Drew Struzan. You may not know the name, but you certainly know the images. All those classic posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Thing, Back to the Future and many more.
His works rank among the most famous artwork of all time. Think back to a time before badly calculated photoshopping became the norm, back when studios actually had to be creative when thinking about how to market their movies. And Drew Struzan’s classic handrawn posters, which not only captivated the imaginations of moviegoers for years to come (possibly even more than the films themselves did) but will forever be a symbol of a bygone era of Hollywood.
So it’s only fitting that Struzan should be given his own documentary to commemorate the life a man who sadly so few people are unfamiliar with. Struzan famously has earned a reputation as a reclusive, rarely agreeing to interviews or public appearances. Now, for the first time, he offers a rare glimpse into his life, showing us how he became the artist that he is today. With the help of a few other interviewees of course, including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford, Guillermo Del Toro, Michael J. Fox and many more.
From his humble beginnings as a hungry, poverty stricken art student, the film follows Struzan’s journey, with the lack of an intrusive narration allowing the story of his life to unfold naturally before us. Onscreen, Struzan is modest and softly-spoken, clearly choosing to express himself via his paintings than by words. And his paintings, just as much the stars of the film as the man himself, are given all the respect they deserve, with Struzan’s working process, down to how he holds the brush, being examined in an attempt to get into the mind of one of the greatest artists of our generation.
By far the most special aspect of the documentary is not only that it so brilliantly captured , but also because it captured special on in a lifetime moments on screen, such as Struzan’s first meeting with Harrison Ford, the subject of many of his paintings, or when he received an Inkpot Award at Comic-Con for his work. A fitting tribute to an often unsung but much deserving icon of American cinema. And although there’s still no word on whether Struzan will return for The Force Awakens, would it really be Star Wars without him?
You can enter our Drew: The Man Behind the Poster competition here: