Tom Jung

Concept artwork

Original concept artwork for The Sand Pebbles by Tom Jung. The graphic of the title treatment (opening credits). Tom Jung describes his creative process on this film: "The image was inspired by an old Italian painting of a group of docked sailing vessels. I used the timeless unmistakable shapes of the sails of Chinese junks as backdrop for a modern US Navy warship. China: old, big and mysterious. 20th Century Fox adapted this graphic for the opening titles of the film."


Visiting artist draws the movies

By David Prabu
Athens NEWS Contributor

Smoke curled from his half-lit cigar, which he chewed tenaciously. His spectacles hung loosely from a black silk cord around his neck. And Hollywood exuded from his portfolio in which he carried posters of the films "The Right Stuff," "The Razor's Edge," "Papillon," "Star Wars," and "The Empire Strikes Back."

He is Tom Jung - graphic artist and illustrator for motion pictures. Jung was in Athens last week as a guest of the Ohio University Film Department.

After 25 years in the business, Jung said. "It's a wonderful way to make a living." He is not fazed by Hollywood's limelight. He has carved a niche for himself and is happy with his backstage cameo role in the big-buck industry.

"Print is very important. Selling of films through posters makes a difference between success and failure." he said, "The goal of poster art is to crystallize a film into a simple image - to catch a moment."

Jung was born into a showbiz family in Boston. From his school days he has been "catching" fleeting moments of life on paper. Three times a week he attended films at the Boston Art Museum.

After his graduation from school he went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. During his second year he was drafted in the Army. Following his discharge, he worked as a freelance illustrator and art director with a number of big-name advertising agencies in New York.

"I got a lot of breaks from the very beginning," Jung said. His first break came in 1958. He was hired by a friend to redesign ad campaigns of foreign films to suit American audiences. Jung's work on "La Strada" and "And God Created Woman" helped introduce American audiences to the magic and genius of Federico Fellini and Roger Vadim.

He worked with Continental, the largest distributor of foreign films at that time, on ad campaigns for classics such as "Room at the Top" and "View From the Bridge."

When Continental's Director of Marketing left to go to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1962, he took Jung with him. As a freelance art director at MGM, Jung designed posters for "Dr. Zhivago," "Ice Station Zebra," "Shoes of the Fisherman" and the re-release of the ever-green "Gone With the Wind."


Tom Jung

Los Angeles freelance artist Tom Jung displays movie advertising illustrations he produced.

In 1968 he was hired by Cinema Center Films to handle the art direction for their entire release schedule of nearly 30 films.

Though he had worked as an art director and designer in many campaigns, it was not until 1971 that his art painting was accepted. "Papillon" was the first major break that pushed him into the big-bracket category.

"It was obvious that Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen had unique roles in 'Papillon'," Jung said. "Steve represented, at that time, a gut of defiance that any person identify with...defiance against oppression and authority." The poster made with this theme merged perfectly with the mood of the film.

"I make a nice living and work with an awful lot of talented people," he said. "After all, it is a job - only it's glamorous."

For a man who painted hundreds of watercolors in high school, 25 years of labor has paid off with a series of top-drawer posters.

Courtesy: Daniel Saez
Source: Athens (Ohio) News - Spring 1987


Star Wars

Noted motion picture graphic artist and illustrator Tom Jung was educated at Boston's prestigious School of the Museum of Fine Arts, the talented artist first worked as a freelance illustrator and art director for a number of big-name advertising agencies in New York, and forged a career in motion picture advertising with such studios as Allied Artists, MGM, Columbia and Paramount. He became an advertising consultant for Cinema Center Films, and later joined the boutique advertising firm of Smollen, Smith and Connelly.

The list of films for which Jung contributed one-sheet poster designs is impressive, and includes Dr. Zhivago, Gone With the Wind (the famous 1966 re-release), Little Big Man, Papillon, Lord of the Rings, The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Raging Bull, The Great Train Robbery, and The Right Stuff, to name but a few. However, his most famous works - and his most important contribution to motion picture history - are the legendary designs he created for the Star Wars one-sheet posters, which have since become iconic examples of film imagery.

On the role of poster artwork in film advertising campaigns, Jung is rather pragmatic: "Print is very important. Selling of films through posters makes a difference between success and failure." Under these incredible pressures, Jung delved into each project with a mountain of research material including still images, scripts, and publicity photographs from each respective film. He would then emerge with a bevy of creative ideas, and skillfully commit these images to paper. In his words, "The goal of poster art is to crystallize a film into a simple image - to catch a moment." You'll see that in each instance he has, and his studies, working concepts and final drawings are nothing short of breathtaking.

Jung - Star Wars

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