Band of Brothers Parachute Original Concept Graphite by John Alvin
Band of Brothers is a series that John Alvin did images for, and these are some of the few available for sale. Band of Brothers 1 is an original graphite production drawing that is signed by John Alvin, whose artwork is skyrocketing in popularity and interest due to the release of The Art of John Alvin book. Order your copy of the book here.
Band of Brothers is a 2001 ten-part television World War II miniseries based on the book of the same title written by historian and biographer Stephen Ambrose. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who had collaborated on the World War II film Saving Private Ryan (1998). The episodes first aired in 2001 on HBO and are still run frequently on various TV networks around the world.
The narrative centers on the experiences of E Company ("Easy Company") of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. The series covers Easy's basic training at Toccoa, Georgia, the American airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of Bastogne and on to the end of the war, including the taking of the Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's Eagle's Nest).
The events portrayed are based on Ambrose's research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans. A large amount of literary license was taken with the episodes, with several differences between recorded history and the film version. All of the characters portrayed are based on actual members of Easy Company; some of them can be seen in prerecorded interviews as a prelude to each episode (their identities, however, are not revealed until the close of the finale). Spielberg and Hanks also produced the companion miniseries called The Pacific that premiered in March 2010. This followed the campaign against the Japanese Army, who would rather die than surrender until Hiroshima.
The title for the book and the series comes from a famous St. Crispin's Day Speech delivered by the character of Henry V of England before the Battle of Agincourt in William Shakespeare's Henry V; Act IV, Scene 3. A passage from the speech is quoted on the first page of the book, and is also quoted by Carwood Lipton in the final episode.
ABOUT JOHN ALVIN:
"Creating the promise of a great experience" is how John Alvin described his role as the preeminent designer and illustrator of cinema art in the entertainment industry. In a business where you are only as good as your last job, Alvin was diverse enough in style and creative invention to be one of the ultimate go-to artist for movie posters in Hollywood for over two decades. He designed and illustrated some of the world's most widely recognizable movie art. From E.T. to Blade Runner, to Blazing Saddles and The Lion King, John Alvin is responsible for many of your favorite movie campaign images...
Alvin's first official movie art campaign was the poster for Blazing Saddles, directed by Mel Brooks, in 1974. Alvin, who was working as an animator at an animation studio at the time, was invited to work on the Blazing Saddles poster by a friend. Alvin took an unusual path when designing the movie poster. He designed a serious movie poster, which incorporated unusual and quirky elements from the film. For example, in the poster, Alvin depicted Mel Brooks, who plays a Yiddish-speaking Native American chief in the film, wearing a headdress inscribed with the phrase, Kosher for Passover. The joke had been suggested by Alvin's wife, Andrea.
Alvin's work on Blazing Saddles was liked by Mel Brooks, as well as by others in the industry. He went on to work on a number of Brooks' later films, including Young Frankenstein, which was also released in 1974.
Another of Alvin's iconic posters was his work for Steven Spielberg's 1982 film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It showed E.T.'s finger touching the finger of his human friend, Elliott, finger tip to finger tip. The fingers create a glow where they touch. The idea for the poster was reportedly suggested by Spielberg, and was inspired by Michelangelo's painting, The Creation of Adam. Alvin used his daughter as the human hand model for the poster.
Alvin created artwork for more than 135 film campaigns over the span of three decades. His work for such film studios as New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Disney Studios and Lucasfilm Ltd., included Blade Runner, Cocoon, The Lost Boys, Predator, The Princess Bride, Gremlins, The Goonies, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Jurassic Park. He also created the anniversary posters and other artwork for the 30th anniversary Star Wars Celebration. In later years he created posters for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter film series and Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean films. According to John Sabel, an advertising executive at Walt Disney Pictures who often worked with Alvin, "There was a reason why The Lion King did the numbers that it did... There was a reason why 'Hunchback [of Notre Dame]' became a big success. It's because of the images that were produced, and a lot of those were John Alvin's paintings."
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