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Promoting Dystopia: Rendering the Poster Art (2007)

Poster Artists John Alvin and Drew Struzan talk about creating poster art for Blade Runner, past and present.


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Cast overview:
John Alvin John Alvin ... Himself, poster artist
Drew Struzan Drew Struzan ... Himself, poster artist


Poster Artists John Alvin and Drew Struzan talk about creating poster art for Blade Runner, past and present.

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Documentary | Short







Release Date:

3 December 2007 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This featurette is found on the Four-Disc Collector's Edition and Five-Disc Ultimate Collector's Editions (DVD, HD DVD & Blu-Ray) of Blade Runner (1982), all released in December 2007. See more »


References The World According to Garp (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

For some poster art there are no words
17 March 2009 | by Chip_douglasSee all my reviews

By now it has become apparent that the word 'comprehensive' no longer applies to the 2007 Blade Runner 5 disc collectors edition. There is even a special feature on the creation of the poster art included in the 'Longevity' segment of the 'Enhancement Archive' on disc 4. Now most genre enthusiasts will be acquainted with the work of John Alvin, and every movie nut knows the art of Drew Struzan, but to see them paint some light on the work they did (and still do) for Blade Runner is a truly scrumtrelescent treat.

1982 was one of the greater years in the film industry for John Alvin, according to the man himself. Interestingly, he had plenty of reference material of smoking' Sean Young and Doug Turmbull's 2019 city models, but not a lot of Harrison Ford as Deckard, Blade Runner B-2-63-54. Add to that the fact that the hero of the picture finds himself being beat up by Replicants every 15 minutes (again, Alvin's phrasing), he decided a sweaty, film noir look would be best to put bums on seat. The most useful reference turned out to come from a film frame featuring Harrison, and the artist posed for the hands holding a gun himself (his wife took pictures). Add to this a Venetian blinds kind of lighting and voilà: future noir.

Drew claims that all he's ever been able to do in life is paint and draw. Lucky for him he's one of the best. We see lots of beautiful sketches and unused poster art pass the lens in quick revue, none of which ended up as the original poster art (that distinction, as noted above, went to John Alvin). Eventually, Drew just lost track of his original Blade Runner painting, but it eventually found it's way into magazines and book covers. 22 years after the films release, he was asked to take a look at it again for a DVD release and decided to change the composition around and added some rain and neon lights. Two weeks later, it was finished at last. Only two decades late.

We also get a sneak peak at some brief look at foreign posters that eerily foreshadow the current trend of photo collages on poster art, as well as two unused pieces for the very boxed set we are talking about (one better than the other). And in the end it is Alvin who sums up the current crop of photo-shopped posters the best: there is no digital original any more, just a set of binary numbers. While there isn't much work left in painting movie posters any more, Alvin now paints pictures about the movies instead and makes a decent living at that. Drew is also still going strong, but alas, his work is more often seen on book covers and special edition DVD's now than in theaters.

9 out of 10 P.S. one anniversary concept by John Alvin has Roy Batty looking rather like Hannibal Lecter. But then Rutger Hauer really does kind of look like Anthony Hopkins.

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