We here at Poster Collective couldn’t be happier about our collaboration with Ghoulish Gary Pullin on our most recent Loft Cinema Series poster (available to buy HERE at 9AM ET on 8/31). He captured the essence of the film brilliantly in a way which only someone who A. has a ton of talent and B. is a huge fan of the source material can. The poster comes in two flavors, a regular 6 color screen print (edition of 100, $30) and a 5 color metallic glow-in-the-dark version (edition of only 25, $40) that just might be worth cutting someone’s toe off to get ahold of. Not that we or The Dude would recommend that – with us being pacifists and all.
Oh, and for those planning on attending the screenings this coming weekend at The Loft, we’ve held back some of each poster just for you that will only be available at the Box Office. If any of stock remains after the screenings we will put them up for sale online.
We always like to share a little insight behind the final product. With that in mind, we asked Gary several questions about his process and thoughts on the poster that you can catch below along with a gallery of photos of the poster getting ink’d up. So grab yourself a Sioux City Sarsaparilla, kick back and focus your peepers on a sweet piece of art. The Dude abides it.
PC: The Big Lebowski is a modern cult classic that has spawned it’s own festival, (nearly) recognized religion and tons of great artwork. Did you find it at all intimidating to be creating a poster for a film with such a dedicated and devoted fan base?
Gary: Yes, I was definitely very intimidated. Especially for a movie I admire so much and knowing the rabid fan base behind it. To avoid doing anything similar, I looked around online to see what had been done before. I wanted to create something with a big scope as opposed to a minimalist design. I had a feeling that fans of this film in particular would want to see some of their favourite characters and moments represented. I also wanted to stay away from what Tyler Stout had done before, his poster is awesome and he really nailed all the key moments from the film. So, instead of focusing on a bunch of different moments from the film, I zeroed in on the dream sequence.
PC: Let’s talk about the making of the poster. How did you go about approaching the composition of this poster?
Gary: I always start by watching the film again with my trusty sketchbook and begin with quick sketches (Editor’s Note: these sketches are cool – check them out). My initial roughs are usually just streams of thought but the dream sequence always really resonated with me, there’s something very “Terry Gilliam” about it. That was my springboard. After we chose the direction to head in, I started drawing all the elements and the poses I thought fans would appreciate. I knew I wanted the title of the film to be on a central bowling ball, gliding down a lane, towards a Monty Python-esque drawing of Jeff Bridges. I wanted to get Walter, Maude and Donny in there, of course. I tried to play with the forced perspective and dream-like plane of the checkered floor, so I added the Nihilist’s, Jesus and his partner Liam last. The first character I drew was The Stranger. I really wanted to include him as he’s this positive influence on the Dude and he bookends the film. He seemed to fit into the bowling ball motif pretty nicely. The rug needed to be in there too, I really think it ties the poster together nicely.
PC: As you mentioned, the poster centers on the famous dream sequence from the film, specifically the scene where The Dude flies down a lane, like a bowling ball, between long-legged ladies before rotating his body around to obtain a moment of Zen. What in particular about that scene made you pick it to comprise the centerpiece of the poster?
Gary: It’s such a trippy, odd segment in the film. I really appreciate the psychedelic undertones of it and the cover of “I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In” by Kenny Rogers works really brilliantly. The Dude is in this state of bliss in spite of all the chaos going on him and he looks so insanely blissful here. I think we can all relate to that, that need to escape once in a while. There’s a bit of The Dude in all of us.
PC: How long did it take you to complete the poster – from concept to completion? What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome?
Gary: I can’t really say how many hours it took but I would estimate a good solid week or so including the colour separations and the variant. The biggest challenge was just getting the characters likeness right. I also wanted to inject some humour into the poster, so I hope some of that comes through.
PC: Do you have a favorite character in the film? Or favorite line of dialogue?
Gary: I love when The Dude is basically being kidnapped and he says, “Hey, careful, man, there’s a beverage here!” In tribute to that, I made sure a white russian was incorporated into the design of the poster.
Lebowski at the printer: