We Ain't In The Holy Grail Seeking Business

By Bedhead in Film, Inglourious Basterds, Smoking Bolts

Painted Basterds Poster

In the aftermath of a film’s release, it’s not unusual for slighted parties to make their way, ever so briefly, into the limelight to “tell their side of the story.” Accordingly, PosterWire spoke with illustrator James Goodridge, who was called upon several months ago to create this (admittedly beautiful) painted Inglourious Basterds poster, which ultimately went unused. When I first saw this piece, my immediate thought was, “Well, it’s a bit too Indiana Jones, sort of a mix between The Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” which, in regard to the latter, is never a good memory. And here is Goodridge’s perspective on the would-be poster:

In the case of Inglourious Basterds I was called by the much respected creative director I’ve worked with on numerous projects including the Harry Potter series, 300, Lust Caution. The movie studio had already produced some teaser posters but wanted a fresh take, truer to the director’s vision and influences and the story. The creative director had only a few requests from the studio but this was to be an occasion where I had considerable creative input. I came up with 6 designs one of which became the favourite of all concerned. However at this time the movie studio decided they’d like to try building it in photoshop. A few weeks later I was asked to produce an illustrated comp. I should mention how important it is to have a creative director who believes in the illustration option and I was so fortunate that this was the case. The comp was approved with only minor changes but we heard nothing more. I never met with anyone at the studio or the filmmakers so I don’t know what took place but the decision was made not to pursue the illustration. I elected to paint a finished illustration as I didn’t want to get a call at the eleventh hour and have to produce it under the gun. So even when the illustration option is supported by the creative director and the filmmaker himself (check out the lovingly recreated posters used on the set of Inglourious Basterds) it is not a “slam-dunk”. It’s important to say that this is not unusual, people change their minds. Even an illustrated poster for Indy 4 was not a foregone conclusion.

Well, that last bit prompted me to check out Goodridge’s portfolio, which confirms that, indeed, he was the illustrator for multiple Indiana Jones posters. Sure, Goodridge created a gorgeous painting here, but it doesn’t flow with the Basterds’ saturated colour sceme or allow any of the characters to have their way with us like the other posters do. And, like I said before, this painting makes it look like the Basterds are busting out of some Harrison Ford adventure flick. Confusion = bad marketing tool.

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