creative juice

drew struzan: the man behind the movie poster


Remember those iconic movie posters from your youth? Posters for movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, and even Harry Potter? The essence of each story seems to be captured in just one still frame displayed in cinemas, on the sides of buses, and posted on the walls of subways and buildings everywhere.


The man behind these iconic images is none other than Drew Struzan. For nearly 40 years, he has created some of the most memorable images for some of Hollywood’s biggest and highest grossing movies. Making the story come to life with his amazing art has put Drew’s name at the top of the list for many filmmakers who repeatedly hire him to create posters for their projects.

“It’s not just an ad,” says actor Michael J. Fox, “it’s the first notes of the piece. It’s the beginning of the story.”

Somehow, he is able to transmit the feeling and emotions of a film into an image that is so compelling, it makes the consumer want to run out and see that movie.

Struzan comments, “They say I could draw before I could talk. It’s what I like to do.”

In this age of digital art, it is astonishing that Struzan creates his images the old-fashioned way, using tracing paper and a projector, a pencil, a brush, gesso boards, and an airbrush.

Take a look at this trailer for the documentary, Drew: the Man Behind the Poster, to get an understanding of the sheer volume and quality of his work.

Just for fun, watch the beginning steps of the creation of Struzan’s posters:

See his work at:

You can buy the full-length documentary, Drew: the Man Behind the Poster on Amazon:

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