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A look into Amsel’s process behind the RAIDERS poster

With the release of INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY, I wanted to share a new promo featurette that has been a long, long time coming.

I’ve mentioned how the lack of available photos and video footage of Richard Amsel has posed a significant challenge in making the documentary. So much has been lost in the decades following his death.

Amsel was also a very private person, and he rarely allowed anyone to watch him work. What was his creative process? How did he come up with his ideas? How did he master the technical challenges of illustration?

I posed these questions to David Edward Byrd, an artist and a close friend of Richard Amsel’s. David shared some insight into Amsel’s approach based on his own experiences as an artist, as well as personal memories of their conversations.

The 1982 rerelease poster for RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is special not only for its enduring popularity, but because many of the artist’s preparatory sketches still exist. There’s no better example to rely on for imagining, step by step, how Amsel approached the assignment.

The material within this featurette will likely appear very differently in the final film, especially as we go through more interviews, color correction, sound, music, and mastering. Consider this a work in progress in the meantime.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this project, especially Stephanie Mann and Erin Cherniss, who helped with the motion graphics.

Don’t forget, our June donation promo ends tomorrow! Every donation, however small, will help bring this project to life.

Previous posts about Amsel's work on RAIDERS:


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