Archive for May, 2012

30
May
12

Matt Yuricich, the passing of a Hollywood legend

Matt painting a Matte from Bladerunner

May 28th, 2012 marks the passing of a dear friend and a Hollywood Legend. Matt Yuricich was one of the greatest Matte Painters the movie industry has ever seen, and his Oscar winning talents span decades of incredible motion picture masterpieces. I met Matt at Apogee in early 1987 and he was hidden in a dark back room of the shop painting away for a small show the company had going on.. I didn’t know much about his history but I did know he did the paintings for Blade Runner and Ghostbusters… It took a while for him to ease in to a conversation but I quickly found out that he was as big of a fan of Ding Dongs as I was.. It was an odd ice breaker but from there on he would always ask if I had anymore when I would walk by, HAAA! He was at the shop for about two months and it was always a treat to watch him work when I could sneak over. He was a gentleman, an artist and a very funny man. I always remembered those days of working with one of my idols and his passing is a sad one indeed.. Years later I found out he worked on Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” and it was a thrill to find out that he did all of my favorite paintings from the film..

Below is a link to a tribute page put together by NZpete from a couple of years ago and he has really put together an awesome array of Matt’s work from the beginning to the end. Goodby Matt and thanks for sharing your talents with us both on and off the screen. God’s speed my friend.  

http://nzpetesmatteshot.blogspot.com/2010/10/matts-mattes-photo-tribute-to-career-of.html

Advertisements
21
May
12

the road warrior, the 30th anniversarry

article to follow after memorial day,, off to Wonderfest so hold on lots to come for this one

21
May
12

Annie, and Deadmen don’t wear plaid, the 30th anniversarry

article to follow

17
May
12

the Road Warrior cover art

Howdy all,  this Monday marks the 30th Anniversary of one of my all time favorite movies, “THE ROAD WARRIOR.”  I was racing the clock to get this art work done, printed and mailed so I could get the May 21st Post Mark from Burbank…just made it and got them in the mail today.  I usually draw the art for the Motion Picture covers but this time I was only allowed time for a photoshop montage.  Here are the two versions created, and I would love to get some feed back on which version works best….

Thanks

version 1

version 2

14
May
12

Conan, the 30th anniversarry

May the 14th, 1982, 30 years ago today the unmatched movie summer of 1982 begins….

The first big movie to kick off the season was Universal Pictures’ Conan the Barbarian.  I had been waiting for this one for well over three years, when it was announced somewhere in 1979 that Super Body Builder Arnold Schwarzenegger was cast to play the starring role.  Like most of my friends at the gym, Arnold was a huge role model, and everyone aspired to work out hard and to be like him!!!  It was a huge day when the news came out that the king was going to be Conan; Arnold was born to play this part and, although his acting is not his sharpest talent, looking invincible and destroying everything with a sword was!!!

I was going to college in Arizona at the time, and my movie going buddies Rod Andrewson, Steve Boltz, Mark Zainer, and my cousin Jeff Goff were all ready for this one.  Opening night at the Mann’s Christown Theater was packed, and once the movie started, the cheers and howls never stopped. The film was 2 hour + roller coaster ride of incredible carnage and violence that was pretty hard to take at the time.  This was the begining of the bloody epic films, and the Summer of 82 had several more in store before the season was through.

Conan was an incredible film.  It is epic in it’s scope and visual scenery, and it stays fairly faithful to the novels by Robert E. Howard.  The film was written for the screen by Oliver Stone and John Milius (who was also the director).  Ron Cobb was the production Designer,  William Stout and Pier Luigi Basile made up the rest of the art department.  Cobb’s work has always been the cornerstone of my inspiration and art career and, for me, Conan was a visual feast of Ron’s talent.  From Swords to Temples his imagination was free to run wild, as well as the fine works of Stout and Basile. The incredible costumes were designed by John Bloomfield, and there are so many styles and tribes of people he had to design for, not to mention a huge cast of actors and hundreds and hundreds of extras that had to be suited.

One of my favorite parts of the film is the musical score composed by Basil Poledouris.  Basil is legendary and his work for Conan is definitely one of his many shining stars!!!  A robust and Romantic score filled with memorable themes, and his use of the choir only added to the majesty of the underlying voice he created to carry us to another place and time.  There are many versions of this soundtrack out but there are only one or two complete scores available.  These would be the best to seek out.  The original soundtrack was on vinyl  and accompanied the release of the film.  Because of the time restrictions of an LP there was only about 45 minutes of music to listen to from a 70 to 80 minute complete score.  Not until I did find the complete soundtrack some 20 years later did I realize how much beautiful, subtle music there was carrying the easier moments in the movie.

