Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Drew: The Man Behind the Poster

-By Dan dos Santos

Drew: The Man Behind the Poster is a documentary about the life and art of movie poster artist Drew Struzan. The movie, which had a limited theatrical release this past Summer, is actually already available for streaming on Netfilx!

The movie is honestly more about Drew than it is about his art, but it's really enjoyable and insightful nonetheless. They show a lot of art many may not be familiar with, and also discuss a few insider aspects of the movie industry that really shed some light on the matter. It's definitely worth watching, and makes for great company while you're painting.

I've always enjoyed Drew's work, as I think just about any illustrator does, but in recent years I've really discovered a newfound appreciation for it. Drew has been such a staple of the industry for so long, and makes it all look SO effortless, that it's really easy to overlook his art. Like a family portrait that has hung on your wall so long you no longer notice it's there, Drew's work is so engrained in the public's mind that I oftentimes fail to appreciate just how compositionally brilliant it is. The more I study his work, the more I admire it.

If you have a Netfilx subscription, you can watch the movie right now HERE.

The documentary does touch on some of Drew's working methods, but for those that are really interested in learning the details of his process, I highly recommend his instructional DVD, 'Conceiving and Creating the Hellboy Movie Poster Art'.  It is a really informative look at his process from concept to final and introduced to me to several new techniques.

At just 90 minutes long, and a cost of $80, it's perhaps a little overpriced. But it is a great video and I have already watched it three times, so it's value is subjective. At the very least, find a friend to borrow it from!

You can purchase the DVD from Amazon HERE.


  1. I got the DVD when it came out and have watched it numerous times! It is a very good video and is a must see to be sure. Yes it may be overpriced, but then again, what price do you put on education? The video is very educational if you take the time to really study and observe what is offered in it.

  2. I also ought the DVD when it first came out and I agree with Kevin, it is a must see. SideBar did an excellent interview with Mr. Struzan that I highly recommend.

  3. I just watched the documentary this afternoon and thought it was fantastic. It actually made me cry at the end seeing how humble, talented and nice Drew seems as an artist and human being throughout his whole career. To build up such a great body of work that has touched so many people is something I have endless respect for.

    The influence of his work will live on forever, and, as many people on the documentary say, there are so many images of his burned in your memory forever along with your favourite movies. His talent for distilling a whole film down into a single poster that makes you want to see the movie itself is incredible, that ability to capture all of the different elements of drama, action, romance and humanity. His is a talent that is sorely missed in film advertising nowadays; the wealth of horrible Photoshop abominations that pass as movie posters today is just laughable. A true one of a kind!

    PS: The Hellboy doc is similarly fantastic and a real eye opener for all artists on Drew's unmistakeable technique.

  4. I just watched this last night on a whim. Fantastic documentary even if only a small part was talking about his method. Just to explore the enormity that Struzan has influenced the industry and society with image alone was fantastic to see.

  5. Remember, the frame is a continuation of the painting or photograph and the message. Whether it is a sculpture or a painting, it is important to compliment and showcase the artwork without distracting from it.
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  6. amazing post about this documentary i will watch it soon
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