Circus or Style ‘D’

The Art of Star Wars

Speaking to a twitter pal ‘Graham Bowes‘ recently about Star Wars film posters, which he’s got the very rare Hildebrandt poster valued at $12K, and mine been the meager UK Quad 1978 Oscar nominations poster. It got me thinking ‘What is my favourite Star Wars Film poster?

I have to say my all time favourite Star Wars Film Poster is indeed one of George Lucas’s favorite posters as well and it’s easy to see why. For the 1978 re-release of Star Wars, Lucasfilm hired creative airbrush artist Charles White III to create this amazing new one-sheet artwork. White who wasn’t inanimate with painting portraits, asked the local and up-and-coming fellow artist Drew Struzan to collaborate on the poster by handling all the portraiture work.
According to Drew Struzan:

Somehow, he asked me to paint the portraits while he would paint the droids and the like… Only an extraordinary individual does anything so generous and unselfish.

This gracious gesture would lead to Drew Struzan’s first piece of artwork for Lucasfilm, and it certainly wouldn’t be his last for Lucasfilm, George or his pals. For his work on Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Art is a close second for my favourite film poster artwork.
The Star Wars Style 'D' Film Poster

The reason they say this the Star Wars Style ‘D ‘poster or more commonly known as the “Circus” poster, is for it’s distinctive circus-style “torn poster” look, which includes ripped edges with images of a plywood wall background behind. According to Struzan this layout was a “lucky accident”…always the polite gent..

he explains why …

They found out there wasn’t enough room for the typography and the billing block they had left in the design. What can we do to make more space on a poster that’s already been printed? Let’s pretend it’s posted, and then they can put the type below the actual poster. We painted Obi Wan down the side and stuff across the bottom to make it wider and deeper.

If you look closely at the poster itself, you can see where the original artwork was later surrounded by the “poster wall” effect. Note the colour pencil rendering of Ben Kenobi on the left side differs from the style of the rest of the poster’s painted artwork.

The original Star Wars poster collage artwork was recently sold at auction.
The Star Wars Style 'D' Film Poster Original ArtworkIt’s interesting to see some of the subtle differences between the original illustration (besides colour correction which is so prevalent today) and the final Star Wars one-sheet artwork.

One of the other often repeated piece’s of trivia about Star Wars and the artwork is that this is George’s favourite Star Wars film poster..and mine…great minds think alike 🙂

Wonderful World of Weather

Or should I say the downright ‘Crazy’ World of Weather, the reason I say this is because yesterday started like this in Leeds…
The Wonderful World of Leeds Weather
But although the day started with Snow, it ended gloriously with this majestic sunset over Leeds. Click to enlarge to see the full beauty
Today started with Snow, but ended gloriously with this majestic sight over Leeds
Today started with Snow, but ended gloriously with this majestic sight over Leeds
Today started with Snow, but ended gloriously with this majestic sight over Leeds

This reminds of the fiery face of Balrog of Moria from Lord of the Rings ‘The Two Towers’ and his dual of Light & Fire with Gandalf.

3 Days & 3 Photo-shoots

It’s quite hard to believe I did this last week, considering it’s 0° today and snowing.

Recently it seems ‘the company’ have noticed my photography skills, so in these recessionista times decided to give me some assignments, so for the first three days of last week it was taken up with doing photo-shoots, each one as diverse as the other.

I’ve shown a selection of images I took separately from the outlined briefs I had on each of the days.

DAY 1: Liverpool Estuary
The brief for today was from English Heritage, who is quite concerned about the visual impact some proposed new buildings would have on the vista from the Old Liverpool Airport looking out toward the Mersey Estuary. They wanted to see some CGI montages of seven key viewpoints in which we had to ‘accurately’ drop in the 3D model to the photographs. Although this was quite a long and technical shoot requiring two 5M survey poles to be recorded within the images. The camera and poles then also had to be precisely triangulated and recorded with a remote GPS tracker linked back to base total station. I have to say this was enjoyable on a techie level, but totally boring on the other. The only saving grace was the glorious weather that started this week off and ‘luckily’ I had the chance to wander around over lunch and take a few personal snaps.

