Friday, 29 November 2019

Something worth noting | About the Star Wars Poster Artist - Tom Chantrell

This post has been created as a nod to the release of a documentary for Tom Chantrell.

Tom Chantrell
Tom Chantrell was an artist and he worked with block bluster films in the 60, the 70s. This documentary covers some of his past and his involvement with the poster Artwork for Star Wars.

Here is the release from Convex Films

London, UK. Convex Films are proud to announce the release of their documentary film “Chantrell”. Made by director Simon Henry, this 51-minute documentary tells the story of one of Britain’s most pre-eminent cinema poster artists, Tom Chantrell (1916-2001). Able to both design and illustrate

Able to both design and illustrate posters, Chantrell was the consummate commercial artist. Though renowned for his vibrant photo-realist compositions, he mastered a range of stylistic approaches and was comfortable working with a wide range of mixed-media (gouache, pastels, magic-marker, pen and ink, chalk, photographs etc.). Chantrell’s back-catalogue (1935-92) encompassed everything from “Brighton Rock” (1947) and “One Million Years BC” (1966) to “Star Wars” (1977). Among the most collectible of posters created by Chantrell were a series for Hammer Studios (1965-74) and for the “Carry On” films (1963-66). After turning freelance in 1972, Chantrell dominated poster production for the independent distributors and established a particular niche in poster design for the sex-comedy films that were so popular in the 1970’s and early 80’s.

The documentary contains interviews with family members, poster collectors, and dealers and with the author and leading authority on British film posters, Sim Branaghan. Chantrell’s poster images are displayed throughout.

Director Simon Henry came to the project after unexpectedly discovering the photograph of Tom Chantrell holding up the unfinished “Star Wars” poster. “The image simply blew me away, seeing the amazing poster in its uncompleted form being held up by its creator... I couldn't get the image out of my head and the more I read about Tom's work and its significance within British film history the more I realised that someone had to put this under a spotlight. I decided to contact Tom's family. We've tried to tell Tom's story through the people who knew him best and hope we've done justice for Britain's most important poster artist, Tom Chantrell.”

Mike Bloomfield, curator of the Chantrell archive (, added: “American poster artists are quite rightly lauded and their artwork sells for amazing sums. British poster artists by comparison are less well-known but figures like Tom Chantrell deserve a huge amount of respect for their contribution to the film industry. I really hope that this documentary brings to light what a fantastic commercial artist Chantrell was”.

You can now view the documentary either on

Or by visiting the website. -

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