The filming locations for the most part were all in Spain except for a few in Canada.  Duke Callaghan’s cinematography is breathtaking to say the least, and his use of natural light and surroundings added yet another beautiful layer to the films exotic look.  The casting was perfect from the big parts to the minor roles, and there were some big names in this one.  James Earl Jones as the evil Thulsa Doom, Max von Sydow as King Osric, and Mako as the wizard.  Arnold’s costars were excellently cast, and their parts made for the right character balance for supporting roles.  Gerry Lopez played Subotai the archer, and Sandahl Bergman played Conan’s love and protector Valeria.  This was a big role or Sadahl who was previously a professional dancer.  Her work can be seen in “All that Jazz” and also as one of Olivia Newton John’s sister muse’s in (one of my guilty pleasure films) “Xanadu”.

I’m sure most of you reading this have seen “Conan,” but for those of you who haven’t, it is worth your time.  The movie is dated but stands the test of time pretty well.  Lots of long establishing shots and fixed camera dialog scenes let you know your in the 80’s, and I find it a fresh reminder that the camera does not have to be moving at all times to tell a story.

Milius succeeded in turning a fairly simple story into a much larger than life motion Picture.  “Conan” cost 20 million dollars to make, and at the time that was a fairly expensive price tag.  Box office grosses were high and the film made it’s money back inside of it’s first two weeks in theaters.  Overall the film was loved by moviegoers and received mostly positive ratings from the critics…I saw this one at least 6 times over the Summer, and it was a must VHS purchase when it came out the following Summer.

There is a lot out on the web about this movie so below are some of my fav links to go to if you’re in the mood for more about “CONAN THE BARBARIAN.”  If you’re an old reader to this blog, You know a lot about production designer Ron Cobb.  If you’re a new reader, here is a link to a post from several years ago showing Ron’s art from Conan…  https://johneaves.wordpress.com/2009/04/23/conan-and-cobb/     The art of Bill stout can be seen at, http://conancompletist.com/EN/william_stout.html      This is a fabulous website telling you everything about everything Conan,  http://conancompletist.com/EN/home.htm

OK fellow fans have fun, and hope you enjoy the grabs below.

Continue reading ‘Conan, the 30th anniversarry’

13
May
12

wyoming

Howdy all, I’m now a Wyoming resident and so love my new home.  I made the long drive last weekend and was so happy to be back with my family again after a long separation because of my working in LA and my wife and daughters being in WY.  So glad to be home and so love the small town life.

Yesterday I saw two ranch trucks drive down our road in a 24 hour span. The town of  Torrington is for the most part closed today because it’s Sunday and everyone is at church.  The sun is shining, there is NO WIND, and there is nothing even remotely similar to Los Angeles anywhere to be found…Nothing is locked up behind glass at Walmart, there are mirrors in all the restrooms and there is no gang scratch or graffiti anywhere.  Vacant farm houses are intact and not looted and everyone says hi or waves as you go by.  Teenagers working at the fast food places are all very nice and happy; American flags and signs of patriotism are everywhere.  The military folks in and around town are not scoffed at or looked down upon.  There are families everywhere doing things together.  I see people of all ages in restaurants taking a moment or two to pray before they eat…

Well I could go on and on so in short I’ll say that this place is perfect, just like the small towns I grew up in, in Arizona.  So With all that said, I’m settled in and got my computer set up and I HAVE INTERNET at home again! (editor’s note… YEA!)  So tomorrow starts day one of the return of the blog and the beginning of a look back at the Summer movies of 1982.  Have a great Sunday and Mother’s Day all.

John

02
May
12

the blog starts up again in two weeks

Howdy all, Just finished on the very busy “Iron Man 3”, and I’m now packing up the truck for the big move to Wyoming followed by  a week of travel!! I should be settled into my new life and ready to go right away.. All the Trek art work that has been in storage for over a year will be accessible again so I can scan and post like before!!! Also once the posts start rolling again, this is the 30th anniversary of the summer movies of 1982,, THE GREATEST SUMMER OF MOVIES ever!!! Stay tuned for tons of fun posts followed by some feed back by the men n women behind the 1982 blockbusters. OK thanks for hanging in there and can’t wait to get back on here more regularly..

Have a good one.

J




May 2012
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031