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A special open invitation...for you.

We’re in the final stages of filming an extensive documentary about the late illustrator Richard Amsel (1947-1985), as well as developing a retrospective book on his life and career.

Amsel remains one of the most popular illustrators of entertainment art in the 20th century. Known for his portraiture work for such luminaries as Barbra Streisand, Lily Tomlin, and Bette Midler, numerous TV Guide covers, and iconic movie posters – Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Sting, Hello Dolly!, Chinatown, Murder on the Orient Express, Flash Gordon, The Dark Crystal, and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome among them – Amsel’s work has inspired generations of illustrators, and continues to be enjoyed by millions of art and film lovers around the world.

Amsel’s career, alas, only spanned 16 years; he succumbed to AIDS complications in late 1985, at the young age of 37. Yet while Amsel's death may have been tragic, his life assuredly was not.

Since the documentary’s inception in late 2015, we have interviewed over 60 people around the country. Testimonials and commentary provided for the book and film include such notable figures as Hollywood producer and executive Sid Ganis, writers Michael Musto and Bruce Vilanch, art directors Jerry Alten, Spiros Angelikas, Merv Bloch, and Mike Salisbury, Jim Henson Foundation president Cheryl Henson, animators Stephen Anderson and Gary Goldman, artists Blake Armstrong, David Edward Byrd, Alice “Bunny” Carter, Howard Chaykin, Greg Hildebrandt, Kyle Lambert, Marvin Mattelson, Ann Meisel, David Negron, Paul Shipper, Mark Raats, and William Stout, filmmaker Erik Sharkey, actress and singer Charlo Crossley, music producer and songwriter Bob Esty, and Flash Gordon star Sam J. Jones, among many, many others.

As those who knew Amsel personally are now approaching their twilight years, getting new testimonials has become a race against time. We’re also eager to interview those celebrities Amsel created portraits of, as well as new generations of artists and public figures who have appreciated his work.

We sincerely hope you’ll agree to be a part of this. We’re a small, independent film crew based in Los Angeles, but are willing to travel, or accommodate any other interview methods you’d prefer. This includes recording interviews through Zoom, accepting any video you’d prefer to film on your own, or a simple written testimonial. Every option is on the table...and we’d value any insight or commentary you’d be willing to share.

This is not just a documentary about a movie poster artist. It is a human story of an artistic savant who achieved his first extraordinary success at the age of 21…while facing personal struggles because he was gay. It is a time capsule of New York’s gay culture in the seventies…and the onslaught of AIDS in the eighties. It is a reconstruction of a fractured life story, told through personal recollections of those who knew Amsel best.

If interested, or should you have any questions, please contact:

Adam McDaniel
Cell: 818-749-5280

For More Information:


The film’s teaser trailer:

Details on the book:


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