Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Exclusive Interview With Robert E. McGinnis

Q: How did the producers of the Bond movies got in touch with you for the "Thunderball" poster artwork?
A: “Through recommendation of Don Smolen, an artist/designer working at United Artists in New York City who knew of my work.”

Q: What kind of briefing or input did you receive? Photos, source material etc?

A: “Attending screenings of rushes in a New York theater. Then sent to England on location – access provided to black-and-white movie stills.”

Q: How much time did you have to create the artwork?

A: “Three to four weeks.”

Q: Can you describe the creative process in terms of composition, choice of colors etc?

A: “Art directors (United Artists) Freddie Goldberg and Don Smolen provided rough-sketch concepts and direction.”

Q: What materials do you use? (Temepera, Gouache, pencils etc…)

A: “Winsor-Newton designer colors (gouache); Shiva Casein White; Prismacolor black pencil.”

Q: What was the most fun part of creating the Thunderball artworks?
A: “Seeing the printed posters, five stories high on buildings along Times Square in New York City.”

Q: Any special anecdote associated with this artwork?
A: “On location in the great hall dining room of an English manor house. We were seated for lunch, a hush came over the crowd; appearing, dressed in black and flanked by two beauties was Sean Connery. He joined our United Artists table. Frank and I were introduced – he was a true gentleman!”

Q: Do you know what happened to the original of the artworks?

A: “They were owned by United Artists and secretly drifted away.”

Thank you for the interview, also to Kyle for his help!


Leighton Johns said...

Congratulations on getting an interview with the man himself! Its good to get a definitive answer to what the great man used in terms of art materials. Also love what looks like a photo of the underground/subway version of the poster. Any idea where that was taken?

Frank Turner said...

Man that times square photo is great, any chance of a higher rez version, hell ANY McGinnis pics are always worth seeing, his work is legendary.

Peter Lorenz said...

@ Leighton: The subway poster is from a New York subway in 1965 as far as I know but not 100% sure.

@ Frank: Sorry to admit: It's a montage and not real :-(
I've been searching all over the place to find one but without success.

Jason Whiton said...


Joerg said...

Thanks again for a short but interesting interview. A rare opportunity.
It's unbelievable how many original poster artworks were lost or have vanished. It seems that Mr McGinnis has a sense of humor about it.