
overnight, back in the day.

He did it in one night,
he told me, which was insane,

'cause it's one of the great science
fiction/horror poster images... ever.

I saw that poster, and the sense of
menace and the sense of madness...

and the dimensions of that thing,
with the light coming out of the head...

It completely encapsulated something
that made the movie bigger.

It doesn't represent the movie.
It makes it bigger.

It's such a simple image too.
It's the man in the parka...

with the light shining
out of the hood.

These terrifying kaleidoscopic shards
kind of coming out of this guy's face.

You can't quite see what's here.

It's kind of blinding,
and you don't know why.

He hasn't defined it.
He's just suggested something.

And it's such a great image.

I had nothing.
They called on the phone and said,

"We have a job. We need it really quick.
You want to do it?"

"Sure. What is it?" "Remember the
movie The Thing from the '50s?"

"Yeah." "That's it."

That was what I had
to create with.

So I couldn't show an actor
or a location or anything.

I couldn't show a monster.
There was nothing to show.

So I had to find a way of
making nothing into something.

So I did one drawing. They called and
said, "Good. We need it in the morning."

You know, he could do a thing
like The Thing overnight,

and it'd be
completely successful.

How he does that overnight?
I don't know.

You'd have to ask him.

All I thought about was, "Well,
I won't get to sleep for two days."

Which is okay.

It's a knowledge that allows
him to do it, you know?

You're getting a Drew Struzan...

It doesn't matter if it
took him one day or 70 days.

I lived a hundred miles
from the studio.

They sent a messenger up first thing
in the morning, like they said.

I handed in the painting. And it was in
acrylics, which dry, like, that fast.

Because there was kind of a watery
effect and stuff. It was kind of wet.

So I said, "Be careful.
Don't put anything on it."

They called when they got it, a hundred miles
later, and said, "The painting's still wet."

That's how fast
it left the studio.

So they had to wait for it to dry to
put it under the glass to shoot it.

He turned it in the next day,
and that's it.

I was young too.
Couldn't even do it today.

I'd just fall over dead.

You really get a sense of...

not only the skill
but the kind of magic at work...

when you see
his Muppet movie posters.

When you wanted a poster,
you went to Tony Seiniger,

and that's what Jim Henson did when
he made the first Muppet movie.

Jim Henson and his in-house art director,
creative director, Michael Frith,

came in to visit me, and they wanted
to see some of the work we had done.

He says, "Walk around and write down
the names of the posters that you like",

and we'll call in those artists
and you see their portfolios...

"and pick one to do your poster."

So he went around,
wrote 'em all down and came back.

Tony looked at the list and goes, "Hmm.
This will be easy."

They're all by the same guy."

So I got the job, straight
away, from Jim Henson.

Drew and I went to New York,
to Henson's creature factory.

Being the poor sucker I was,

I'd never been anywhere
but L.A. in my life, so...

He was like a wide-eyed kid.
It was really cute.

When you got there, there was
always lots of bustling going...

Puppets being built.

We sat around the table and we
decided what we wanted to do...

about the kind of Gone with the
Windtheme and the guys in the car.

Jim Henson, after I did one, basically
said, "You are the Muppet artist."

Says, "You make them look
exactly like I feel about them."

Photograph them, they look
like puppets on a stick."

When I draw 'em,
they look like living beings to him.

So for many years thereafter,
I had constant work from Jim.

Jim really loved Drew's work.

I know that for a fact.

We went on to do, I think, about four
or five more Muppet movies together.

Muppet Caper, then they did
the typical thing.

"This time, let's do
something different."

Let's make it new.
Let's make it fresh.

"I know. Let's do it

So they posed all the puppets
on a stick and photographed 'em,

and they looked like
puppets on a stick, so...

"Hello? Can you please
draw our poster for us?"

Says, "We already have
the photograph."

We already have the concept.
Just draw it and make it... ".

Which became almost the call word for me.
"Give it your magic."

Drew has this ability to make
things jump off the page...

and put so much more drama and
passion into the appearance of them.

So there's no argument
that anybody with a camera...

could quite do what Drew did
with his posters.

Idle, just a still, it's hard to sense
that same kind of life and vibrancy.

You photograph 'em,
and they're balls of... They're socks.

They're stuffed socks with
buttons sewn on 'em, basically.

You know, they're done by
really creative people,

so they fool us, but they're...

Yeah, they're stuffed pieces...
Of sweat sock.

But interpreted
through Drew Struzan,

you believe, for God's sake.

When you see his renderings...

of Kermit and Fozzie and Miss Piggy
and all the other characters...

In those different groups that
he's assembled for the posters...

You know, they're
incredibly appealing...

and just as alive as if they
were in motion and in action.

I actually just copied the
photograph with my taste.

Sounds very creative,
doesn't it?

Jim was a very serious guy,
despite all his humor.

I always felt he was the man with 12
ideas being developed at the same time.

He was incredibly complex...

and a true, true genius.

A sweetheart, kind guy.

He couldn't have made the Muppets without
actually being that guy, and he was.

He was just wonderful.

I don't know if there will ever
be somebody quite like him.

No. It won't be. Too bad.

But anyway, I'm glad he gave us
so much of himself for so long.

But it just wasn't long enough.

So it was really one of those
grand experiences in my life.

One I recall very dearly.

Which is why I still let Kermit
hang out here when he wants to.

I just like him. He's fun.

He's done so many
posters and things.

Things that aren't
my movies, like Steven's...

The E.T.poster
I think it very iconic.

He was like George.
He knew the work, so he called personally.

I went over to see him,
and we did the same thing.

We played a little pinball and laid
around and talked about movies.

Says, "I'm making this movie
about an alien."

