Born 86 years ago in Treviso

Born 86 years ago in Treviso

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"The less you give away, the better," says the Michelangelo of movie posters. Over the course of 50 years, Renato Casaro has drawn the first impressions of some of our favorite films – posters he likens to bait on a hook, helping turn movies into milestones, and mere mortals into stars.

Showing his illustration of Sylvester Stallone for the Rambo series, Casaro said, "You can't do this in Photoshop!"

Born 86 years ago in Treviso, Italy, Casaro got his start as a teenager drawing posters for local theaters in exchange for tickets. His big break came when iconic Italian filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis was making his epic blockbuster, "The Bible." 

"It was a colossal film," Casaro told CBS News foreign correspondent Chris Livesay. "My posters were put on billboards on Sunset Boulevard. After that, my phone never stopped ringing."

From James Bond movies to "The Last Emperor" and "The NeverEnding Story," his work come from a never ending list of commissions, thanks to an uncanny gift for building a film up by stripping it down.

"It takes a lot of scribbles," Casaro said. "The table gets covered in them. Then, you throw them away. Slowly you narrow it down. You subtract, you don't add. The poster of 'Nikita' shows a woman with her back turned, behind a bathroom door. It makes you wonder what just happened. The viewer says, 'I have to go and see what this film is all about!'"

And see them they did – more than 2,000 movie posters bear his signature.

Until one day, the phone stopped ringing. His beautiful hand-drawn work fell out of fashion when studios turned to digital graphics; software like Photoshop, he said, had put him out of a job. "It's very easy to generate a spectacular image, but with no soul," he said.

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