Eye of the Beholder: D&D Art Documentary Now Playing

Eye of the Beholder, a documentary about the art of Dungeons & Dragons, has hit streaming services including iTunes and Amazon Video.


eotb.jpg


"EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons is an exciting new documentary that explores the history, influence, and stories behind the artwork that helps create the worlds in which we all play. The movie profiles D&D artists – both past and present – and also features former TSR insiders, game designers, authors, and fans. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER: The Art of Dungeons & Dragons is a celebration of the art we all love so much."


[video=youtube;bu_dCnirBe4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu_dCnirBe4[/video]​
 
Russ Morrissey

Comments

Sacrosanct

Legend
The art had a huge impact on me. Granted, I was only 7 when I started playing with my older brother and his friends in 1981, but I consider myself extremely blessed to see the artwork from near the beginning, and how it's grown and transformed over the decades. Nowadays people heavily criticize the early work (not just the White Box, but much of the B/W work done in 1e and B/X) as unrefined, or sloppy, or amateurish. But even in an era where Frazzetta, Ploog, and Vallejo were super popular, that "amateur" art sparked my imagination tremendously. It's probably the biggest reason I got into art myself as a hobby. To this day, some b/w art inspires and moves me more than full color, and I think it's a shame WoTC only uses full color now. Trampier, Lee, Holloway, Willingham, Otus, Elmore? All of that b/w work was awesome.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
The movie profiles D&D artists – both past and present –
Necessary grognard comment:

Well, that sounds half good.

;)


Seriously, sounds interesting. The art of D&D was, and is, integral to the experience.
 

dave2008

Hero
The art had a huge impact on me. Granted, I was only 7 when I started playing with my older brother and his friends in 1981, but I consider myself extremely blessed to see the artwork from near the beginning, and how it's grown and transformed over the decades. Nowadays people heavily criticize the early work (not just the White Box, but much of the B/W work done in 1e and B/X) as unrefined, or sloppy, or amateurish. But even in an era where Frazzetta, Ploog, and Vallejo were super popular, that "amateur" art sparked my imagination tremendously. It's probably the biggest reason I got into art myself as a hobby. To this day, some b/w art inspires and moves me more than full color, and I think it's a shame WoTC only uses full color now. Trampier, Lee, Holloway, Willingham, Otus, Elmore? All of that b/w work was awesome.
That pretty much sums up my feelings as well.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
I backed this on Kickstarter, and have watched it twice now. As far as I’m concerned, this is a must-watch for any D&D fan. It’s an amazing document of both old and new D&D art and artists. The stories they tell are fascinating and funny.
 

ddaley

Explorer
I backed this on Kickstarter, and have watched it twice now. As far as I’m concerned, this is a must-watch for any D&D fan. It’s an amazing document of both old and new D&D art and artists. The stories they tell are fascinating and funny.
I backed this as well. I have watched it in its entirety 3 times and have watched bits and pieces in addition to that. They did a great job with this. Glad I backed it.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
I watched this last night on Amazon Prime for $1.99, well worth it. Got me thinking how the game has changed for me since I started playing in 1980 or so. When we were kids we'd sit around and talk about the game, read the books and look at the art even when we werent playing. Now nearly 40 years later Im running a game every other Friday evening, myself whose 44, another who Ive played with since 2E is 47, two other players are in their mid 30's ones played 3E, 4E and 5E, the other only 5E, the last 2 are in their early to mid 20's and have only played 5E since last June. Because we only play for 3-4 hours a session, I rarely open a book to look up rules, use a battle mat or miniatures and rely mostly on theater of the minds eye; I dont even use a screen. Only one of my players besides myself own any books. Watching this documentary made me realize that my younger players dont have that background that us older players have of looking through those books and getting a sense of what the fantasy settings and mystique is all about. I have to explain things in more detail to them. I think starting with my next game Im going to start using more art work and pictures during the game, leaving a few books on the table for them to flip through hoping to spark their imagination. Having played for so long I sometimes seem to forget that not everyone knows what an illithid looks like.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I backed this on Kickstarter and have had the Blueray for a while now. It is well done and was a lot of fun to watch after having read through Art & Arcana. I'm glad many of the original artists are still around to be interviewed, though, sadly, some are no longer with us.

As others have said above, there was something very evocative about the basic art of the 80s. Much of it had the feeling of doodles on a Trapper Keeper. Others, like the art of Erol Otus is a flash back to the psychedelic art of the 60s (and nobody has captured the weird aberrational side of D&D like Otus).

I enjoy the later stuff as well and it is interesting to hear some of the stories behind many of the hobbies most iconic images.
 

Mutant Lord

Explorer
Yeah, Keith Parkinson was my favorite and really influenced my own illustration work. Got all his books and still return to them for inspiration. Can hardly wait to see this film.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
They talk a lot about Parkinson, and interview his son a fair bit.

His was a sad loss, to be sure.

Yeah, Keith Parkinson was my favorite and really influenced my own illustration work. Got all his books and still return to them for inspiration. Can hardly wait to see this film.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I just watched this on Amazon. Well worth it. Then again, I admit my bias, and my love for the TSR era artists. I admit I learned something new, that the horrible art done as "Jack Fred" was actually crap work done by Elmore and others when they were rushed, and were too embarrassed to put their own names to it.
 

Count_Zero

Explorer
I backed this on Kickstarter at the "Get a Blu-Ray" level, and I'm glad I did, because this is an excellent documentary and a great companion to the Art and Arcana book. I definitely recommend people check it out - and I'm also glad it's out on VOD so I can point people towards that instead of getting a second copy as a loaner.
 

Advertisement

Latest threads

Advertisement

Top