Actually, what he wanted
was a painting...

for a trade ad
to run in Daily Variety.

And they didn't have the
creature yet or the kid cast,

so it was kind of a generic
kid and a generic creature.

But it got me connected with him,
and then when the movie came around,

I didn't get it.

So I did the second poster...

and a number of other things
after that.

Did a lot of E.T.work.

Steven didn't want
to use photography of E.T.,

'cause he was
just bits and pieces and...

Again, kind of like
the Muppets, you know.

If he's moving and talking and lit
and stuff, he looks pretty cool,

but just him standing there,
he looks like, you know...

Ugly little Martian.

He gave E.T. a beauty that
really even surpasses the movie...

In the sense that people have
to go out to see the movie...

or they have to put
the DVD on in their player.

But all they have to do is see a picture,
and E.T. comes to life in one frame.

Not 24 frames a second.

Drew can bring E.T.
to complete life simply at a glance.

I did tons of stuff for Steven
on E.T.over the years.

We're the same age,
so we got along well.

We communicated well.
We understand well.

Like I say, we both wear jeans,
T-shirts and tennis shoes.

Still do.

When you think of
the Back to the Futuremovies,

you can't imagine
the movie without it.

I think of Back to the Future and
say, "Hey. Remember that poster?"

I think everybody
remembers that poster.

It's a single image, but it says everything
you need to know about the movie.

It made you say,
okay, this is a comedy.

It's about time travel,
but it's a comedy, which is new,

and yet, it's not goofy.

I find that to be fascinating that
he created such a clean concept...

for such a movie
that is wonderfully cluttered...

with all kinds of things

Just feels like
you're catching a second...

and it's gonna move on.

But it's not necessarily
a frame from a film.

It's something much different.

Just a piece
of a dream, you know?

Spielberg saw it, and he said...

My recollection is at least...

He said, "We gotta
give this to Drew."

Drew will know how to make
this into what it ought to be."

You can't just brush by
stuff like this...

No pun intended...
When it jumps out at you.

I think it's worth it
to look at it and say...

what is it about this
on a bottom-line level...

made people go, "That looks cool.
I wanna go see that"?

Because it worked so well
with the first movie,

when we went back to do the
sequel, it was obvious...

What do we gotta do? We gotta put
Doc Brown in the poster as well...

and reprise the exact
concept of the image.

We set up a photo shoot
with Michael J. Fox.

I had lights and cameras... just
like this... and I was directing.

I remember vaguely
sitting for Drew...

and knowing I was sitting for
Drew and how pumped I was.

I said, "Michael, please move to the left
a little bit. Chris, do that"... You know.

So, it's like... I was nervous.

What am I doing
directing movie stars?

And then of course,
the worst thing happened,

right in the middle of me
telling them what to do.

Michael throws up his hands
and says, "Hold everything."

Of course, my heart dropped. "Oh, great.
I've pissed off the movie star."

I'm really in shit creek."

W-Walks over,
walks straight up to me and goes,

"Are you theDrew?"

"I'm Drew." He says,
"I'm your greatest fan!"

It was all the stuff
that I loved.

It was really...
It was all the light...

and the texture of the jeans.

Those ugly '80s Guess jeans never
looked so good as in that painting.

It was a thrill beyond just
being involved in the movies...

To be a subject of those works.

And of course, I got to do it three
times, so it was really, really grand.

Drew actually did a version of Part
Three that was just Marty and Doc.

And we all looked at it
and we said, "You know what?"

Uh... One has one character.

Part Two has two characters.

Let's put Mary Steenburgen
in the third one,

"and put her in there,
because it's perfect."

It's one of those experiences that you would
hope your whole life would be full of.

But I had one or two of 'em
now and again.

That was one of the sweet ones.

And a neat series of posters.

Obviously, those posters
are iconic,

and to be identified with that,

and to be the subject
of those posters is...

I mean,
I still can't believe it.

It just... Pow.
It's in there as much as the movie is,

quite honestly, and that's what
great poster art will do for you.

It really becomes part of that
film's history, its iconography.

To this day... This... I go like this,
and people get all tripped out.

Oh, I love the Big Trouble in Little China

It's so awesome. His image of
Jack Burton in that is wonderful.

So much more evocative of Kurt Russell
than a picture of Kurt Russell would be.

I had done, I don't know,
maybe eight dozen...

different compositions and drawings,
and they did the typical thing.

You know, "We like this,
this and this." Put 'em together.

And the composition came out of
all the choices the people made.

And I just made it work
as best I could.

To get me in a theater, to get me
excited about seeing that movie...

It's so much more effective than if it had
just been a photograph of Kurt Russell...

- or a picture of his face.
- As a matter of fact, it isme.

I was younger then.

Kurt was never posed like that.

That's me in the water. That's a friend down
the street that's the girl posing there.

None of that was in the movie.
That's... It's all faked.

I recall that I didn't
particularly like it that much.

I'm always surprised
that people do.

Maybe it's just the subject matter, which
is what most people concentrate on anyway.

'Cause the subject is fun, you know. But
I thought it was a bit busy, for my taste.

You couldn't get a more
cluttered concept.

I mean, cluttered in the best way.
I mean, really busy.

Things going on,
and people running at you.

In the middle of it,
Kurt Russell being a bad-ass.

Yeah, Big Trouble
is such a great poster.

Fuck. Does he have
the original art to that?

I don't know, actually. Ooh.

I'll dig around some.

We should find out and drive over there and
beat the guy up and take... and take it.

The Gooniestoo,
with that perspective.

That trippy perspective of looking
down this chain of... of kids.

I didn't come up
with the concept.

An art director did
at lunch one day.

He did a little sketch
on a napkin, literally,

gave me the napkin, and
said, "This is what we want."

