Taken By Storm : The Art of Storm Thorgerson
For over forty years using 12” x 12” album covers as his canvas before his untimely passing in 2013, Storm Thorgerson has created some of the most iconic images in the history of Rock and Roll. Eschew- ing computer manipulation in favor of building massive sets and tableaus, staging performances and actions and “doing it for real” in what he called “mind movies” and “photo paintings”, Thorgerson deliriously and relentlessly confounded expectations of the relation of images and music, hyperrealism and the everyday, and the role of the record sleeve at the intersection of art and commerce.
As famed graphics company, Hipgnosis, Thorgerson along with Aubrey (Po) Powell and later partner Peter Christopherson designed some of the most recognized record sleeves in the history of Rock and Roll including DARK SIDE OF THE MOON for Pink Floyd and HOUSES OF THE HOLY for Led Zeppelin as well as covers for Genesis and Peter Gabriel,10cc, Alan Parsons, Black Sabbath, UFO, and Paul McCartney and Wings. Thorgerson continued his work as StormStudios having designed artwork for The Cranberries, Muse, Biffy Clyro, Catherine Wheel, The Mars Volta, Anthrax, Ween, Audioslave, and The Steve Miller Band.
Director Roddy Bogawa’s documentary features intimate interviews of Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell as well as musicians he’s long collaborated with such as David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman of 10cc, and Alan Parsons and never seen before film and photographs of the production of past and present record covers. TAKEN BY STORM: THE ART OF STORM THORGERSON AND HIPGNOSIS takes Thorgerson back to the sites of some of the most famous imagery – the Burbank Studio lot where the businessman on fire was photographed for Pink Floyd’s WISH YOU WERE HERE and the Battersea Power Station in London for the ANIMALS shoot – as Thorgerson recounts the creative processes and methods in their production. As a film docu- menting Thorgerson’s philosophies (”a record cover should parallel themes in the music rather than illustrate”), idiosyncratic processes (dragging 765 wrought iron beds onto a beach) and his disdain for the limitations of commercial marketing in the pursuit of one’s artistic vision (the design for Led Zeppelin’s IN THROUGH THE OUT DOOR featured six different versions of the cover all hidden from the buyer in a brown paper bag sleeve), the film explores Thorgerson’s artistry with interviews includ- ing Steve Miller, Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler of The Cranberries, Dominic Howard from Muse, Rob Dickinson of Catherine Wheel, Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Mars Volta, Simon Neil and James John- ston from Biffy Clyro, pop artist Sir Peter Blake (noted designer of SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND), artist Damien Hirst, rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky, Sony BMG Artistic
Director Josh Cheuse. EMI Records Marketing Manager Paul Fletcher, and numerous photographers, illustrators, and graphic artists that have worked closely with Storm Thorgerson throughout his career.
Shot over a three year period and executive produced by Broadway theater director and avid music memorabilia collector, Rob Roth and famed producer Orian Williams (”Control” “Big Sur”), TAKEN BY STORM: THE ART OF STORM THORGERSON AND HIPGNOSIS is also a film about one man’s artistic journey amidst technological change and its affect on imagemaking and our
collective memory and culture.
Followed by a live SKype Q&A with filmmaker Roddy Bogawa.