Thursday, 15 April 2010

Exclusive With Tom Jung

Exclusive behind the scenes look at the "Man with The Golden Gun - Villain" artwork history by Tom Jung, artist famous for film posters such as “Star Wars”, “Papillon” and “The Great Train Robbery”. Here's what Tom says about the artwork:

"I was surprised that my friend and colleague, the late Don Smolen, then the partner of the newly formed motion picture advertising boutique Smolen, Smith & Connolly asked me to design the so-called "Villain" -- The Man with the Golden Gun poster. Previously, Don, the long-time art director and executive at United Artists, had been involved with the James Bond series from the very beginning. Working directly with Broccoli, and very involved in the various images, and being that he was himself a very capable illustrator, had even been the creator of the now famous Sean Connery BERETTA pose.

Over the years, Don and I had worked on many projects together, however, his artists of choice for the James Bond series were four wonderful illustrators: Mitchell Hooks, Frank McCarthy, Robert McGinness and Bob Peak. And as an advertising art director and poster designer myself for 15 years (before turning my full attention to illustrating) I concurred. Nevertheless, Don chose me for the "Villain" poster.

Now, as for my approach for the Golden Gun assignment, I almost always work with title of the film as a reference point.

There's an evil guy with a golden gun...threatening me...threatening
women... the world? Well, obviously, I've got to do something about it. I'm James Bond, 007...that's my job.

But wear a white jacket and look like a porter? Are you kidding!? Wear a current-cut black tuxedo!

The expression on my face will tell everybody, "Watch it, I mean business."The all-too-familiar, ready-for-action attitude of the figure of 007 is the result of this thinking.

As for the women, my wife is always the model in my illustrations. I am supplied with an ample supply of both 35mm contact sheets and transparencies of production photos, over which I pore with a magnifying glass, sometimes a loupe, or hunched over a light-box in order to find that particular face, with that particular angle and lighting to fit over the figure I've designed, and from which I prepared several pencil sketches before eliminating that dumb-looking busboy in a white evening jacket image.

The actual painting is done on 20x30 double-weight illustration board, half of a standard 30x40 board. I used acrylics, I can use it transparently or opaquely; it dries quickly and is permanent and can be reworked. I'd use airbrushing for large areas of background, color pencils, and inks and dyes and tempera and whatever else I think that may give me the desired result. Sandpaper. Brillo. A single-edge razor blade. Whatever works.

I must have been satisfied with what I did, but looking back, I should have added 30 pounds of muscles underneath 007's bellbottomed tuxedo. The girls could have used a couple of more pounds also."

Thank you Tom!


Kevin Collette said...

Should point out that up until Moonraker in 79' , we never got any Bond teaser posters in France...I remember buying ( a fortune ) an Advance 1 sheet Poster of the one described here ( along with the Christmas ' TMWGG ' present one )in a Paris Movie memorabilia store in 79...

zencat said...

Fantastic. Thank you.

Joerg said...

Tom Jung is definitely one of the greatest artists for movie posters. His classic Star Wars posters and his works for movies of Sean Connery (The First Great Train Robbery, The Man Who Would Be King) and Roger Moore (Gold, Shout At The Devil) are beautiful and stylish, not to forget his art for Ralph Bakshi's animated version of The Lord Of The Rings and the original version of The Omen.
A few weeks ago I've discovered Jung's fantastic artwork for the US-poster of the european movie The Old Gun (1975) starring Romy Schneider and Philippe Noiret.
You can see more movie poster art by Tom Jung here:

Thanks to Peter for this interesting interview, a rare opportunity to get first-hand infos.
I'm sad to read that the great Donald Smolen passed away. He was one of the unsung heroes in the Bond universe.

Leighton Johns said...

Thanks for this. Its great to get a rare insight into the work of an artist who has been such an inspiration.