Behing the Project: “What-If” Movie Posters

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. Peter Stults creates movie posters reimagined for another time and place - like, what would the “Spring Breakers” poster look like if it starred James Dean? Although when Stults first released his work to his personal networks, the response was “like crickets in an awkward silence,” he became an overnight sensation on Behance, going completely viral. He was even recently commissioned to create a movie poster for an upcoming Paul Schrader (of Taxi Driver) movie. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
Since 1999 I’ve been playing with the idea of “what-if” oriented concepts. It first started with making movie posters for books I was reading. Then I was doing posters based on concepts – like what if you had Brad Pitt and Keanu Reeves in some religious thriller? The next step in evolution was making posters for movies featuring a star who was going to be cast, but didn’t get up getting the role. For example, Jack Nicholson as the father in “A Christmas Story” or Tom Cruise as Iron Man. Friends of mine later forwarded me the work of Sean Hartter who crafted the “different era” concept, which greatly inspired my What-if poster making process.

Can you describe your process in creating this project?
Much of it is brainstorming. I’ll be on the subway or walking around, and I first think of a movie, then think of the setting and genre, then the actors. Once I’ve got the concept, I loosely sketch out the poster’s style, thinking about things like horizontal or vertical orientation (depends on the Era). Once sketched out, I look for photographs and images of the actors. I have a collection of pulp fiction books and old magazines and newspapers that I use to derive texture, aged effects and reviewing color spectrum and type face. Most of my posters will start in Photoshop, but I incorporate Illustrator, scanning things in, and even hand-drawing some parts.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
I was absolutely not at all ready for the popularity. I had first passed some of these posters around on Flickr and Facebook and it was the equivalent of crickets in an awkward silence situation. I remember being super proud of my Avatar, Fifth Element and Inception posters, but barely got any “likes.” So, when creating my Behance profile, I did not think anything of them. I was crossing fingers my illustration-based work would get some traction.

Did anything interesting happen as a result of the success of this project? (fans contacting you, job opportunities, blogs picking it up, etc).
When the posters went viral, a whole wave of things took place. The famous fashion store Colette, based in Paris, France, contacted me about doing a show on the posters. I had never done an art show before, so my first show being an international one at a well-known fashion store was not too bad.

Then, I was contacted to create the promotional poster for the upcoming movie “The Canyons,” which is directed by Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), screenplay by Bret Easton Ellis (author of American Psycho and Less Than Zero) and starring Lindsay Lohan and adult entertainment star James Deen. So, my first professional movie poster offering being “The Canyons” was pretty phenomenal.

There has been a wave of freelance work I’ve been a part of that have resulted in some cool projects. I’ve been covered in various blogs and online news sources (Huffington Post, Elle, Slate, Premiere, Fast Company, Business Insider, Yahoo Movies, BuzzFeed, Daily What, Flavorpill, Paste Magazine, Laughing Squid and many more). And the results haven’t slowed. I do a “What If” poster each month for the French movie magazine “So Film.” I’m working on a show in England right now and recently I got contacted by a gallery owner in Brooklyn, all for the “What If” posters.

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This Week’s Most Appreciated Projects

Appreciations are a way to send genuine kudos to another creative professional on Behance. This is our community’s way of curating the network, so that the best projects gain the most exposure. Here’s a look at two of the most appreciated projects on Behance this week:

Nina Geometrieva steered clear of the traditional corporate approach when building a full brand identity for OUEN, a human resources outsourcing company. Instead, Geometrieva decided to implement more of a humanist feel to the logo and each application – check out the full project here.

In honor of his late father, Creative Director/Illustrator Kirk Wallace designed this minimal tattoo. Wallace managed to capture the many lessons his father taught him and honor his spirit in this one design -  learn more about his approach, check out his sketches and see the final implementation here.

Live from the 99u conference

The 2013 99u conference is well under way, and the first day has been nothing short of incredible. We started off the day with interactive studio sessions, heard some insightful speakers, and ended with intimate master classes.

Here are some memorable pictures & tweets from an epic Day 1.

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Behance Wins a Webby Award for Self-Promotion/Portfolio

The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, and we’re thrilled to be included among this year’s incredible list of winners! Behance won the ‘Self-Promotion/Portfolio’ award, which means we’re on the right path to help creatives achieve the exposure they deserve. That said, this is just the beginning and our team is hard at work on a number of updates, projects and new features that we can’t wait to share. Stay tuned!

Learn more about the Webbys and check out the other amazing winners and nominees here.

Updated: Behance App for iPhone!

Earlier last week, we updated our iPhone app to version 2.2.  This app brings WIP (Work in Progress) for mobile users front and center – because as you know, where you work isn’t confided to your desk.  Most excitingly, we’re now pulling images from editing apps like Adobe Photoshop Touch to add to WIPs, that way mobile users can share their work with the rest of the world as easy as our desktop users!

We’re also working on our iPad app and we’re looking for suggestions for you, our users.  Contact us here.

James Victore: Aphorisms on Art & Idea Execution

Hosted by New York’s Ace Hotel, 99U Conference presenter and artist James Victore’s installation “Aphorisms on Art & Idea Execution” presents bold, simple messages to not only creatives, but anyone with an idea worth doing.  Victore’s work includes 1993′s “Racism,” and other works featured at the Louvre and The Library of Congress.

The lurid orange text screen printed on seemingly generic paintings slaps you with messages like “Kill the critic” or “Stop looking for permission,” advice that needs little-to-no explanation. And, if you forget your camera, there are rolls of inspirational stickers opposite the installation that viewers can help themselves to.  99U’s very own Jocelyn Glei interviewed James Victore about his process and workflow.

The exhibit runs through May 25th.  For more info, visit the Ace Hotel’s website.

US Event Roundup: Attend a Portfolio Review

Behance Portfolio Review Week is approaching, and hundreds of events around the world are already being organized and discussed! It’s not too late to host an event in your area or RSVP to attend. To learn more about Behance Portfolio Reviews please visit

Check out some US-based events:

New York

When: Thursday, May 16th, 2013 6:45 PM
Where: Huge Brooklyn, 45 Min St. Fl 2, Brooklyn NY

RSVP here


When: Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 6:00 PM
Where: Next Door 659 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

RSVP here


When: Monday, May 20th, 2013 6:30 PM
Where: Vitamin T 817 West Peachtree Street Northwest #925 Atlanta, GA

RSVP here


When: Saturday, May 18th, 2013, 11:00 AM
Where: Nerve Gallery & Studios, 4819 Woodall St, Dallas TX 75247

RSVP here


When: Thursday, May 16th, 2013, 7:00 PM
Where: Filter, 5th Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle WA

RSVP here

Many more cities are hosting in the US and around the world! Look for an event near you at


Behance’s Annual 99U Conference is next week!

We’re only days away from our annual 99U Conference and the Behance office is buzzing with preparations for the big event. Each year, the 99U team brings together a handful of the world’s most productive creative visionaries and researchers to share pragmatic insights on how to push great ideas forward, create incredible art, build businesses, and change the world. Check out this year’s lineup of speakers:

Can’t make it to this year’s conference? Not to worry – we’ll be live tweeting from @99U and recapping the talks on, stay tuned!