For the uninitiated, I run two different websites on Richard Amsel. The first is www.richardamsel.info / www.richard-amsel.com, now going on its tenth year. It's primarily designed to document the artist's work, pay tribute to his life, and provide additional news on the general topics of illustration and movie poster art. This site, www.richardamselmovie.com, is obviously more geared toward sharing the progress of the documentary. So when a newly discovered (rather, rediscovered or resurfaced) piece of art comes my way, I'll usually limit mention of it to the former page, to avoid redundancy.
But. times like now, I just can't help myself.
I've added some new images to the online gallery, including pics of Amsel's paperback book cover illustration for ELEANORA DUSE, and a 1971 portrait...
December 4th marks what would have been Richard Amsel’s 70th birthday, and I’d be terribly remiss if I didn’t post an update to mark that occasion.
Some people have asked me about the status of the documentary, as I’ve been pretty quiet these past few months. The reason was a very personal one: my father died at the end of September, and in the weeks since I’ve had to juggle work along with some funeral and estate arrangements.
My dad’s health had been in decline for some time, and I had taken intermittent leave from work to visit him on the other side of the country every 2-3 months. I was also able to dedicate some of that time to doing more interviews on the east coast – all of which I have yet to write about here. Please bear with me, more updates will be coming!
David Byrd and I interviewed for the film three years ago, but haven't been able to see it until now. The film has been making the rounds at film festivals for the past year, and it's finally available on DVD, BluRay, and digital download.
Kevin's documentary is primarily focused on how today's generation of artists have taken it upon themselves to resurrect illustrated movie posters, but the opening chapter offers a very concise overview of its history, and the key figures behind it. The work of Roger Kastel, John Alvin, Drew Struzan, and Richard Amsel are all mentioned...and David Byrd gives a great, quick synopsis of the origins of the poster, and the different p...
Almost a year to the day after my last trip in 2016, I was back on a plane headed for the East Coast. (As fate would have it, I did indeed fly United Airlines -- a rather cruelly funny coincidence given recent events. But I digress...) This visit, however, was far more personal, as I'm also dealing with an ill family member. Nevertheless, I've been able to do another round of interviews...and I can't wait to discuss them in more detail upon my return to California.
New York is a magnificent place to visit, but also challenging to navigate. I grew up primarily in northern New Jersey, and worked two internships in Manhattan many, many moons ago. But after all these years, still I feel like a fish out of water. NYC is a very different place from when I left it, and I've become a...
Last Thursday I did a Skype interview with Ed Dolista for the Indycast blog. We discussed the Amsel documentary at length, and it was great to reconnect with Ed and the show again. The podcast is now live... You can listen to it here.
We discussed artists whom Amsel admired, later artists who were inspired by his work, and other wonderful people who've participated in the film. (Name dropping time: David Byrd, Drew Struzan, Bob Peak, Mark Raats, Paul Shipper, William Stout, Sam Jones, John Alvin, Steve Chorney, Bruce Vilanch, Judy Goldman and more.) I also talk about Erik Sharkey and Kevin Burke's respective documentaries on movie poster artists, to give credit where credit is due.
I was recovering from a respiratory infection, so listening to the broadcast makes for a great drinking game --...
“There’s not a word yet for old friends who’ve just met.”
Such was a lyric by the great Paul Williams, and it dances inside my head whenever I think of my friend David Edward Byrd.
David’s work in illustration is far too extensive to properly summarize here. He is legendary for his rock posters (Jimmi Hendrix, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Prince, and an initial design for a seemingly modest 1969 Wallkill, NY rock concert, before it was relocated to a farm in Woodstock), Broadway musical posters (Follies, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar), and movie posters (The Day of the Locust).
Before I go on, poster art and rock fans should know that David will be among the featured artists at the THE ROCK POSTER SOCIETY’S ANNUAL ROCK POSTER SHOW & SALE in San Francisco on Saturday, October 22nd. This spec...
Last November, shortly before the documentary was announced, I interviewed legendary songwriter and music producer Bob Esty in his West Hollywood home. He's a memorable guy, to say the least.
I had previously spoken to Bob a number of times over the phone about the project, thanks to a referral from my friend David Byrd. It took us a few more months to finally arrange filming, but in the end I wasn't disappointed.
Bob Esty's a giant in the music world, having worked with such talents as Cher, Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, and on the Disco-centric films ROLLER BOOGIE and THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY. Esty was also among Richard Amsel's closest friends, so I knew he was going to be a critical interview.
It was also a colorful one. What surprised me most about our discussion was Esty's unwavering a...