Lionsgate is out for blood — literally — when it comes to promoting its latest “Saw” pic.
A vial of blood from “Saw” star Tobin Bell — who plays the villain Jigsaw — was mixed with red ink and printed on a poster for the next installment in the horror franchise.
Lionsgate also will hold blood drives in conjunction with the Oct. 27 opening of “Saw III,” as it has for previous openings in the series.The idea was hatched by Lionsgate marketing honcho Tim Palen.
“We decided to do a poster and he’s wearing a red cloak. I was talking to the printer and asked what we could do to get the deepest blood red. I asked if it would be possible to use actual blood. There was silence. He said, ‘We could try, but are you serious?’ I said I was dead serious,” Palen said.
Bell also went silent when Palen presented his idea.
“He said, ‘That’s really weird,'” Palen recalled. But Bell agreed, and a trip to the doctor’s office was skedded.
Printing house Insync Media in Inglewood checked in with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration before agreeing to the idea and learned that everyone involved with printing the poster had to wear gloves and masks.
“It’s something we’ve never done before. Quite frankly, everyone in my shop loved doing it,” said Insync prexy Harold Huttas. “Tim always goes for the creative, and he gets a little farther out there each time.”
It’s actually not the first time real blood has been used in such a way. Adidas gathered blood from each player of the New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, for a poster to be given away when fans buy a $70 team jersey. Each of the 8,000 posters comes with a certificate of authenticity.
In the case of Lionsgate, the posters from the first printing — about 1,000 in all — will be sold for $20, minus the first print, which will be auctioned off. All proceeds from the auction and sales will go to the Red Cross.
During the first blood drive, 4,249 pints were collected, with 10,154 during the second.
“The whole blood theme is the thread that runs through the whole ‘Saw’ campaign,” said Palen, adding he didn’t know about the Adidas promotion.