Drew Struzan on The Thing

“I don’t know why they called me. But the studios gave me a phone call—which was typical—”Have you ever seen the movie THE THING from the ’50s?” That was my direction. I had the concept of drawing nothing, but making it interesting and scary.

My wife and I work together, and she learned to do photography. We lived up in Lake Arrowhead, so I had a parka on and all this stuff for winter. I just stood outside and posed and had her take some pictures of it. She developed it and made a proof sheet, and I picked the one I liked. Then I did a drawing of it and sent a fax of it to the studio. They wrote back and said “Fine. Paint it. We need it tomorrow by 9.”

I painted all that day and through the night. At 9:00 in the morning—”Knock, knock.” There was the guy. He didn’t even take it to the studio. He took it to a photo studio so they could shoot it and start printing it. They would put it under class in those days and they had to wait a little bit until it was dry.

It’s one of the most favorite posters I’ve ever done. I did it in a day.”

— Drew Struzan on his poster for John Carpenter’s The Thing from a Sep/Oct 2014 Famous Monsters of Filmland interview