It had been a while since my last filmed interview for the documentary. Not that I haven't been busy in the time since -- I was just burned out from traveling and lugging my camera equipment everywhere. For about six months straight, it seemed every weekend was dedicated to filming someone. I loved it all, but then I had other things to keep me occupied over the holiday season: drafting the Indiegogo campaign (which will have more attention, with videos and promos, in the future); going through and color correcting a large collection of Amsel images; assembling teams to work on the motion graphics and transcribe interviews; discussing musical ideas and themes with a composer; taking classes to better prepare myself for the eventual editing and assembly of the seemingly endless number of hours I've shot thus far...
Nevermind the rigors of my full time day job...or hosting Christmas and New Year's parties for my friends.
So when I met Nathan Anderson at his home outside Los Felis, I was a little apprehensive about finding my directing groove again. But Nathan not only greeted me warmly...he actually helped lug some of the equipment from out of my rinky-dink yellow car* into his apartment.
Nathan is an artist relatively new to the illustration scene, but his work has made an impressive footprint in art and pop culture galleries in L.A. in recent years. He adores movies...and I adore his work.
He also is one of the few illustrators who still prefers to work through traditional methods, rather than digital painting. Much of his work is also surprisingly small; they're just so detailed and tight that they still hold up in reprints, blown up several times their original sizes. "I'm an optimist with this stuff. ... We're in a boom now with computer generated work, work that's getting even more two dimensional in design and minimal. ... I just wonder if illustration, and that hand-drawn quality will come back in some way. People will crave something that's hand made. ... People can tell the difference when they look at it. ... I think that will be missed."
I asked him how he felt when he learned of Amsel's death. "The first thing it reminded me of was Freddie Mercury," he said. "This guy that burnt so bright, and was taken away so early. ... He kind of was like a rock star, like Mercury."
On Amsel's work, Nathan cited an old, paperback novelization of RAIDERS with Amsel's art on the cover, that he had adored as a child. "He inspired my own sense of adventure," he said. "Those things were like baseball cards. ... I carried them around with me so much that they held a power of their own. ... I feel that with a lot of the movie poster and pop culture stuff, the guys not only worked in the field, they put power in the subject matter. And that is what inspired me."