Peter Stark is VP/Head of Print at AV Squad, where he has been with since 2019. He previously worked at agencies such as Bond, BLT and Art Machine. Peter is a graduate of Drake University and later studied art at SUNY Binghamton.
We spoke to Peter for our backstory series, where we talk to people in the entertainment industry about their creative inspirations and more.
Peter, tell us…
Where you grew up and where you live now.
Raised in Minnesota, then moved to the Dominican Republic, upstate New York, NYC, Vermont and finally settled on a hilltop in Laurel Canyon with my wife Miriam and Poppy the Dog.
Your first job in the industry.
I worked as a junior designer at a New York boutique called Bau-Da Design, where I got my first experience in the entertainment industry mainly making music with my first true mentor, PR Brown.
A breakthrough in your career.
The first big breakthrough came when I followed my heart and moved to LA unseen with no connections/job/money – but believing that somehow I could make it. The next big breakthrough was when I saw my severed hand SAW poster being faked in a Simpsons episode… I mean, what’s next?
Three films you couldn’t do without.
Parasite, Spirited Away, The Big Lebowski. You have all left your mark.
Your favorite movie quote.
“The guy stays…” I’m not sure there’s a truer statement in the history of filmmaking.
Your favorite movie poster.
Favourite? No, but I have a few… Metropolis (definitely a favorite), Cool Hand Luke (maybe the coolest), Little Miss Sunshine (still makes me happy), A Clockwork Orange (so good), Jaws (I mean, come on ), Chinatown (what an illustration), Rosemary’s Baby (the mother of all horror posters), The Dark Knight Rises (one of many I would have loved to have done), Fargo (as smart as can be), all that Where the Wild Things Are -Posters and the Star Wars Episode I poster featuring Darth’s Shadow on the Rock. But so many others…
A classic tv show and a current tv show you loved.
Every episode of MASH had humor and heart, but The Simpsons might still be the most enlightened series ever. Right now I’m super down with Succession.
A recent project to be proud of.
Well, actually a few. Winning the Everything Everywhere All at Once campaign and collaborating with James Jean…all with the amazing Graham Retzik at A24. We finished several plays for the inaugural season of House of the Dragon with our old friends at HBO. And to see a handful of our pieces come to life for the brilliant film Tár starring the legendary Blair Green at Focus.
But other than certain projects, what I’m most excited about is the AV Print team that we’ve built at AV Squad over the last (super weird) years. It’s an extraordinary group of people who have come together to do the work we love, with the most amazing clients – and I’m honored and proud to be a part of it! And the whole team is grateful to Chad and the cool folks at AV Squad for trying and giving us so much love and support along the way!
Someone else’s project that you recently admired.
I’ve recently loved the Don’t Worry Darling and Pearl campaigns. Both super fresh!
One thing about the evolution of entertainment marketing that excites you.
I’m really excited about how our industry is redefining itself every day, with all imaginable work situations! I love how nimble we all have become dealing with cancer. Streaming (and the massive amount of content being created to support it) has created opportunity everywhere at once. And now that theater is coming back (albeit in a unique new way), the business seems livelier and more exciting than ever!
What would you do if you weren’t in entertainment marketing?
If I weren’t a film marketing worker, I’d probably be stomping grapes somewhere in Portugal.