A Snelling-designed Warner Bros poster promoting to cinema owners the firm's NZ movie releases for 1939.

During the Great Depression of the early 1930s, Douglas Snelling was a bright, creative young teenager who was fascinated with Hollywood movie culture. There was a movie theatre in his isolated New Zealand west coast town of Wanganui and he began to paint movie marketing-style posters and small displays, and taught himself how to draw cartoons of famous Hollywood, Royal and political leaders of the day. Before he was 16 years old, he had set up a successful graphic and exhibit design studio in rented premises, employing other boys of his own age.