30th anniversary FIRST BLOOD poster

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  1. Damn, you make me nostalgic.
    I had those toys back when I was a kid!

    Thanks for the memories.
    Great work by the way. I like it!

  2. I just fell off my seat! That’s awesome man! I love how the army snuck in there too!

    This also throws off my earlier guess of The Muppets movie out the window, haha…or does it… :)

  3. Dude. Yes. Loving the greatness going on here! I hope you land a kickin deal with them too! Really great stuff, and what a creative solution to use the knife. That alone sets this apart, plus your execution is flawless.

  4. I would like to have seen something with actual imagery mixed with effects and typographic work. I’m not feeling this one as much as the the other works from your gallery e.g. The ‘Awesome” work, a really strong image with nice typographic work over the top mixed with some cool effects.

  5. Gotta say I kinda agree with Leukocyt on this, was pretty hyped to see what was being worked on, but just not feeling it, especially compared to your earlier stuff which does kick arse. I certainly prefer the usage of typeface on the examples you showed, but I still just feel this has that kinda ‘auto trace’ feel about it. I don’t believe for one minute you did, but I think that’s why is looses that spark of difference, it almost could have been.

  6. HEY MAN,

    nice job!!!! I nearly forgot that I had that Rambo Survival Knife pack when I was young……….damn! Live Show tonight?


  7. Thanks for the comments, gang.

    Sam and Simon, appreciate the feedback guys. When it comes to effects and things that you mentioned, this thing was built for screenprint so I couldn’t use any of the flares, fades or gradients found in earlier work. Trust me, it was hard to NOT go that direction after working there for so many years. This poster is a 5-colour job where all that other work was … dunno, a million. :)

    Just wanted to point that out. Not in disagreement or anything, just that this one is a different medium than all my previous work. Definite learning curve. Thanks guys.

  8. To me, from a visceral standpoint, this poster crushes the DRIVE one. Mainly because the movie is a huge part of my youth. Still watch it at least once a year. I hope I can land one of these suckers. Nice work, man.

  9. Looks sweet :-) You get the coolest projects. I’m also looking forward to see what it’ll give once screen printed.

    I’m actually liking the orange version (bottom right) better than the one you settled on, but that’s just me.

  10. Really nice! Have to agree with Chris, I prefer this to the DRIVE poster purely for the emotional content (both mine and John’s ;)
    First Blood is one of only a handful of movies that I have to watch until the end if I catch even one frame whilst channel-hopping (Quadrophenia being another).
    One question – what prompted the change to the sans-serif face in the final version?

  11. Chris, appreciate the note man. Happy to hear that coming from a fellow old-schooler. Rambo was a staple of my childhood.

    Simon, thanks man. I’ll be honest, that orange scheme was really hard to let go of. I dig how it was coming along, but it just didn’t “feel” like the movie to me. Tone wasn’t right, so I put it aside … for now. Working on a neat varient where that might fit nicely.

  12. Richard, right on. Thanks man. The original typeface I was using, and this may sound silly, was too wide making the title of the film too small for my taste. I had a look at the original Struzan poster (which I love) and wanted a similar kind of san-serif.

  13. Looking good James! Love the army guys in the chest and the knife as well. I actually got one of those knives for Christmas one year when I was about 7! That sort of gift just doesn’t fly this day and age.

    Would liked to have seen a couple more ‘easter eggs’ like the army guys. Maybe a silhouette of Rambo falling from a limb in the background trees with the chopper off in the distance. Or something like that. But i’m no artist and too much could also take away from the poster. Again, it looks awesome and you totally captured the feel of the forest scenes.

    Well done…an easy +1 for me.

    SO GLAD to see you taking your work in this direction! It was hard to see all the mishaps you had with the Drive poster but you took it like a champ and your honesty with the situation was really appreciated. If the end result is we start getting screen prints of your work then everybody wins! We can be a finicky bunch over at EB but it’s only because we love the hobby so much. I am super stoked you have thrown your hat in the ring! I can’t wait to see how this looks in person… not to mention some future works. Cough Predator Cough Cough. ; )

  14. I REALLY like this one, James. The knife treatment is really well done, playing with positive and negative space, then hitting it with the white. I confess, I didn’t notice the camo/soldiers at first… I had to scroll back up to the poster and then had that “AHA” moment. I also congratulate you on how I think you captured that look of fear, energy, alertness, ready to attack feeling on Sly’s face! Nicely done. ~ Quig

  15. I dig it, only thing I would maybe change is placing more blood splatters on the “First Blood” text and maybe switching the Stallone to white, other than that, bang up job!

  16. Hope my above comments about Easter Eggs didn’t come off as pretentious or anything. As I said, I’m no artist.

    The more I see this poster the more it draws me in. The above comment about the “look of fear, energy, alertness, ready to attack” hit the nail on the head.

    Looking forward to the release info.

  17. Kiren, so funny that you brought up the white “Stallone”. It was white right up until the last second then I switched it to red. In white it tended to bleed (heh heh) into the FIRST BLOOD text taking importance away from the title. Just one of those things that caused stress in that layout as I looked at it. I wanted it white initially because i only wanted the blood to be red. Design choice, it was a tricky one for sure.

    Ryan, never apologize for honest crits buddy! I appreciate all the feedback I get. Thanks man!

  18. The poster looks awesome! I really like the style of this and the Drive poster. I really think if you keep it up with these great posters then pretty soon you will be designing “official” movie posters.

    What do you think of the newest Rambo movie? I never get tired of watching it. It’s nice and short, and I love the end scene when he hops on the truck mounted gun.

  19. I think you should sell the orange “finished” one as a variant. It’s pretty badass looking, along with the finished version of course.

  20. This is mediocre…. i wouldn’t personally hang it. I think you should stick to what you’re good at bro

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