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James Cameron Explains Why The Aliens Poster Is So Simple

James Cameron discusses the poster for Aliens, the movie that made him a successful filmmaker

 

 

James Cameron is one of those unique figures in Hollywood. The director of Avatar -and its future sequel- responsible for some of the biggest hits in the history of cinema, such as Titanic or Terminator 2, is a great director and an incredible artist. Cameron used to make movie posters and was a great creative, capable of signing a ton of storyboards in the blink of an eye. Now, in his new book, Tech Noir: The Art of James Cameron, the director talks about his time creating posters for an old film company called Saturn without even seeing the films because they were too bad and simply sending in images he thought were great. “They’re horrible movies,” Cameron said. “I strongly recommend nobody ever see the films, like I never did. I could watch only about five minutes before I switched  it off.”

A journalist who spoke to Cameron about Tech Noir, which contains a bunch of these posters, asked him how if at all, that experience affected his own film posters. “I’ve never pushed marketing departments to go one way or the other between photos and illustrations,” Cameron said in a video call. “They show me things. I think on Avatar, it was different, and we actually brought in Dylan Cole, who was one of our designers, and Dylan did the images for Avatar. Believe it or not, we literally did them in our own design department. So I believe in our philosophy in the same way I used to believe in the covers of all those science fiction books I used to buy when I was a kid. If it was a good cover, I’d buy the book.

However, before Cameron moved on to the next question, he perked up and said, “I remember there was a funny story about the Aliens poster! I had a strong opinion about that.” he adds, recalling how the poster for the sequel to one of the most influential sci-fi films in history came about.

So I went into the office of the head of marketing for 20th Century Fox, I literally met him on his last day at the office, and his office was all boxed up. I was his last meeting before he left the job. He was sitting at the desk, and he had this little green plastic frog, and he was squeezing a bulb and making it hop around the desk. And I said, “What’s with the frog?” And he said, “It’s my stress frog.” I’m like, “OK, this guy is a casualty.”

Then he said, “But I’ve got a one-sheet for you.” And he showed this one-sheet. I think you can get it online, a few of them kind of leaked out. And it was this horrible sort of mash-up photography. It looked worse than a Roger Corman one-sheet because, like me, Roger believed in good one-sheets. Not good movies, but good one-sheets. And I looked at this thing, and I kind of held it in my hands, and I said, “Oh, let me tell you exactly what I think of this one-sheet,” and I just slowly sort of crumpled it up [into] a ball and threw it in the corner. And he was working the stress frog. And I said, “Honestly if I had a choice between that piece of sh*t and just an all-black frame, I’d go with the all-black frame.” And apparently, what happened was I walked out of the office, and he called somebody up and said, “He wants it all black!” He wasn’t hearing what I was saying. So if you ever wondered why there was literally nothing on the one-sheet for Aliens, that’s why.

 

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Source: vandal

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