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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.

 

Willow / B1 / Poland

18.12.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
B1
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
Poland
Year of Poster
1989
Designer
Wieslaw Walkuski
Artist
Wieslaw Walkuski
Size (inches)
26 5/16" x 37 2/16"
SS or DS
SS
Tagline
--

Unique artwork features on this Polish B1 poster for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The artwork on the poster is by Wieslaw Walkuski who was born in 1956 and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Since 1981 Walkuski has worked as a graphic designer and artist for publishing houses and theaters, as well as for the Polish film organisations Polfilm and Film Polski. He’s worked freelance since 1987 and has painted over 200 film posters. He continues to live and work in Warsaw. Walkuski’s official website features galleries of many of his designs and images of his other work.

He’s responsible for some incredible designs and two of my favourites include those he painted for Lars Von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and the Dustin Hoffman comedy Tootsie.

Willow / one sheet / UK

14.01.15

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
UK
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Brian Bysouth
Artist
Brian Bysouth
Size (inches)
27" x 39 12/16"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
A world where heroes come in all sizes and adventure is the greatest magic of all.

Excellent artwork on this UK one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

This one sheet was created by the British designer and artist Brian Bysouth who I interviewed for this site in 2012, There is also a quad for Willow featuring the same artwork. Brian is one of my favourite artists and worked on multiple classic posters from the 1960s to the 1980s, including the final painted poster for a James Bond film, The Living Daylights. The other posters I’ve collected by Brian can be seen by clicking here.

Willow / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster
Title
Willow
AKA
--
Year of Film
1988
Director
Ron Howard
Starring
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach
Origin of Film
USA
Genre(s) of Film
Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach,
Type of Poster
One sheet
Style of Poster
--
Origin of Poster
USA
Year of Poster
1988
Designer
Unknown
Artist
John Alvin
Size (inches)
27" x 39 7/8"
SS or DS
SS
NSS #
--
Tagline
--

Excellent artwork by John Alvin features on this US one sheet for the release of Ron Howard‘s 1988 fantasy film Willow, which was conceived of by George Lucas. British actor Warwick Davis features as the eponymous hero and the part had been written specifically with him in mind after he appeared as an Ewok in Lucas’ Return of the Jedi. The story begins as the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) hears of a prophecy that a newborn child will bring about her downfall and sets about imprisoning all pregnant women in her castle’s dungeon.

When a child is born and identified as the one in the prophecy, the child’s mother manages to convince the mid-wife to secret her daughter out of the castle. When Queen Bavmorda discovers what has happened she sends her daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley) and leader of her army General Kael in pursuit. Before being caught, the midwife manages to put the child on a raft on a river and the child ends up being found by Willow Ufgood (Davis) a a member of a race of hobbit-like people called the Nelwyns. Initially caring for the baby with his wife, Willow is persuaded to take it away from their village and back to the Daikinis (humans) when it becomes clear that there are people hunting for it. As the adventure begins, Willow and his companions soon realise they’re in for more than they bargained for.

Featuring a great performance by Val Kilmer as a selfish, reluctant hero the film still stands up today as a fun and engaging fantasy adventure with several memorable sequences and a brilliant score by James Horner. Despite being critically derided on release and not fairing too well at the box- office it has nevertheless grown something of a cult following and is notable for its use of ground-breaking special effects by Industrial Light and Magic that were used for a sequence involving a morph between several animals and a human.

The late American designer and artist John Alvin was responsible for over 135 film poster designs over a thirty year period. Alvin painted many unforgettable pieces of artwork, including Blade Runner and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. The gallery of his posters on IMPAwards gives you an idea of the range of his work. Alvin sadly passed away too early, just shy of his 60th birthday (in 2008), but his fantastic designs will live on for generations to come.

To see the posters I’ve collected by Alvin click here.

Heat / one sheet / international

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Heat / one sheet / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Heat / quad / UK

18.05.11

Poster Poster

Heat / B2 / cast style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Top Gun / B1 / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

True Romance / B2 / Shotgun scream style / Japan

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such films as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring Christian SlaterPatricia Arquette and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable Gary Oldman) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father (Dennis Hopper) and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the shotgun scream style as it features Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. The other style features photographs of the rest of the cast and can be seen here.

True Romance / B2 / cast style / Japan

07.04.14

Poster Poster

Following the shocking death of British director Tony Scott in 2012 there was plenty of discussion amongst fans as to the film that defined his career, which included such titles as the none-more-80s Top Gun and several excellent Denzel Washington-starring thrillers such as Crimson Tide. There was only one film that I reached for from my blu-ray collection when I wanted to pay tribute to Scott and that was True Romance, the 1993 crime thriller starring Christian SlaterPatricia Arquette and a whole host of acclaimed actors. Featuring a fantastic script by Quentin Tarantino, the film is arguably the apex of Tony Scott’s directing career and clearly benefits from his skill at injecting energy and verve into every scene. The film is also likely to be the defining role in the careers of both Slater and Arquette who were perfectly cast as Clarence and Alabama, the young lovers thrown together at the start of the film and who set off on a rollercoaster ride that leads them from Detroit to Los Angeles with murderous gangsters on their tail.

Clarence is a film-obsessed, lonely video store clerk who is at a cinema watching a triple-bill of Sonny Chiba films when he is approached by Alabama. The pair strike up a friendship and before the night is over are head over heels in love. The only issue is that Alabama is a hooker, hired by Clarence’s work colleagues as a birthday present, and her pimp Drexl (a memorable Gary Oldman) is a violent drug dealer who none too keen to let her leave his employ. After a violent confrontation which sees Drexl dead and Clarence escaping with a suitcase full of cocaine. The pair first head to see Clarence’s father (Dennis Hopper) and then travel across the country to Los Angeles to see Clarence’s friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport) who has a potential lead for selling the drugs. Hot on their heels are a bunch of mobsters, as well as a pair of police detectives.

This is one of two styles of Japanese B2 posters and I’ve called this one the cast style. The other features a photo of Arquette clutching a shotgun in one of the more intense scenes of the film. Note that one of the cast members shown at the top of the poster is not actually seen in the film and if you’ve watched it you’ll know which one!

Wonderland / one sheet / artwork style / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster

Wonderland / one sheet / teaser / USA

17.05.11

Poster Poster