So... It was difficult...

in a design sense...

to have... whatever it was... seven kids
or something going down in perspective...

but hanging off of each other.

I was in my 20s at the time,
but it's still like,

"I wanna be, like, hanging onto
somebody's ankle in that picture!"

I remember all the neighborhood kids
dangling out the bedroom window,

and trying to take that
photograph, that's what I remember.

It's hard to get seven kids...
The guy at the top...

to hold on to seven kids
all hanging on to him.

That was really hard.

He did a piece for Blade Runner that's
one of the best things I've ever seen.

Drew's posters
for Blade Runner...

That re-release
of Blade Runner...

I know that he did it for the original
release of the film, and it wasn't used.

And the fact that they would
return to Drew's work for that...

is some kind of a testament.

It's fantastic the way it
captures the tone of that movie.

Drew's Blade Runner
for the reissue isthe movie.

It's just soaked in mood.

There's not anything in there
that I saw that I would say,

"Hmm. Mm-mmm. I don't know.

That doesn't look like...
Mmm, that's not gonna cut it."

It's got texture to it.
It's more visceral.

To me, portraiture is something that
just... It happens or it doesn't.

And... that's Harrison.

It makes me look good.
That's a good thing.

I think it's the best art
on Blade Runner, period.

My memory went back first
to my son. It was really cool.

We got to work together
on a project.

I was working at an advertising agency.
And that was the job we were workin' on.

And I guess all the
cards came together...

in the few times
that we've, you know,

had the opportunity
to work together.

Renny Harlan, the director,
knew exactly what he wanted.

He says, "I want my poster
to look like Indiana Jones."

My son goes,

"I think I can get the guy that
did that to do it for you."

It was nice after years of
watching him do it, you know,

growing up watching him do it,

and then going to school and
gettin' a job and growin' up.

And then one day
you call your dad with a job.

"Hey, I got a job.
Wanna work on it?"

I did three drawings.
Renny picked the one he wanted.

I painted it. He loved it.

He wrote a personal letter
back to me, and he says,

"I think this is the best poster
of all time."

He loved what he got.
He knew what he wanted, and he got it.

That was probably
some of the nicest,

most beautiful likenesses
in a movie poster...

that I've ever seen him do.

The Star Warsfilms, E.T.,
Back to the Future...

It's like an honor roll...

of big hit, widely acclaimed,
popular movies.

Plus Police Academy.

I remember Police Academy
as I remember most of my work:

The painting I spent weeks
standing in front of.

And I love the work I was able
to do for it.

Police Academy 3is one
of my favorite posters.

It's a perfect image
for a comedy...

And with all the actors
looking wonderful.

And it's a perfect joke.

You know exactly what the movie's
gonna be about when you see the poster,

and you can read what it's about from across
the street, so it's the perfect poster.

Police Academy 4was the same way,
with the balloon and everything.

It was just fun to do.
I loved drawing the characters.

I was lucky enough to be
drawn by him several times.

And I couldn't pick a favorite.

I'm just feeling grateful that
he was able to do it with me...

and for me and about me.

Maybe I love 'em so much 'cause
there was no pain in the ass.

There was no art director
making me change it,

no movie studio
bugging me about it.

I just... I remember being happy
doing the work.

If we do do
another Police Academy,

Drew, you gotta do the poster.

That's just a request and a beg.
You've gotta do the poster.

I think Drew's work often
surpasses even the films...

that he was depicting.

In a lot of cases, Drew's posters,
they're better than the movie.

How do we make people think
that this isn't a turkey?

Well, you hire the best guy
on the planet to do your poster.

Oh, yeah, sometimes that poster has almost
captured the filmmaker's intention...

better than the filmmaker
managed to do with the film.

And it's better if I
not name those films.

I won't say which films, though.
You know what I'm saying?

We will cite no examples by name
because, you know...

Why be... Why be rude?

Masters of the Universe.Okay.
I wanna see this movie.

- Why be ungracious here?
- This movie, I wanna see.

I'm not a fan of the movie
Masters of the Universe,

but damn if Drew didn't
draw you into that concept.

I'm still waiting
to see this movie.

If somebody took the trouble of painting
it that good, it must be worth it.

I probably never will see this movie.
That ain't the movie that the studio made.

He may not care equally about each
film or each actor that he's depicting,

but it always looks that way.

Part of Drew getting into
the business by himself...

was learning
the business side of it.

The business part of it,
I had to learn as I went along.

Because it's never
taught in school.

So if you do go to art school,

at least in my experience, they don't
really tell you how to run a business.

You learn, you know.

you get wise to what's going on.

As I went along, I learned
what was necessary to do,

and what part of it was the
parameters of understanding a poster,

what it was for,
how to accomplish it,

how to work with the studios and
the art directors and the people.

So then he started to do it
himself, you know,

and learn that what he'd been running
away from all his life, he ended up doing.

I just don't find a whole lot of interest,
'cause it's a diversion, I suppose,

to what I really want
to think about.

'Cause you're so focused
on that creative part of it.

You know, how do you... You just
can't split your brain that way.

Which side of the brain
is that? The left side?

The left brain thing,
you know what I mean?

It's you're... we're all on this
other side of the brain, working,

and you're all focused over here,
and you're not watching all...

the so-called real world... the
so-called real world over here.

You're obsessed and compelled and driven,
and all this is all fallin' apart.

Because you're into the work,
you don't know how to keep track of that.

If he had to do
all those other things,

he could have never done... he could have
never accomplished what he accomplished.

People kinda consider artists
kinda dummies in a funny way.

You know, "They don't know.
They're just art guys."

And it makes you vulnerable to the
people that want to prey on that,

'cause they can see
how they can exploit that.

