Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Snow Screen: Drew: The Man Behind the Poster
The documentary opens with a brief and melancholy look at Struzan's loveless childhood that led him to moving out after high school. A Los Angeles native, Struzan attended Art Center in Pasadena where he honed his craft for six years. Newly married with a child, Struzan went to work designing album covers which culminated in his much revered piece for Alice Cooper's Welcome to My Nightmare in 1975. An advertising agency came calling and convinced Struzan to switch to movie poster art which paid much more handsomely. The die cast, history was now in the making.
Drew's narrative focuses on a few major eras of his work, the first being Star Wars, which came in as a partnership offer from a friend who was good at robots but not humans. George Lucas loved the combined work and as time has shown us, commissioned Struzan for dozens more pieces for the original 1977 trilogy, 1997 Special Edition releases and 1999's second trilogy. His collaborations with Steven Spielberg, primarily Indiana Jones, is the next era highlighted with many an observation by the man himself, Harrison Ford. Struzan's work with Jim Henson on The Muppet movies comes after which was a surprise as you forget how many wonderful posters he's created over the years.
As a narrative feature, Drew might not be as interesting to unaware or casual fans as conflict isn't a heavily featured topic and there are no high stakes to speak of. Struzan's hardships as a child and his later professional strife with shady business partners are covered by not dwelled upon showing that the soft spoken, kind hearted artist has not become bitter. In the end, Drew is a lovingly insightful look into the career and influence of an artist who unknowingly put a stamp on cinematic history without even trying.
For more information on the documentary and how to see it, check out the official site.