PS Our studio’s young CGI wiz ‘Chris’ made a stunning job of marrying photo and 3D model within inch accuracy using Autodesk Max 2012. 

The Old Liverpool Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012         Liverpool Estuary Monday the 26th of March 2012         Liverpool Estuary Monday the 26th of March 2012          Liverpool John Lennon Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012
Old Liverpool Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012          Old Liverpool Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012            Old Liverpool Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012
Liverpool Estuary Monday the 26th of March 2012          Liverpool Estuary Monday the 26th of March 2012            Old Liverpool Airport Monday the 26th of March 2012
Reeds by The Liverpool Mersey Monday the 26th of March 2012

DAY 2: The Orangery

Another stunning day awaited this shoot of The Orangery; a 200-year-old unique grade II listed building in the heart of Wakefield which is also home to Beam, an arts, architecture and learning company working throughout the Yorkshire region and beyond.

I was required to visually document the building for R&D project our company is involved with using Open Cloud and Unity’s VR & AR software to create a virtual ‘play’ building which people can interact with, open and walk-through. Again a slightly technical shoot, but which will have a fun aspect later down the line.

It also has a gorgeous green oasis hidden next to the Wakefield Westgate Railway Station, so I had a little time to explore the gardens and some of the decorative features within the building with the lens.

The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012       The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012       The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012
The Orangery Tie-backs Tuesday the 27th of March 2012      The Orangery Art Tuesday the 27th of March 2012        The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012
The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012      The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012        The Orangery Graveyard Tuesday the 27th of March 2012
The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012      The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012        The Orangery Tuesday the 27th of March 2012

DAY 3: Leeds
This day was the hottest day so far, (75F) and after getting sun burnt on Monday (to which my daughter called me a tomato) I had a Slip-Slop-Slap moment with the old blue factor 50 sun cream.

The ‘free’ brief today was to photograph The City of Leeds in all its glory for a future secret website project. This also allowed snapping some parts of the City I’d always wanted to capture for myself, so after 820 pictures later and 7 hours of walking a circuit of Leeds with lots of zigzagging moments along the way, a few results are as follows… Enjoy…I did

Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012  Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012  Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012  Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012  Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012
Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012           Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012           Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012
Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Wednesday 28th March 2012
Leeds Blue Plaques Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Blue Plaques Wednesday 28th March 2012 Leeds Blue Plaques Wednesday 28th March 2012Leeds Blue Plaques Wednesday 28th March 2012  Leeds Blue Plaques Wednesday 28th March 2012

One of the best Sci-Fi book blogs I’ve read recently by Ian Street, brilliantly researched and written

Into The Orchard

Picture Credit: Bertrand Benoit

A few weeks ago I became involved in a few comment exchanges after Phil Kirby’s post ‘There’s more to life than books you know (but not much more)’ on the fabulous Culture Vulture blog . Phil had described (with tongue sort of in cheek I think) his dislike for many forms of literature including graphic novels and sci-fi. The graphic novel was quickly put to bed with the mention of Maus (Art Spiegleman), a book for me that uniquely showcases what can be achieved through the graphic medium and, I’d argue, deals with the subject matter in a way so powerful it surpasses the traditional written format. If you’ve not read it then I would urge you to get hold of a copy and prepare to be amazed.

We then of course moved on to the thorny issue of sci-fi where I knocked up a hasty…

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Twilight Years of Movie Villains

Brilliant photographer Federico Chiesa has imagined what the creepy movie villains of yesteryear might look like today? like Darth Vader, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger.

For his project Horror Vacui – Latin meaning ‘fear of empty space’ – the New York-based snapper has captured the desolation of lonely old age as it might be felt by these movie monsters.

Luke!.. Why Dont you Call Me
Luke!.. Why Dont you Call Me
Halloweens Michael Myers with a zimmer
Has anyone seen the knife?
Freddie Krueger in his Twilight Years
Anyone seen my nail file?

Do or do not, There is no try.