Well, there's a shady side
in all businesses.

Whenever there's money to be made,
there's gonna be a shady side of it.

That just goes hand in hand.

Drew got taken advantage of
in the early part of his career.

We didn't have a lot of guidance
from wise elders.

But we did find some individuals who were more
than happy to take advantage of our naiïveté.

He went into supposedly a partnership...
turned out to be not a partnership...

With a couple of guys,
a father-son team,

who basically ripped him off
for eight years.

And they were collecting the money and sending
the invoices to me and to the studios,

and basically keeping most
of the money for themselves.

In fact, Drew told me that the best year
he ever had with them, he made $50,000.

Well, we were paying
$50,000 per campaign.

Drew and I were just incredibly naiïve
about all of that business side of life,

and we tended to trust
way too much.

It turns out that
one of the partners, the son,

had taken about 100 pieces
of Drew's original artwork.

They didn't return 'em. Or at least
I thought they never returned 'em.

This guy always had a story. "Oh, yeah,
well, you know, the client's still got it."

Or "The printer's got it. And by the
way, here's three more things to do."

So he kept him busy all the time. Meanwhile,
he's collecting all this artwork.

Well, it turned out that they did
return them. I just never got them back.

They end up with nothing. You turn around, and
it's all gone, this thing you thought you had.

The artwork, it'll come and it'll go,
and Drew will create another piece,

because he's always
got that going.

But faith in humanity...

Um, learning to protect yourself by being
cold to people you'd rather be warm to...

I think that's very hard.

And I think that that's how
people do such a big disservice.

But the great thing is when
their money is gone, it's gone,

but your talent is never gone,
so you'll be able to refresh and renew.

Yeah. It's constant. People who you wouldn't
think that it happens to, it happens to.

Why? Because they're obsessed and dedicated and
compelled, and they're over here, focused.

And they're trusting this person
to handle all that stuff.

I stick no matter what.

I stick to my principles
and my character and my ideals,

and I stay with people and wish
the best and hope the best in them,

until they cross
a line of abuse...

that goes beyond
what I can forgive.

And he did that,

and I just said, "Okay. Partnership's over.
I can't do it anymore. I quit."

At that point in our lives,
we thought we were facing the loss...

of everything
we had worked for thus far.

Our home, you know.

I mean, really, it
was sheer desperation.

We knew we had one really good
contact that had never much liked...

dealing with
this other guy anyway.

I said, "Don't worry.
I'll take care of you."

I'll make sure you get enough work so you'll
not ever have to worry about this again."

Thank God for him, because
that gave us the work...

and the confidence that
we needed to move forward.

And everything blossomed,

Years later, these pieces end up at
Christie's in New York for auction.

- All at once.
- All at once, and Drew inquired about the source.

He calls up Christie's and he
says, "Hey, wait. Those are mine."

'Cause this guy had kept all the
work, and now he was gonna sell it.

So Drew put
a cease and desist on it.

And consequently,
he was slapped with a lawsuit.

- I was slapped with a lawsuit.
- Yeah.

And of course,
it was our friendly friend...

coming back to haunt us
18 years later...

and suing us for everything
we had accumulated...

or ever would accumulate,
from the point that we left him, forward.

- Drew sued him back.
- And the minute I stood up,

it just shocked him so badly,
that the best thing in the world...

ever happened to the world,
and to him.

- The guy had a heart attack and died.
- Scared him so much, he died.

So, you know,
a dead man can't sue ya,

and once the court took a look at what was goin'
on, they just gave all the paintings back,

'cause they realized they were never
his, they were always mine.

So 20 years later,
I got everything back.

He got back 100 pieces
of original Struzan art.

It's an iconic pose
for Han Solo.

We don't get
a lot of these, actually.

I think maybe because it's you
that it's...

It has a little tinge of Indiana
Jones in it, which is the pose,

where he's kind of a serious,
ready to go, iconic, tough guy look.

- Yeah, well, he's the same guy in alternate universes.
- Yeah.

Well, it's the... holding the gun
the way he's holding it...

and standing with his legs spread
apart, sort of... kind of ready to go.

- You know, it's...
- You use a word I really feature in a lot of my work...

- "Iconic."
- Yeah.

And I really like the
simplified, iconic figures...

that emphasize their heroism
or their beauty...

or whatever
main characteristic they have.

- I like the Chewbacca in this one too. He's very...
- Yeah. Looks handsome.

- Yeah. He's also got a very good, handsome look.
- Yes, he does.

You can even make Wookiees
look good.

He's got a wet nose.
That's all you need.

Each job came from a different
place, a different person,

a different movie, a different
circumstance, a different concept,

a different idea,
a different setting.

So I got to be creative
every time I got a new job.

He can work in any kind of
medium that he wants to.

It doesn't matter if it's watercolor
or just a pencil drawing...

or if it's oil paint
or a mixture of things...

or things that aren't
supposed to go together.

It doesn't really matter.

It's the end product
is all that counts.

He knows every trick
in the book.

Pushing a brush
instead of pulling it.

You ever see a house painter
paint like that?

No, he always has it like that. Do it
that way, you get a whole different look.

Maybe not good for a house,
but cool for a painting.

It's a very
uüber-realistic style,

but as a result,
it's rather stunning to look at.

Drew kind of stands alone in terms
of his ability to capture likenesses.

His illustrated stuff
is so good,

there's been times that I've
mistaken it for a photograph.

It looks absolutely photo-real, but if you
get right close to it, it's not at all.

It's not real.
And it's not photographic.

You can't buy that camera
that will take that picture.

If I use the tools I have,
all those tools we've been taking about,

I can bring more understanding,

more emotion, more personal
understanding and feeling to it...

than just a photograph.

