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Top Gun / quad / UK

30.04.14

Poster Poster

Top Gun is one of the quintessential popcorn films of the 1980s and certainly the one that launched and boosted several Hollywood careers, including that of its director, the late Tony Scott, star Tom Cruise and producing partners Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson who were responsible for some of the biggest box-office successes of the 80s and 1990s. The film’s script was based on a magazine article about a top Navy fighter pilot training school, Cruise plays pilot Maverick who is bumped up the ranks and sent to the Top Gun training school after he successfully aids a fellow pilot in distress. There his reckless flying draws the attention of the school’s instructors and disdain from fellow trainees, including top student Iceman (Val Kilmer) who considers his methods dangerous and unsafe. At the same time, Maverick chases after a civilian contractor called Charlie (Kelly McGilliswho is initially wary of his advances. The film features corny dialogue and cheesy acting but is never anything but entertaining and its soundtrack, by Harold Faltermeyer, is one of the most successful of all time in terms of sales.

This British quad was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012. In the mid-1980s the requests for painted artwork, of which Brian was a renowned specialist, were drying up so Brian realised it was time to learn how to use computers to create photographic posters, as detailed below. This Top Gun quad is likely to have been one of the first computer-generated posters that the designer worked on (see also the Predator quad)

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Computers as an art tool came in during the time you were at FEREF. What was it like making that transition? Was it easy for the company?
Yes, luckily Steve Laws, the studio manager at the time and also a good designer, managed to persuade the upper management that desktop publishing was coming and that we had to embrace it. I can’t remember exactly when this was, but it was clear that the Apple Macintosh was the best computer. At that time they were very expensive but gradually the studio was equipped with the new technology.

Unfortunately, the computers replaced the jobs of paste up artists and it soon became apparent that unless they were capable of making the transition they were no longer needed. One machine and an operator could add all the text and details to an advert or illustration, ready for it to be sent to the printer. To keep their jobs our paste up artists had to learn how to use a Mac.

In the beginning the computers couldn’t handle very large files so things went very slowly, especially with complex designs. But when Macs started to get a lot faster the way forward was firmly established and we began to recruit skilled computer designers and operators.

I realised when my illustration work was drying up that I needed to become more of an art director. I was interested in helping out the Mac designers and I was able to use my experience to help them. I always found it easy to suggest ways to improve a design, which they came to appreciate; gradually it became usual for me to be asked to help if a design was proving troublesome.  I wasn’t as quick on the Macs as the operators but I realised that I had to learn Photoshop to enable me to art direct them properly. Learning the correct commands was essential, so I read the manual of Photoshop 3, (which I think was the version at that time), and learned the various key-commands and technical terms.

Eventually I asked for a Mac of my own and I was given use of one that had become surplus. When I wasn’t painting I was practicing. Looking back now, it was instrumental in helping me when I was asked to work on the Star Trek DVD covers.

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To see the other posters in the Film on Paper collection that were designed and/or painted by Brian Bysouth click here.

 

Heart Like a Wheel / A1 / Hungary

30.03.16

Poster Poster
Title
Heart Like a Wheel
AKA
--
Year of Film
1983
Director
Jonathan Kaplan
Starring
Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Bruce Barlow, Leo Rossi, Anthony Edwards, Hoyt Axton, Paul Barte, Missy Basile
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Bonnie Bedelia, Beau Bridges, Bruce Barlow, Leo Rossi, Anthony Edwards, Hoyt Axton, Paul Barte, Missy Basile,
Type of Poster
A1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Hungary
Year of Poster
1985
Designer
Futó
Artist
Futó
Size (inches)
22 5/16" x 32 11/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Colourful and unique artwork features on this Hungarian poster for the release of the 1983 biographical drama Heart Like a Wheel. The film is based on the life of Shirley Muldowney who made history by becoming the first woman to compete in the sport of drag racing and who would go on to win an unprecedented three world championship awards. Born in Vermont in 1940, Shirley began amateur drag racing with the help of her then husband in the 1950s and had to battle against the prevailing misogynist views surrounding the ultra-macho sport.

Eventually in 1966, after proving her skills on the speedways and persuading three male drivers to sign a letter agreeing to it, the sport’s official body the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) granted Shirley a licence to compete in the biggest events. Over the following four decades she consistently proved herself on the track, with awards in several of the sports’ categories, including the most prestigious Top Fuel events. The film deals with Shirley’s life on and off the track, including the breakup of her first marriage and a rocky relationship with another race driver called Connie Kalitta (Beau Bridges).

Bonnie Bedelia, perhaps best known as Holly McClane in Die Hard 1 and 2, was chosen to play Shirley, although the Muldowney apparently didn’t approve of the casting and had wanted Jamie Lee Curtis to depict her. 

The artwork on this poster features the signature of ‘Futó’, a Hungarian artist about whom I’ve been able to discover nothing. If anyone has any information about him or her please get in touch.

Zodiac / one sheet / advance / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Zodiac
AKA
--
Year of Film
2007
Director
David Fincher
Starring
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., Anthony Edwards, Chloë Sevigny, Elias Koteas, Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey, Jr., Anthony Edwards, Chloë Sevigny, Elias Koteas, Dermot Mulroney, Donal Logue,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
Advance
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
2007
Designer
BLT & Associates
Artist
--
Size (inches)
27" x 40"
SS or DS
DS
NSS #
--
Tagline
There's more than one way to lose your life to a killer

Top Gun / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster