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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Ghostbusters (1984)

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

The first of my top five movies to come up for this project. This is #1 or 2 for movie in my collection I've watched the most (The Princess Bride being the other, of course). I was really happy to see it come up on the random number generator (that's how I'm picking movies) but also a little intimidated. I was unsure I could 1) gain new insight and 2) do any kind of worthwhile art for it. And then I went down a mental rabbit hole of what makes art "worthwhile" and that was not anything I needed this week. So good thing I was prescribed a dose of one of my favorite pop cultural comfort foods.

The writing in this movie is so excellent and absurd but the TIMING used to execute it is perfection. Particularly Harold Ramis who was never appreciated enough to my mind. He's the MVP of this movie with his deadpan delivery and his incredible, understated but effective, physicality in the role. Because I'm usually distracted when I watch this one at home, this moment snuck up on me and had me absolutely falling over with laughter.

Imagine my absolute horror as I shifted my butt to the edge of the couch in anticipation of the Twinkie explanation and my DVD skipped to the next chapter. Devastating.

The other MVP for me (besides a lackluster film version of my favorite book, The Razor's Edge, without which Ghostbusters would not have been made) is Sigourney Weaver. She's a badass, her character is a badass. 10/10 would want to be Sigourney Weaver. I think of how many really talented actresses would have floundered in playing straight in that room. And playing straight without being heartless or uptight. Even better, she gets to play a possessed version of the straight woman and it never feels flat. Even as Zuul, Dana Barrett is fully dimensional.

The possession costume was the first thing I ever flat patterned for myself. I still have it. I still want to take another stab at it but that can wait awhile.

In this viewing, Egon's comment, "Art deco. Very nice." stood out to me and I thought, "I'll do something art deco! I've never done before - how about something in the style of Erte?!" I did not for a second think about how very different Erte's style of illustration is different from my own. I did not think about just how much I had on my plate this week. So I started researching Erte images and found one I liked and could use as inspiration. I found the 1926 piece, Pearls.

And made this, with acrylic paints and metallic oil paint markers:


-I have a very sketchy style of drawing and Erte's work is so clean so it took a lot of effort to imitate that style. The terror dog was really difficult to do with clean lines but not cartoony.

-I've been wondering for awhile if I should just try acrylics in my costume renderings because I use them so much for my D&D minis and I'm comfy with them. But "just trying" things is scary so I didn't and I'm kicking myself now. I was having so much fun painting with them it was really hard to stick to the flat color plane style of this drawing. I'm excited to try out some shading.

-This was the first of these projects that I haven't had a clue what I was going to do until after the credits rolled. And I'd used the random number generator a few days in advance so my brain was constantly churning ideas beforehand - something I'm trying to avoid - but I still couldn't come up with anything. I'm glad I came up with this.

-Metallic markers are expensive as hell and now I own a lot of them.

-If anyone has any helpful tricks for taking better pictures of artwork, I'd love to hear them. I haven't been happy with any of the pictures I've taken of what I've done so far.

Thanks for reading! I hope this blog is reaching someone and that you think to yourself, "now is the time to just try that thing I've been thinking about!" because you really ought to. It's worth it.

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