A picture of Sylvester Stallone
as Rambo in First Blood...

would be fine.

But the image
that Drew Struzan creates...

just heightens it somehow.

So his version of Rambo,
his version of Hellboy,

his version of even Tom Hanks
in The Green Mile...

Those are all
idealized renderings.

And that's, I think,
why they have such impact,

why they're so much more
effective than a photo would be.

There's a power. And there's a...

There's a direct contact between
that character and the audience.

They recognize the virility of
the character in those portraits.

You know, there's always
that iconic moment,

that iconic look
that the character can have,

and Drew knows what to use.

With Drew, Drew works from photography,
but he can take, like, seven heads...

that are from totally different
scenes, completely different angles,

and he can compose them
into this amazing composition.

And he can put in, you know,
storytelling devices...

where there's action or
romance or some sort of magic,

and he can take
all of these elements...

and make them feel like they're
cohesive and they all belong together.

You get the whole movie
in looking at that one image.

He never arranged anything on the
page unless it had a reason for it.

There's always priorities in movies
that people don't know about,

like if you're doing a portrait,
what size it can be.

And then,
if there's a second person,

they have a percentage of a
relationship to that first one,

and they have to be higher
or lower or full face...

All the way down the line.

So there's a lot of necessity...

and contractual agreements and stuff
that you have to conform art to.

You have to have a conversation in your
head, a special vision for seeing that.

And to take all those demands
and parameters and contracts...

and then turn them into a piece of art
that looks like I just did what I wanted,

'cause it would be pretty...

This is really the job.

I love that combination. The drawing
and that layering of airbrush...

and the photo-realism, then that
abstract... the splatter and texture thing.

I love that, you know?
But it's not just that one thing.

You're not just only dripping
shit all over the place, you know?

But it's a merging
of all those elements.

He has a very distinct
way of working...

with the color
and with his line.

Powerful, clean, sharp drawing.

Artists have said, "How do you get it so
sharp? How do you get your line so sharp?"

Says, "Well, you'll never get
it sharp like that." You know.

Use a pencil,
the longer the line gets,

the flatter the point gets,
and it doesn't stay sharp.

If you draw on the side of it,
it stays sharp forever.

'Cause you're drawing on the round,
so you're just on that apex of the circle.

And I do it like this.
I do it like that. I do it like that.

And I do it like this.
And I do...

It's whatever kind of line
I want, I can create.

It looks effortless,
but it's completely the opposite.

He has a very studied,
incredibly mannered,

incredibly precise style.

He has a definite style,
but the style doesn't get in the way...

of the subject
that he's painting.

I can make it scarier.

I can make it more serious.
I can make it funny.

Just in the design or the
composition or the color...

or choice of gestures
that the people in the...

You know, all those things
add up to a feeling.

I just pick those things...

and make that feeling.

I really like what he's done
for Frank Darabont's films.

Green Milebeing one
of the standouts to me.

He's gotten an opportunity to paint
on a broader canvas, if you will,

because each one of those films
has a different signature.

So it's been a chance for him to express
a lot of different elements of his style.

You know, The Mist was completely
different from Shawshank Redemption.

As we were prepping this movie,
the main character, played by Tom Jane,

was, in fact,
written by Stephen King as an artist...

A fellow who's done all that
kind of illustrative art,

has done movie posters,
etcetera, etcetera.

And I thought, "Well, let's see. Who do I
know who's a really great poster artist?"

"Drew!" Being a fan of my work,

Frank decorated the whole
set with my artwork.

So Drew was very kind in letting us borrow
a whole number of things for that set,

for that opening shot.

And we proposed that Tom Jane
was fundamentally Drew Struzan.

'Cause if the character's gonna be a poster
artist, make him a great one, why not?

He told Thomas Jane to come over
to my house, to my studio,

and have me show him how I paint, so
that he could look authentic in the film.

I've learned a few tricks,
so I didn't look like a complete idiot...

when I portrayed,
basically, Drew.

Obviously, I'm taken with the fact that
there's this wonderful actor in my studio,

and I'm showing him
how to do something.

And I remember trying to imitate
him with my brush,

and him just going,
"Oh, no, no, no."

You're touching the canvas
all wrong. You can't do that.

"Other artists will laugh
if they see you do that."

He was stupid,
like everybody else.

"Is this how you draw?"

"No, I hold it differently." And he
says, "Oh, well, go like"...

"No. Push it. Pull it."
You know.

It was really funny, you know?

It was almost like learning how to play
baseball when I played Mickey Mantle.

It was, like, really hard.

I showed him how to paint
with the airbrush...

and how to draw with the
pencil and how to hold it,

and he picked it up immediately.

He said,
"Don't put it down and move,

but already be moving
as you put the brush down."

I had to show him how to
use a pencil and a brush.

He wouldn't let me leave until
I just got it just... perfect.

I had utter confidence that he was gonna
look real professional, 'cause he...

He picks up on it faster
than most art students.

At the premiere of the film,
one of the first persons I see is Drew.

And I had a big smile on my face,
and Drew just comes up and goes,

"No. No, no, you, uh...
That wasn't right."

It's like, "Oh, my God."

He absolutely ignored everything I
showed him, and he did it all wrong.

"No. No, no, that wasn't...
That wasn't it."

Yeah, he had it down
when he was in the studio.

I play Mickey Mantle, you know.
And I really... I had months to practice,

and I really nailed that.

You know, I played a guy
with a South African accent,

and I really worked
on that for a long time.

But I play Drew Struzan, working in the
studio, for literally, like, 30 seconds,

and I-I... I couldn't.
I couldn't do it.

I was so nervous
at meeting Drew.

And, you know, Drew is on the
outside the way I am on the inside.

