Movie Poster Production
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|This section gives a short history of Brown's
beginnings in movie poster illustration (immediately below).
The next section gives lists of the posters sorted by year of production. The details section gives a closer look at how the poster for Mutiny on the Bounty was completed.
Very few people ever get to see the original artwork for the posters. A
lot changed from original painting to printed final work. I've provided
some links to a few of the original paintings for the posters with
close-up images to give the viewer a better appreciation of the artwork.
Method of Production
Reynold Brown Begins His Movie Poster Career
When Reynold Brown returned to California from New York in 1951 he brought his small family of three children to Temple City and moved in with his mother and two sisters, for whom he was also the sole means of support (his father, died when he was in his teens). At first he was to return to take a position with North American Aviation but found he had become accustomed to the freedom of doing free-lance art and quit North American. He took a part time teaching position with Art Center College of Design. There he did a show for the school of his work. Mischa Kallis, art director at Universal attended the show and approached Brown on the possibility of doing a poster. Brown accepted and did his first poster, "The World in His Arms", featuring Gregory Peck and Ann Blyth. Brown was concerned that perhaps the work was not adequate, but Universal liked the work and continued to commission pieces from Brown. Soon the other studios would also seek out Brown. Over the next 20 years Brown would work on the promotion campaigns for around 275 movies. Although most of his work appeared on posters, it also appeared on billboards, in newspaper ads, on movie trailers and promotional books.
In 1954 Brown moved his family to La Verne, CA. With the help of his brother-in-law, Pedro Bravo (Uncle Pete) he has prepared an old ranch house as his new home. There was a small upstairs room. Brown made this his studio and it was in this room that almost all of his illustration work would be done.
Most of the movies by Brown are listed in the Movie List. You can go to posters separated by year in the sections below. Many thumbnails to the posters are included in these sections
What were the procedures for building the movie list? Brown had an agreement with most if not all of the movie studios for the return of his art upon completion of the promotional materials. Some studios were very good about this, to their credit, Universal Studios was probably best. Brown kept his original paintings as well as his many preliminary drawings in a cinder block garage. The garage was unfortunately, leaky and was basically three walls with the fourth side open to the weather. (This was where his two sons slept from the time when they were in about 4th grade until high school graduation.) A number of paintings were lost due to exposure to rain dripping in to the garage. Reynold and Mary moved to Nebraska and took the art with them. Their son Franz began organizing the many paintings and drawings as well as copies of old posters, photographs of paintings, tear sheets from magazines and old receipt books and work journals to identify the movies and other Reynold Brown art and to organize the materials for use by museums and scholars.
The list is based on original artwork, collection photos, advertising tear sheets and Reynold Brown work books. There are probably movies that are not in the list as the source material was partial as to the years available.
On occasion Reynold left only a short note as to the subject matter or movie title and the process of connecting these notes to the correct movies is on-going. Many works have been identified through the efforts of collectors and poster dealers to whom we acknowledge our appreciation.
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