Throughout my degree, I have never developed any personal projects too focused on the assignment and exercises at hand, yet it is something I am seeing increasingly more and something assessors seem to value. I want to create a different type of project perhaps mixing both my loves, art and photography. It states in the course to attend as many galleries and exhibitions as possible, I do keep an eye out but there aren’t as many places as say, London, or at least they are too far afield for me to visit in a day, with my health. However, I can watch documentaries and there are quite a few on SkyArts and Netflix and attend virtual exhibitions online. I was watching a fascinating documentary called 24×36 all about the history of movie posters. Before watching this documentary, my knowledge of movie posters was embarassingly thin, I know they are used to promote movies, you see them in the cinema entrance, on billboards, stretched across buses and building, we let their artistic influence guide you to the next film you want to watch; however, I’d never stopped to investigate them further. Watching this programme I was opened up to such a new world of art, it was a fascinating and a rather saddening story to see the styles of art used to create these stunning posters. Below you can read about the history of the movie poster. I wonder how landscape could tie in with this as a personal project, in my mind I can pre-visualise a poster made of cut out pieces of photos and art, merged together. Could I create iconic movie posters using landscape? It’s an interesting thought and whilst it may blow up in my face like Jaws perhaps it would be worth investigating. Perhaps I could choose a movie and depict it in that way.
24×36 – my review.
When the dawn of Lithography brought a whole new level to the artistic world, movie posters were designed by artists using traditional art and the art created was stunning, it was synonymous with the movie. The dedication the artists put into it and the passion is deeply moving. When you thought of the movie you didn’t think of the actor or specific scenes, you thought of the movie poster, Jaws being one of the most iconic. The sense of tragic inevitability as the Great White shark swims open mouthed underneath the woman swimming innocently on the water is imprinted in the minds of all who have watched it and even of those who haven’t. It’s part of our culture.
The posters are as iconic as the movies themselves, perhaps if not more. To see how this art is revered and symbolised makes the story even more sardonic as the artists rarely received the acclaim the poster generated as they were not allowed to even sign their names! In fact, Roger Kastel who created the Jaws poster has never been reunited with his original art, there is a global search for it using the hashtag FINDJAWS.
As time went by the movie posters became increasingly popular, people started collecting them and eventually, the artists were given the respect they deserved allowed to sign their names and developing their own unique styles that could be seen in all of their works.
However round about the nineties suddenly the art was being replaced, it was no longer the concept of the movie or the stunning art that held the draw but the actors themselves who became idolised. Art was scrapped and shoved roughly out of the way replaced by the movie posters and DVD covers we are familiar with today, cruise through Netflix and you will see the masses of such similar images, photographs of the characters faces, floating heads and dark cinematic shadows. It is interesting how a programme can really change an opinion, whilst I admire the technical excellence of such posters, it really changed my opinion, before I loved movie posters but now seeing what they once were and how art has been pushed aside I feel nostalgic for a past I didn’t even live in. Something in me yearns to see movies taking that brave step and adopting artistic posters and not relying on the stars to sell it? Of course, there is the issue that an illustrated poster denotes an animation movie which could cause some problem, but perhaps over time, a trickle of such posters can become a stream which can become a river and that river can reach an ocean merging the world of art and photography together.
I especially enjoyed seeing how the styles have transitioned over the decades. This seems to be turning into a traditional art course! The movie posters have changed throughout the years, starting in the 1920’s they featured very traditional illustrations, moving on the characters started to be the main feature especially against scenes from the movie yet evolving into almost minimalism, or using abstract images to describe the movie or create a lure. There was a constant experimentation with fonts, one moment it is screaming out of the poster, then subtle then spinning out again. As time went on it seems to show a strong amount of scantily dressed women screaming being captured by some terrifying monster! Eventually, art is replaced by photography which is still unique, beautiful and original but I feel the images that included art really captured a little bit more of the imagination.
My favourite has to be Indiana Jones, I just love the illustration, it’s similar to the style in which I draw, line and wash and really captures that timeless comic book feel of action adventure.
Please note the images below are not yet in order of date.
My favourite has to be Indiana Jones, I just love the illustration, it’s similar to the style in which I draw, line and wash and really captures that timeless comic book feel which is the perfect base for the wild imagination.