A hand placed firmly on an extraordinary looking book, "This is about it...65 years of work." The story - and hand - belongs to legendary movie poster designer Bill Gold, the man behind the greatest movie campaigns we've ever witnessed. Having worked on several thousand movies, his new book Bill Gold: Posterworks, documents his spectacular career and works, observes Crane.tv. A quote by Clint Eastwood helps define the designer's position - at the top of his game: "The first image you have of many of your favourite films is probably a Bill Gold creation."
From generating the first inkling of ideas upon what to base the representation of the movie on; treading the fine line between giving a solid, engaging impression and revealing too much about the film. After usually reading the script or viewing an excerpt of the footage itself, "I have to always analyse the problem, what is the movie about? What is the story about? What is it trying to say? Whatever the style of the movie is? What kind of audience they want to appeal to?" Like any other gifted designer, Gold knows what ticks his audience - Casablanca, A Streetcar Named Desire, Dial M For Murder, Bonnie And Clyde, Bullitt, My Fair Lady, Get Carter, Dirty Harry, The Untouchables, Unforgiven - a list of credentials unique only to him in his field.
Maybe it is in his eye for understanding what is the most marketable thing to say about a movie, but no-one can doubt his craftsmanship. With modern developments in technology allowing us to alter designs at the click of a button, the traditional ways of design was to literally position elements manually, pasting it together by hand and hope for the best or "rip it all apart and start again." His iconic creations forming lasting impressions upon our senses to this day reflect his chameleon-like ability to tackle any brief and capture an entire film in a single defining image, but when asked about the secret to his success, he replies, "Less is More." Hopefully there will be others around to take on his advice, but I doubt there will be another inspiring, emphatic individual able to reach out and touch as many people over six decades as Bill Gold.
PosterWorks is now available from Reel Art Press
Text by Carmen Ho for Crane.tv