Finally, we took new photos to increase the resolution of the body and clothing to match the head photo of the B&W unit. Dad was good at that with his Mamiya medium format camera. We printed size stats, glued it all together, leaving a clean space for the logo to be printed on the tank top t-shirt. We enlarged the whole thing in my stat camera to be as close to a sheet size as the single surface stat paper would allow.
Aaron: What was the deadline or the records you needed to hit?
They were in a great hurry. So I told Marty that if they wanted me to run the illustration I would need a full two weeks from the green light. I was kind of ready for them to take it from me and give it to an already famous artist to perform, but our price was right and I couldn’t wait to go. I also requested that I be allowed to sign my name on the art, a privilege that only guys like Drew Struzan had.
Did they say OK?
They said yes.
So you have this large size black and white photo composite and you need to make it as real as possible. Where do you start and what tools and materials did you use?
I started painting over the stat in full size black and white, but we printed the blacks a bit washed out so I could paint over everything creating some vivid colors.
I would start by airbrushing using Pelican inks where I wanted full transparency and Liquitex moistened downtube paints for opacity if I needed to add more color over the blacks in the stat. The tube paint became the thickness of the milk. I blew paint using a Paasche AB airbrush using a regulated tank of waterless compressed air that had to be delivered weekly. (The water makes the airbrush crackle.) Lois said the industrial tanker had a thing for me because he always wanted to stand and watch while I worked.
I always cut masks – frosted acetate using an X-Acto – to get crisp colored edges. The Sky and the Moon are complete painting works using frizzy or freehand on white paper. I was masking the flesh in one stroke and painting all the flesh at once, but the face and hand areas would also have internal masking. I never painted flat colors, I always worked in layers to be more realistic, like in real lifeâ¦ in tones and shades. I never used black.
Normally I would find debris that showed how the flesh would look at night and point in that direction, but in this case, I needed the picture to be friendlier, less scary. When most of the airbrushing was done, I had 20 or 30 masks stuck to the walls in my studio in case I needed to go back and add a little more color to a specific area. Dad was my second set of eyes. He would wait until I think I was almost done and make an interesting suggestion.
At one point I started to paint by hand with a small brush. This included any part that needed more detail or texture, the eyeball, sparkles, eyelashes, details on the cornea or, in this case, hair makeup on her hands and coming out of her t-shirt. The details of the hair, I admit, are a bit heavy here, and I always felt like I failed with the execution of her left hand, even though my drawing understood that well.
They never saw the work in progress after saying to go ahead based on the drawing?
Nope. We did the final painting on time and luckily no corrections were requested. We did the painting, back to our converted garage workshop in NoHo so that it was ready to be printed.
Wow! and where does the copy line come from?
Dad wrote a full crawl line crawl and they also bought one of the top two lines from there.
Do you remember how much you got paid for your job?
We received a commission of $ 12,000 for the art and we were paid for the composing and copying explorations and for doing all the newspaper analysis. We probably brought in $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 at the end. With only a few hundred dollars out of pocket, it was the most we had ever been paid for anything.
Do you remember seeing him in the world?
The film didn’t have the money for billboards or bus shelters. We have seen the poster in theaters and newspapers across the country. All films, large and small, were advertised in the newspapers. That was most of an advertising budgetâ¦ buying space.
It wasn’t actually our first movie poster, but it was my first illustrated movie poster. And I was excited. I used to go to bookstores and see four or five of my book cover illustrations at a time, and see my PaperMoon card series in novelty stores, magazine covers. in newsstands. But never anything as big as a movie poster!
Did it help you get more projects or create opportunities?
Yes, I think we quickly gained an interesting reputation for thinking and performing quality work that went off the beaten track and didn’t cost what our competition cost, just because we didn’t have overheads. Not that we were aware of the undercutting. We invented it as we went along. We felt that we were fairly billing our talents and skills, which were varied and diverse compared to the competition.
We went after and were particularly interested in the thriving independent films that were being made and shown in arthouse theaters across the country and abroad. We loved these movies; they spoke to us like art. They were made by unique filmmakers, supported by smaller distributors. It also meant fewer people to go through the approval. Our biggest competitors didn’t care about freelance budgets and our clients were truly grateful for our serious creativity and smart thinking. We were in Heaven!
What prepared you for this success?
We were self-taught in commercial art, working and developing all of our skills for 10 years after art school in a wide range of freelance jobs in New York, Santa Barbara, London and San Francisco. We inadvertently knew how to do everything necessary to mount a campaign. About the only good business advice a fine arts school teacher gave me was, “If someone asks you if you know how to do something, say yes.” Because that’s how you get the job and then learn â. Even if it’s on your own nickel.
So because we were new to town and had no connection that could help us do anything or tell us how it was done … start. The only outside help we had at the start was a friend who put us in touch with Lois, your nanny at 7 weeks old and who is still with us today, Aunt Roberta gave us a washer-dryer, and each of us. our parents loaned us $ 10,000 in lieu of in a lovely two-bedroom, one-bathroom Spanish stucco house in North Hollywood that we set about fixing as soon as we moved inâ¦ The best oranges we’ve ever squeezed .
We loved the excitement of LA, and we really loved the movie industry. We felt at home.