I have a pretty rad day job. I do in-theater marketing for the largest studio (by market share) in Hollywood, a studio that also happens to be on one of the most successful runs of films in the history of the movie business. Not a bad gig at all. There are a lot cool things about my job, but one of my favorite roles if finding and working with artist from around the world to commission custom art in support of a film.
We do this because while we have the best creative print team in the business (my humble opinion), sometimes we’re limited on the amount of marketing art available, or we decide that want something that looks different from anything else we are doing in our campaign. That’s when we commission a piece of art. We call it “fan art” but the artists we use are professional, who also happen to be fans.
My job is to find the artist, negotiate the terms, and give feedback on the piece from concept to completion. All creative must get approved by our marketing execs and by filmmakers, so I liaison between the studio and the artist until everyone is happy with the art and we can share it with the world.
To find the artists, sometimes I work with curators of the fan art. I have a great relationship with Poster Posse (posterposse.com) who has introduced us to some great talent over the years. Sometimes we find an artist online and reach out directly to him or her.
Here is a selection of some of my favorite pieces from the past couple years. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Artist: Dan Mumford - London
Artist: John Moody – New Orleans
Captain America: Civil War
Artist: Kaz Oomri – Osaka, Japan
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Artist: Tom Whalen - USA
Captain America: Civil War
Artist: Matt Ferguson - UK
Artist: Jackie Huang - Los Angeles
Note: This was a paper cut piece
Artist: Eren Unten – Los Angeles
Artist: 100% Soft – Los Angeles
I love New Years. The whole idea of starting over with a clean slate and a new focus is something that works for me. Each New Year (and birthday, now that I think about it) forces me contemplate the great equalizer and most precious of commodities: time. We are all subject to the tick-tock, that steady march. We can dig in our heels with fits of denial, but it will do no good. Time is impartial to our demands. Best we get on board and appreciate its gift. The passing of time makes life valuable and what we do with it, our greatest responsibility.
For 2018 I have three resolutions. These resolutions are more directional than a list of things to accomplish. They are a framework for how I will invest my time, a thrust, a map sketched on the back of a napkin, a motivational tailwind that says, “let’s go in this direction and see what happens.”
I got an inspired start to the book back in November, but there is still so much further to go. Finishing the novel feels so incredibly daunting that the mere thought of it crushes me with insecurity and self-doubt. “If only I were smarter, more eloquent with words… The language arts was never my forte. I was more of a math and science guy.” These are the gremlins that lurk in my mind when I sit down at my computer to write. Yet, I know I must write this story. It has been with me twelve years and the only way to move on is to write it down and send it into the world. I have productive days and days when I only get a couple of sentences written. I’ve learned, in the short time I’ve been working on it, that the more I show up, the less of a struggle it becomes. I don’t know if I will finish the novel this year, but I will meet it each day. I will do my part and hope the great Muse meets me when I’m there.
It has been two years since my trip to India. I’ve been stateside since, but this year I plan to change that. I am one who must travel to far off lands. I get restless if I don’t. This world – its people, its landscapes, its history – is so fascinating, beautiful, and wonder-filling that a piece of me feels lost when I can’t explore. So this summer I’m going to Tanzania. I will spend a day with my Compassion sponsored child, Nicolaus; then I will embark on a six-day trek to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa, and back. I will cap-off the trip with a few days on safari in the Serengeti. I will pay 100% of the cost of the trip myself, but I will be raising money for a clean water project in Tanzania as an effort to give back to its people. I’m putting you on notice; I will be asking for your generous donations soon.
I have a contemplative soul. I prefer to listen and observe. I work out my struggles not by talking about them, but by reflecting on them. I loathe small talk (but appreciate those who are good at it). I can spend a lot of time by myself and often my first impulse is to do things by myself - movies, dinner, hikes, etc. This year (and every year for that matter) I want to invest in people. I want to be intentional about spending quality time with friends, old and new, and family. If time is our most precious commodity, I think giving it to others is the best way to let someone know they matter.
I wish you and yours a happy and adventurous New Year!
A WRITER KEEPING THE FAITH IN LOS ANGELES