So for Drew it must have been a shock, there's
this fucking caveman coming to his house.

Pow. Pow. Pow. You know, this...

This bull in a china
shop, entering the...

I'm saying "fucking" this
and "fucking" that...

and "shit" and "piss"
and, you know...

And he was like...

I don't know if he was shocked
or amused or whatever it was.

But it was out of nervousness.
I was really crapping my pants.

One day I got his number from...
actually from Steven Spielberg's office.

I called up and I said,
"You have Drew Struzan's number?"

So they gave it to me,
and I called Drew out of the blue...

to ask him about the Shawshank
art that I wanted done.

And I found out he lived, you know, 15 minutes
from here, and went over and met him,

and, you know, totally...
Totally hit it off.

On the first Hellboy, I talked to
Drew, and he said, "What do you want?"

I said, "Whatever you want."

I said,
"I'm not gonna tell you."

And I said, "I'll look at your sketches,
and then I'll tell you which one I like",

but I'm not gonna direct
what you do."

Drew is very collaborative.
He'll, you know...

When we did the... "We" did...

Hedid the Shawshankart,

there was definitely
some conversation with him...

about what the elements
should be in the image.

You know, "Well, let's grapple
for what it is about the movie..."

that we really, you know...
That people really seem to dig."

On the first Hellboyposter,
he captured the character,

you know, the same way
he would capture Indiana Jones.

He took images that had been
sort of becoming iconic anyway...

over the decade that
it had been, you know, released,

and he just nailed that sort of
iconic quality to the wall.

It's like, "Oh, gosh!"

And he said, "What do you
think?" And I was just, you know,

crying on the inside,

and I couldn't say anything.

He loved it. Everybody loved it.
But they didn't use it.

Some of the stuff that
Guillermo del Toro and I...

have had Drew do
in recent years...

have wound up being, um,
considered specialty posters.

To me that artwork is...
Is special.

So when it's not treated special,
it's kind of, you know, bothersome.

They didn't use the poster. I used
it as a limited edition for the fans.

You know, I just felt it was a
horrible waste of a great, great image.

When he finished Pan's
Labyrinth... He'd worked on it,

spent all his money and all his soul
and all his heart on this masterpiece.

They refused to pay for Drew
to do the poster, so I said,

"Okay, I'll pay for the poster
out of my own pocket."

He goes, "I know the studio
will never use what you paint."

'Cause it had gone that far.
He just knew they weren't gonna do it.

Drew said to me,
"What do you want?"

I said, "I just imagine the
faun embracing the girl."

I painted it, and he loved it.
He bought it. Hangs in his house.

And they never used it.

I really scratched my head,
and I don't understand it.

So when I did Hellboy II,
it was the same way.

He says, "I know. They ain't gonna use
it, but I want you to do it."

I love the idea of a massive
robot and a red poster,

and Hellboy this big...
That's the movie.

The tragedy is that all the posters that
he's painted for me have not been used,

except in limited editions that I
forced down the studio's throat.

'Cause the film industry is in
this very weird state right now.

It's in this weird flux in a lot of ways,
and one of the things that I've noticed,

particularly as it pertains
to Drew,

is how much they've gone
to this sort of...

photoshopped kind of approach
with their poster art.

In a lot of ways,
what Drew has done is becoming a lost art.

A whole generation of people making
their living by doing hand paintings...

I-I don't see it...
I don't see it happening.

There's nobody
that does it anymore.

I mean, there's some guys that...
Yes, there's illustrators,

but that as
a main, major force...

Contributing force
in advertising and such...

It's... It's essentially dead.

These days, movie posters
are basically, um,

"Hey, this guy's in it.
And he's kind of angry about it."

That's a movie poster, right?

Or if you're lucky, you get,
"This guy's in it, and he's angry about it.

"And she's in it too, and doesn't she
look great?" And that's... that's it.

Two big heads. Two big heads... look at
any movie poster, it's two big heads.

It's a picture of this actor
and a picture of that actor.

They're photoshopped, you know, and they
put the title on, and that's the poster.

The other approach, of course, is the hip young
cast standing in a line, like it's a Gap ad.

You know, giving the camera
saucy looks.

And it's like,
"Okay, that's all...

There's another movie
I don't wanna see now."

And that's a weekend thing. You get a weekend
boner, and then it's forgotten forever.

This guy was, you know...

This guy was creating a love
affair that lasted a lifetime.

The other shit
is a one-night stand.

You've got
these computer jockeys...

slapping these posters together
on their Macs,

and that's what
the studio wants.

Why should there be painted posters when
you can make everything on a computer?

Who the heck needs artists?
This is just art.

They have their reasons. And they have
their marketing and their research.

They test everything. They test it
to the lowest common denominator,

and they ask questions, I'm sure,
based on people's perception of the art...

that has nothing
to do with the art.

They probably say,
"Does it make you wanna eat more popcorn?"

Or whatever dumb-ass questions they ask
that have to do with the bottom line.

"Which one makes you wanna buy popcorn
more?" And you're like, "Well, neither."

And they're like,
"See... no difference!"

They don't reach out
to people's imaginations.

They're just reaching out
for their wallets.

That's the difference.
The difference is money.

It's all become a big economic crunch,
especially in the entertainment industry.

The first thing they try to do is
save money in the marketing area.

It's just expediency, and it's
boring, and it's really a shame.

Let me put it like this.
I had always...

Whenever they made changes,
I made the changes to the original art.

When the computer came in, they realized
they could push a couple buttons...

and make changes
and move things.

Yeah, I look at the Photoshop
today, and I go...

You know, it can just change it
at a click of a button.

I hate when the technology becomes
the thing, rather than the tool.

