2016At the beginning of every year I like to set a direction for the New Year. My first step in the process is reviewing the previous year. So let’s get started.

Reflecting back on 2015, my 7th year of blogging, I found that the most read posts were not from the current year, but the year I wrote my book – Notes from the Napkin: A Director’s Cut on Filmmaking. That’s not to say my current writings didn’t get a lot of readership, it did. But, the top five most read posts were all written two years ago.

According to the analytics I received, this is the third year in a row that my writing had “staying power.” In other words, what I write would do well in a book that can stand the test of time to some extent. The information or stories are not timely flashes of ideas, but shared thoughts that endure.

There are about 31,000 of you, my dear readers, from 142 countries. You enjoyed all the categories of posts I wrote, but the top two categories were posts on filmmaking and my life experiences. You also passed my posts on to an additional 472,000 unique readers through social media, ezines and republished articles.

These numbers would be hard to grasp if it wasn’t for the encouraging emails I’ve received from so many of you. The personal contact makes all the difference and helps me know who I’m writing to.

Now for 2016…

I’ll take a week or so to figure out what I’ll be writing about this year, but I think it’ll be something I can roll into a book – Just like I did two years ago. And, since the majority of my readers prefer a topic on filmmaking, I’m sure it will have something to do with experiential hands on steps in making a film.

If you have any thoughts on what you’d like me to write about, please make a comment below.

Have a great 2016!

Saul Bass Award Honors Drew Struzan

StruzanThe Hollywood Reporter’s Key Art Awards created the Saul Bass Award to honor graphic designers in the film industry who created their own iconic and influential style. The recipient of the award must have a body of work that stands out among the competition and inspires others in the film industry.

The creative design community considers Saul Bass as the most iconic and influential graphic designers in filmmaking. His 40-year career inspired several generations of artists, designers, students and directors. He worked for Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers including Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger, Billy Wilder, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese.

Rambo: First BloodThis year’s winner of the Saul Bass Award was Drew Struzan. He painted more than 200 posters over the past four decades including Back to the Future, Star Wars, Rambo, Indiana Jones, and Pan’s Labyrinth. His style is uniquely his and brings a sense of the film’s narrative to life, while creating a reminiscent sense of going to the movies.

Struzan got his start in the 70’s painting record covers for recording artists from Roy Orbison to Liberace. In 1975 his Alice Cooper cover caught a film producer’s attention and he’s painted posters ever since.

Back to the FutureMy favorite poster of his was for Back to the Future. It captured the key elements of the film, while expressing the feelings the movie generated in its audience. The surprised look on Marty McFly’s (Michael J. Fox) face, the fire trails and the streaks of light beaming out as the DeLorean fades into the past.

“My job,” says Struzan, “is to capture the spirit of the movie – How it feels. People will see it because they want to feel that emotion. It becomes iconic when they can have that feeling every time they look at the poster.”

Episode1Struzan has an eye for the nuances that a camera seldom catches. Whether it’s a pensive look or one of a startled character, Struzan worked to seize the feelings of the moment. His unique style drove a new generation of collectors to expand the practice of collecting movie posters to an all time high. This fueled the collection of original movie poster art by top collectors and museums worldwide.

It’s no wonder that The Hollywood Reporter’s Key Art Awards honored Drew Strazon for his life long work in 2014.

Copyright © 2014 by CJ Powers