Poster and home video art is almost as important an element of horror movies as the movies themselves. Oftentimes the promotional art is the first impression we get of any given movie, and though we've always been told by our parents to not judge a book by its cover, it's sometimes hard not to form opinions about movies based on whether or not we dig the artwork they're wrapped in. Especially in the days of the video store, it was oftentimes the box art that drew us to a movie, and made us want to see it.
Unfortunately, that terrific art we've gotten over the years has always been covered in titles and text, essential elements that nevertheless detract from the overall impact of the art itself. What would some of our favorite poster and VHS box arts look like without all those necessary bells and whistles? That's the question artist Chris MacGibbon recently found himself pondering, and his artistic talents allowed him to find out the answer. Thankfully, we all benefit from his talents.
Based out of California, MacGibbon has been hard at work on creating a portfolio to showcase his artwork, with the goal of someday joining the likes of Nathan Thomas Milliner in creating cover art for horror movie distribution companies like Scream Factory. He recently found himself looking for something to do and for a fun way to add to his portfolio, which is where the idea to retouch and clean up some of his favorite pieces of horror art came from.
"A lot of the artwork I grew up with as a kid was essentially becoming lost with DVD/Blu-ray as companies were creating new pieces as some of these films were re-released," said MacGibbon, when I spoke with him about the project. "In other cases the original paintings or photos just flat out didn't exist and if I wanted to make a cover for any of the films to help spruce up my portfolio, I obviously couldn't just slap the VHS artwork on the cover and call it a day."
Instead, MacGibbon breathed new life into the VHS artwork he and so many of us loved as kids, by heading into Photoshop and removing anything and everything that got in the way of the artwork. Though he jokes that how he went about the process is "a trade secret," MacGibbon did spill some of the beans about how he arrived with the raw artwork that you're about to see. "It's all about the cloning tool and patience. In some cases I actually had to separate pieces of the art that might not have titles over it so it wouldn't be affected by the process. So some of those pieces are all layers. It's a complicated and time consuming process and in some cases certain details are lost."
The result of all his hard work? Absolutely stunning pieces of art that look fresh and brand new, despite how familiar we thought we were with them. I now shut up and allow you to enjoy MacGibbon's handiwork, which I can guarantee will give you a new appreciation for some of your favorite VHS art!
Amazing how different the art looks without all the filler, isn't it?!
You can check out more of Chris MacGibbon's artwork over on his Facebook page, CMac Custom Designs. He's available for any custom work you might need, and I personally look forward to the day when a company like Scream Factory discovers him and puts him to work!