Sunday, November 27, 2022

Putting My Best Foot Forward

For my cover design for 1993 Hong Kong martial arts actioner, THE BARE-FOOTED KID, I decided to put my best foot forward. Literally. 

I coated the bottom of my foot with India ink and stamped it on Bristol board. Then I painted the characters around it leading the eye back toward the protagonist, the titular "kid" (Kwan Fung-yiu), played by Cantopop superstar Aaron Kwok. (Can't miss him, I have several arrows pointing right at him!)

His bare feet drawing attention, as they alone break the lower frame. Maggie Cheung looking pensive as she does so well. The late Kenneth Tsang adding gravitas, as he did so well. Shaw Brothers veteran, Ti Lung, walks off into the distance. Which is suitable, since this film was a remake of the 1975 Shaw classic DISCIPLE OF SHAOLIN, and was produced as the studio itself sadly faded into the history books. Trapped on all sides, mysterious, unseen, marauders provide a threat to our ragged hero. As his love interest, always left behind, weighs heavy on his shoulders. (I added a tiny tear running down her cheek, but it's so small it's hard to notice.)  

Originally I had more paint drips, referencing Kwan' job at the dye factory. But ultimately it was more of a distraction and, at the behest of my client, I removed them.

The film is a fairly beige affair, so I tried to liven up the color palette a bit and settled on orange. It's in the same overall vein as beige, but less drab and more energetic. I then added some "cool blue" tones for Tsang as the antagonist. 

Next time... the dead get deadly.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

NIGHT of the SHADOW of the WING of the HAWK

Time for another "eco-horror, animals-strike-back" flick. In fact, prepare yourself for a DOUBLE dose of late 1970s (Canadian-made) terror. Well, to be honest, I'm not too sure if either of these films are truly all that fright-inducing. But they have their moments, and are fun and entertaining in their own ways. 

NIGHTWING (1979) stars a young and handsome Nick Mancuso struggling with a swarm of angry vampire bats riled up by greedy oil prospectors. 

While SHADOW OF THE HAWK (1976) stars a young and handsome Jan-Michael Vincent coming face to face with black magic... and an angry bear in a pretty cool scene. (As is the car crash scene.) Both films deal with tribal rituals and beliefs of native peoples, so they do work well as a double bill.

For the Blu-ray cover art I selected a suitable color palette for each film, to visually group those elements, and then did a soft vertical blend giving each movie equal weight.

If I was to do the art again today, I might do it in a more loose painterly (i.e. "rough") style. Doing so might convey that 70s horror vide a bit more. But for what it's worth, I've never been that impressed with my own work. I look at it and think what's the big deal, even I could do THAT. Oh wait, I DID! 

For the cover of the enclosed Blu-ray booklet, I did a simple composite of elements from each film's vintage marketing.

Next time, I put my best foot forward.