The Painter’s Way (Drew: The Man Behind the Poster, 2013)
If you started watching movies in the early 80’s, you have seen the work of Drew Struzan. Actually…if you listened to music in the 70’s, you probably owned his artwork on your shelf. The documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster is an opportunity to make folks aware of Struzan and his long body of work and for people to heap tons of praise on the man.
And looking at the enormous amount of work he has done, it is no surprise why these folks (From George Lucas to Michael J. Fox) want to go on and on about his work. Fox speaks of going to a photo shoot and realizing the guy taking pictures was the guy who painted the cover for Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare.
The film gives a solid overview of his career, giving insight into how he works. Some of his most iconic posters were created knowing nothing of the film (He did the poster for John Carpenter’s the Thing overnight, the studio received it with the paint still wet).
It seems, though, the real reason for the film is something far more unnoticed by the world. The lack of great movie posters. More than one person laments having great Struzan art made and then the studio went with a cut and past Photoshop designed poster. Painted movie posters are a dying art.
The documentary is worth it just for seeing Drew’s artwork, but it is enjoyable watching actors and filmmakers so focused on how important one aspect of promotional materials. I tend to agree. Thomas Jane notes how he sees the Drew Struzan poster for Masters of the Universe makes him want to see the film. And he is right. That is a cool poster.
I really enjoyed the film, learning about the history behind one of my favorite artists. His praise is well deserved.