Monday, August 23, 2010

The Man Behind the Poster is Now The Man In Front of the Camera

This is the trailer for a new documentary that is sure to gain plenty of interest on the film festival circuit from film poster nuts and cinephiles alike such as myself. I imagine it will also be of interest to hip people who like to be able to say they know who Drew Struzan is. It's called Drew: The Man Behind the Poster and while it has all sorts of interesting names attached to it it looks like a problematic film. For starters, what do Harrison Ford, Steve Guttenberg and Michael J Fox know about the subject? The trailer makes me suspect "not much".

The second issue is that it is being directed by a first time director by the name of Erik Sharkey. This is his first feature and... there's always something fishy about a first time documentary filmmaker getting all these big names. I mean, he's got Steven Spielberg and George Lucas in there! Makes me worry that he's only interested in the superficial because it sells better. I guess we'll see, but this film reeks of those documentaries that show up ever year because the director had a neat idea, but not much thought put into it other than "people will see it because it's about someone famous".

My third issue is worrying about how Sharkey can make an entire film out of this subject. Let's not mince words here, Struzan's biggest works are almost all the same! How many anecdotes and stories can there be about how he came up with the design for Indiana Jones or Harry Potter or Star Wars or... well, you get the picture. In fact, the only Struzan design that I included on my 100 greatest posters countdown (note: that list is outdated) was The Thing. I'm just not a big fan of cluttered, delicately lit look that he seems to use so often.

Now, if someone wants to make an all-encompassing documentary about Saul Bass then I'll be there with bells on. As for Drew: The Man Behind the Poster? I'm wary, but will be on the lookout for reactions to it.

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