Interview: Scott Campbell Talks the Release of "Great Showdowns: The Return"

Interview: Scott Campbell Talks the Release of "Great Showdowns: The Return"Image via Titan Books
We recently shared an interview with Jensen Karp of Gallery 1988 in which he talked about his gallery space, the "Crazy 4 Cult" annual art show, and the newly released "Crazy 4 Cult: Cult Movie Art 2" book. Today, we have an interview with an artist who has been featured in the Crazy 4 Cult show and books and who is also releasing a sequel book. Scott Campbell (or Scott C.) is following his very popular "Great Showdowns" book with "Great Showdowns: The Return," published by Titan Books.
 
The book features even more of Campbell's smiling pop culture characters from his (and our) favorite movies. None of the paintings are labeled because he wants people to work with their friends and family to figure out the sources. The characters featured in the paintings are often not friendly in the films, but in Campbell's art, even inanimate objects are grinning. We spoke with the artist about his favorite films, his artistic process, and this highly anticipated sequel.
 
Interview by Andrew LaSane

Between this and the first “Great Showdowns” book, how many pieces have you included, how many were left out, and what is that process like?
There are about 150 Showdowns per book. About 600 are currently on the Great Showdowns site, so there are many potential books in the future. I try to choose a good balance of films that are popular amongst the masses and ones that are more obscure, so everyone can enjoy it. I don't want to have too many obscure ones to frustrate everyone. But i like the challenges. Plus, many of the unused showdowns can be used in future books, so cutting them is no big deal. 
 
I know that it changes constantly, but at the time of this interview how long is your master list of "films to paint" and what percentage of it would you say have actually been completed?
Oh, man, my list of films i have yet to do number about 200 at least. I am constantly removing films that i have done and adding new ones all the time. So the list gets longer and never shorter. I don't have enough hours in my life to watch all of them though. 
 
How do you choose the canvas size for your paintings?
Well, i am a slave to the first ten that i painted for the first Crazy 4 Cult art show in LA. I had intended them to be small candy sized paintings, 4 x 4 inches, that could look cool by themselves, but way better in a group. Small paintings that people could take home with them in their pockets.   
 
Do you have a favorite movie?
I don't have one favorite of anything. I have some favorites and some films that i cannot deny as being a huge influence on who I am today. Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark are two influential ones. Fistful Of Dollars and Planet Of The Apes are two others. I love all of Woody Allen's movies and Stanley Kubrick's movies. I sure enjoyed Pacific Rim and Gravity though. My favorite films change all the time.
 
Is there one film that has given you a lot of trouble or one that you’ve revisited more than the others?
I have been trying to figure out a good one for The Graduate and am never confident in what I come up with. Soon though. I will get that one done soon. 
 
Choose a quote from one of the films included in “Great Showdowns: The Return” that you feel describes/sums up what people can expect from the book. 
"Zardoz is pleased." - Zardoz 
 
Any other upcoming projects that you want our readers to know about?
I will be doing a little signing tour for the book with dates in San Francisco, New York, and Austin, so far. Probably more, but we shall see. I have just finished my first picture book that i have written as well as illustrated. It is called "HUG MACHINE." But it won't be out until Fall 2014.  So mark your calendars, you guys. 

For more of Campbell's art, check out GreatShowdowns.com and his other website Pyramidcar.com. Great Showdowns: The Return" is in stores now.
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