And that, I'm afraid, is,
at least for now, what's happened.

I'm not a big fan
of photos for movie ads.

I like to see a painting.
It has more quality.

I love handmade stuff.

I love it when it isn't perfect.

You know what I mean?
That it's not totally cleaned up.

The poster art that is

All you're getting is essentially
a still frame of the movie,

so it's a lesser representation
of what the movie is going to be.

I think people do appreciate it.
Whether they know it or not,

there's an appreciation of that kind
of thing, that something is handmade.

Do something by hand, you got an original.
Do it digitally, you don't have an original.

There's one painting,
the original.

There's only one original.

But a digital file, in order to
be physical, has to be printed,

and there can be
thousands of 'em.

But if I do a painting,
I got a painting.

When they see an original, they
go, "There's... I had no idea"...

The difference and the life that's in
the original compared to reproduction.

Well, you know, his art is done with paint.
It's not done, you know, with pixels.

And it's wonderful that he's
maintained that kind of integrity,

and I have a bond with him, because
I still shoot on 35 millimeter film,

and I still project
on 35 millimeter film,

and I'm still cutting
on 35 millimeter film.

And so in a sense,
we're both Luddite in that sense.

There was a time, it was art.
They trusted artists.

They trusted people with the training, the
experience and the accomplishment to say,

"You do this. You do it well."

Now people just go, "Well,
I have an opinion. Why not do that?"

It's a process with a
lot of people involved.

And so things kinda usually
get shepherded to the middle.

Asking a studio about movie posters and Drew's
art is like asking the pope about condoms.

It gets so confusing, and I get so
many separate people telling me,

'cause they think they have the power,
that I have to call an end to it and say,

"You know, tell me who
I'm supposed to listen to."

You have to please
so many people,

and other people are in charge
and paying for that work.

It was like painting in the
middle of Dodger Stadium,

with everybody
having an opinion.

It's a guy that is driving
a school full of screaming kids.

At one point, he says,
"You know what? Fuck you.

I'm gonna stop the bus.
I'm gonna get out."

It was just too much. Like I say,
maybe the reason it was too much...

is I'm older and tireder and
just don't want to do it anymore.

So... Didn't draw any other conclusion
than, "Well, that's it. That's enough."

And just quit.
Retired is a gentler word.

Well, I groan every time I hear
that he's going to retire.

Oh, he retired? Oh, he looks like he's
about 15. I don't know... How old is he?

First of all, I feel old,
if he's retired.

Great artists never retire.

They always want to work. Now, he might
want to sit back and do a little fishing.

And I think he'd like
to maybe sleep late.

Maybe enjoy his grandchildren,
or something to that effect.

But a guy like Drew won't be like my friend
who works for the town of Oyster Bay...

and at 65 retires
and goes to Florida...

and never drives
a cement mixer again.

Um, I don't think that that's
the way it is with artists.

If I don't paint,
I don't know what to do.

I mean, I can go on vacation for two
weeks, to get the business out of my guts,

but I take my drawing board
and pastels and draw every day.

That's how I express myself.
That's how I fulfill my reason for being.

You know, I don't stop.

I don't have to answer
to people anymore.

So... It's kinda nice.

I wish it for everybody.

I'm gonna do everything within my power to
keep him from being retired all the time.

'Cause that would be a crime.

Like all of us, when we're...

When we have decided
we've had enough of that...

and wanna leave room in our
lives for something else,

we make room for somebody new.

Maybe I'll be
an actor after this.

"There was that boring guy. We need a
real boring guy in our film. I want him."

That's how it works.

He really just has moved on.

But it's a loss for us.

You know, it's not a loss for him.
He's still an artist. He's painting.

You know, he's painting every day.
He's creating beautiful stuff.

But for our medium,
it is a loss that we don't have him.

- Well, it's the end of an era.
- It'll be interesting to see what he does.

But obviously that means the
quality of the film advertising...

is going to drop a few notches.

I just think maybe he'll maybe do
some stuff he's always wanted to do.

And then all of a sudden it will be, "Wow,
Drew. Why didn't you do that 20 years ago?"

And he'll probably turn around and
say, "Well, I was busy doing a poster."

I guess he's retiring to paint his own
imagery that he wants to paint now,

as opposed to doing work
for other people.

And that's incredible. I'm looking
forward to see what that will be.

I can't wait to see what Drew's doing.
I would love to see his fine art.

He's gonna put together this
trove of "post-retirement work."

It's gonna be amazing stuff.

And I hope people start to...

see the other work that he does
that he's passionate about.

The stuff that Drew has done that
isn't commission work is jaw-dropping.

It's, you know, phenomenal,
phenomenal art.

Most of them were done
when I was still illustrating,

so I was painting
while I was illustrating.

If I had a day off,

I practiced my hobby, which was the
same thing I did for a job... I painted.

And these
are the result of that.

To sum it up, I would call it
art for art's sake.

It's not for advertising movies.
It's not to explain some philosophy.

This exists for itself, in itself,
'cause it has a value as itself.

And you have to look at it with
those eyes and with that heart...

to really understand what it's
trying to give you and say to you.

I willfully try to paint

which is to say I'm not
telling you what to think.

I'm setting up a circumstance
that asks youquestions.

They'll turn out to be
your own questions,

and they'll turn out to be
your own answers.

Sometimes I paint part of it,
and I leave it for six months.

And one day I walk in and I go,
"Ha-ha, I know why I like that."

I do it, and I don't like it.
I change it again.

I've changed this. I had her
with no hair, black background.

This was orange once.

This was red,
which you can still see.

She used to have
a gun in her hand.

I just kept changing it.

"Oh, it's too illustrative. Oh,
it's not open-ended enough. Oh, it's"...

