When you see a fanboy or fangirl whose passions for the genres they love lead them to their own creative achievements, it gives you faith that the geeks shall indeed inherit the Earth. BAM! has a pair of success stories for you.
Edgar Wright: Ant-Man Will Have Elements of His Previous Movies
Edgar Wright is promising that his take on Marvel’s Ant-Man will be a breed apart – in comparison to typical action-adventure fare and even the Marvel template itself.
“I like the challenge of doing something slightly different,” Wright tells us. “I think there will be some elements of my previous movies in there, and I think that's why Marvel wanted me to do it in the first place. I don't think they hired me to do something completely anonymous. So it's fun – it's got lots of new elements. I'm excited about it.”
Wright points out that bringing the story of size-changing scientist Henry Pym to the big screen was his notion at first, and not Marvel’s. But the director behind offbeat, kinetic and audience-pleasing films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and his new-to-home video The World’s End says he saw the cinematic potential in Pym’s stature-shifting prowess.
“I met with Marvel and I suggested it as a movie,” says Wright, who first sold the company on the project back in 2006, even before the stratospheric success of Iron Man. “They weren't previously developing it until I came up with a pitch for it. They hadn't necessarily thought about it until I came up with an angle on how to do it.”
Though currently hard at work on preproduction for Ant-Man, due in 2015, he’s enjoying the perks of occasionally rubbing shoulders with the wellspring of the Marvel Universe: writer-editor-publisher Stan Lee. “I just saw him the other day, actually, at the Thor 2 premiere,” he says fondly. “I had lunch with him maybe a couple of years ago, and having grown up with those comics – just his voice is amazing! He talks like a ‘30s copywriter! It was just amazing. He's got such an incredible voice, that I think I was just geeking out on that.”
Juan Ortiz: Behind His Star Trek Poster Art
Another fanboy made good is artist Juan Ortiz, whose passion for a certain TV series set in the 24th century ultimately allowed him to go where no graphic designer has gone before.
An illustrator, graphic designer and comic book artist who has worked on commercial projects for Disney, Warner Bros. and DC Comics, Ortiz merged his fondness for the Star Trek franchise with his love of poster design. “I was just sitting at home looking at posters online and figured, maybe I should try some, so I did,” recalls Ortiz, who crafted three visually arresting posters that each took inspiration from individual episodes of the original Gene Roddenberry-created series. “I liked them so much that I said, 'You know, what? I might just do more.' That was it.”
He set out to create promo posters for each of Trek’s original 79 episodes and its unaired pilot. His works – now collected in the coffee table book Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz – additionally drew inspiration from sources as diverse as ‘60s comic book covers, ‘30s pulp magazines, Russian poster art, Beatles films, Playbill covers and Hollywood movie posters. Comics great Jack Kirby, Spanish book cover artist Joaquin Periterra, film poster designer Saul Bass, Andy Warhol and retro-mod artist Shag were also influences. “Those guys, they're designers, but they're also illustrators, and that's what I really like about their work,” says Ortiz.
When he approached Star Trek’s current owner-licenser CBS to scope its interest, “I told them 'Look, I'm going to do all 80 of them [anyway].'” The execs were instantly sold on his vision: the book, prints, T-shirts and calendar and other tie-ins materialized, and Ortiz soon merited his own gallery showing at the prestigious Paley Center in Beverly Hills, where original Trek TV and film star Nichelle Nichols – Lt. Uhura herself – beamed in to open hailing frequencies with the artist.
As a result it seems like Ortiz adores Star Trek even more than ever before. “Watching some of the episodes, the ones that I weren't so crazy about, I ended up liking them now, like 'Elaan of Troyius,'” he admits, but don’t ask him to lock his phaser sight on his most beloved episode. “My favorite was probably... there are so many I couldn't tell you. Sorry!”
Here are 10 of Ortiz's posters. Which one is your favorite?