It has to grow to have
that kind of depth.

And because it's not just an
illustration of an existing thing,

it's an invention.

It's like writing a novel
or writing music or dance.

You do the basic thing,
and then it changes and develops.

It has its own organic,
creative nature.

So painting is the same way.

When it sings and dances,
then I know it's done.

It's still the same Drew.
Yeah, he's just learning...

to focus on painting what he wants to,
which was a difficult adjustment for him.

Yeah, it's pretty much whatever I
want, but it's not whenever I want.

Life seems to be
full of things to do.

He's still trying to learn
how to relax.

It's nice to relax
a little bit...

and spend time with our family.

We have our grandson that we
take care of every day now.

And he's... He's just... It's
delightful to be able to do that.

That's my grandson.

He's the center of my life
at the moment.

He and Dylan, my mother-in-law,
have fun playing with Nico every day.

And I think he paints on the side,
and he paints what he loves now.

But then he takes time
to go outside...

and take Nico to Griffith Park
for pony rides and to the zoo,

and maybe that influences
his paintings too.

Opened up a whole new vista,

new opportunities
and whole new lives.

I feel like
I'm starting over again.

And I like being young again.

The best part of this one is...

I mean, it's a great
composition and everything,

but I like the fact that the
rings around the flare...

almost look like paint,
oil paint.

The rest of it's very articulate, and it's
much, much finer detail than oil paint.

But this sort of has an oil
painting kind of ring around it...

that is textural, as opposed to the rest
of the stuff, which is not textural.

And I think that's a
brilliant move of mixed media.

Oh, thank you.

Well, George, as a guy that
appreciates art and painting,

he understands a lot of the
qualities that make it so wonderful.

Between the movies and his mind and heart,
this is what comes out of it for me.

- I enjoyed doing it. Darth Maul... what a character.
- Yeah.

What a marvelous design, the whole concept.
We want more Darth Maul.

Drew Struzan is awesome. He is the pinnacle
of what I think of when I think of...

film posters, film marketing,
and also just the kind of artwork...

that I wanna have
in my own home.

Movie poster art is
one of my passions.

And Drew is a big reason
that I have such love for it.

- I love Drew.
- Drew is the last real poster artist for the movies.

I enjoyed his work on movie posters.
I think it's really fine art.

I've about three or four
of the those posters.

I have them hanging up in my room.
My mother just rolls her eyes.

In a way, his art creates
instant nostalgia...

for something that you've never
been introduced to before.

Every time I looked up one of his posters,
I'm like, "That's my favorite poster!"

That'smy favorite poster.
No, that'smy favorite poster."

Only Drew can do what Drew does.

I think you can tell he puts his
heart and soul into creating it.

When Drew arrives at the show,
I think he's gonna be a little surprised,

because he's gonna be like, "Oh, I don't know
if anybody really wants to come see me."

Meanwhile, the Convention Center is gonna
tilt as everybody heads for his signing.

Any illustrator in this room...

is going to acknowledge
what Drew has done...

as an artist
and also to the industry.

He draws faster and more accurate and
realistic than anybody else I've ever seen.

You just sit there
and just go through his books,

and just kind of, like,
break down his compositions,

his use of color
and all that stuff,

and kind of art-gasm
all over it, you know?

People flew here to do the show
to get Drew's book.

People realize, "Here's an artist
that's going into retirement."

This could be my only opportunity
to get him to sign something."

And when I'm sitting next to a
booth selling his brand-new book...

that they only have 500 copies
of, and it sells out in one day,

then you know Drew
has some impact.

We're selling stacks of books.

So, yeah, this is
a huge release for us.

Drew rules.
The dark side loves him.

Drew, you cannot leave
the industry. Gotham needs you.

- Drew's the man.
- Drew's the man!

How great is this artwork?

Drew Struzan,
ladies and gentlemen.

When I heard he was doing
this Walking Deadpiece,

I was just, like, so ecstatic.

I love this. This is beautiful.

Drew Struzan doing zombies?
Oh, my God! That's cool.

Wow, yours is a lot of work.
You wanna see mine?

Yeah, but yours is
so much more graceful.

I'm such a huge, huge fan.

Oh, thank you.
It's really an honor.

There is a lost art
in Hollywood,

and that's the movie poster.

And this man, who is one of our
special guests at Comic-Con this year,

has kept it alive for the last 30
years or so... Mr. Drew Struzan.

And before we get started with the
interview portion of this program,

we have a special presentation
for Drew that he's unaware of.

For all the joy you've brought
all of us in this room...

with all your iconic
images over the years,

I'm here on behalf of Comic-Con to present
you with the Comic-Con Inkpot Award...

for achievement in illustration.

I'm speechless.

This is really hard for me. I'm a guy
that sits alone in my studio all the time.

And I see more people now
than I've seen in years.

This is amazing.

I thank you so much.
You're so generous just to show up,

and to be here
to see little old me.

It just...
It's beyond words. It's...

I am his biggest fan.

- I just wanna say thank you.
- Thank you.

I had no idea that people,
literally around the world,

were lookin' at my stuff and remembering
it and collecting it and enjoying it.

An artist's dream
was coming true.

It was neat to paint it,
and that's self-satisfying.

The real reward is that
other people see it,

look at it, enjoy it, and it does
all those marvelous things for them,

'cause that really is
the purpose of art.

And when I became attuned
to the fact that it was working,

that it was really helping people
and making the world a better place,

then I really was,
again, honored.

Finally, I feel like
I had some value.

You know, that... That what I was
working at and dedicating my life to...

really was doing
some nice things for people.

Something peaceful,
something beneficial.

Damn. I couldn't do anymore.
I mean, I think...

I think I'm a success now.