Codes and Conventions of Film
A film poster is used to advertise a
One film may even have several versions of the film
poster with variations with size, content and the
country of production of the poster. A film poster
usually contains an image with text, over time this
has evolved and posters used to be image-free
billposters but are now highly visual. The text tends
to contain the film title, written in large lettering
and often has the names of the actors on the poster
as well. It most likely will also contain a tag line with
the name of the director and names of characters
and the release date etc.
Truth in Journalism
The actor’s name is running
along the top of the page
which is a way of trying to
entice people to watch the
films as if they like him they
might want to see a film he
stares in. The positioning of
the name at the top will
attract the audience to see the
short film due to the fact that
when looking at a film
poster, our eyes go from the
centre to the top.
A film poster usually contains
an image with text. The image
on a film poster will always
reflect the narrative of the film
that it is promoting. Truth in
Journalism mixes pop culture
into storytelling with a pure
'Pop Art‘ poster making clear
the film genre the film belongs
The colour scheme in this
poster is black and white
relating to the crime or film
noir genre; connotation
associated with good and
To display a larger title that
is easily read. Most film
posters are read from about
8 ft away which means it is
crucial to make the text
Director and Producers’
name might be displayed
too attracting the audience
if they like the work of the
particular director or
• The ‘Truth in Journalism’ poster contains a mid shot of the main
character. In addition the image has turned from a bitmap photo
into cartoon like vector images. This style is a common to the crime
drama genre. In addition the background of the image is in a similar
vector style however depicts the main character’s shadow on a
brick wall with stalks trying to entangle him suggesting a city jungle.
Furthermore the character is depicted in full costume and holding a
badge and a camera hanging from his neck again reinforcing the
idea of a journalism. These are also common conventions of crime
drama as well as the city location.
• The title is printed in a rough, worn looking sans serif font and
reminiscing of a newspaper lettering. The title is placed at the
bottom of the poster and placed over the image of the character.
This reinforces the fact the character is integral to film and in
addition the character profile is one that you would commonly find
in the genre of the film.
Symbiotic links are a comment convention of film posters. These allow audiences to piece together the promotional
material and allows them to understand and recognise key elements about the film that they are wishing to go and view.
Films, which have
to capture the
attention of a
wider range of
Film awards add
prestige to films
as it is there, at
where they can
for their work and
and acceptance of
follow the buzz
created in the film
Age certification usually displayed.
It is important that the posters are not overcrowded
with information and different images as it is hard to
digest and difficult to read.
There are often a range of different film posters released just for one film, as it shows different aspects of the film.
These posters feature an image and the name of the film, and sometimes a range of characters are used. Although
all the posters are all different, a similarity is always kept through the typography or structure.
The first ‘Future Assassin’ poster’s primary characteristic is the backdrop of scenery which features two vehicles, a
police car and a civilian car presumably abandoned suggesting conventions of the action or crime genre.
The title give us more clues to piecing up the storyline as an ‘’assassin’’ is someone who carries out a plot to kill a
prominent person while ‘’future’’ is the indefinite time yet to come telling that the plot probably will tell the story
of the main character becoming an assassin. The title is secondary to the image as it blends into the background
however the tag line in the upper half of the poster is very eye catching because of the red colour palette used in
it raising importance to ‘’nothing is what it seems’’ leaving our own ideas ambiguous to what it means.
The second ‘Future Assassin’ poster has a centralised close up of the main character of the film, presumably the
‘future assassin’’. However the actor isn't looking at the camera. This shows the character to be powerful and in
control of characters presented in the lower half of the poster. This character profile is common to the codes and
conventions of drama based films.
The artificial light in the darkness proposes the idea of coming out from the darkness or him being caught out by
the law enforcement and being thrust into the spotlight of the law.
The title of ‘Future Assassin’ is in a bold serif font and takes up a large proportion of the poster. In addition the
title is placed at the top of the image and doesn't overlay on to the main image of the character. This makes the
title stand out much more and is much easier to read and recognise.
The Production company’s name
above the title assigns the
importance to the previous films
they have produced however, the
text is smaller than the rest as this
information may entice people who
have enjoyed the other films to
watch it, but is not the most
important part of this particular film.
A tagline is usually evident on the
poster. Studies show that you only
have 11 seconds to grab the
attention of your audience which
may only give them the time to read
and digest the title and the tagline.
This means that both of these
features must me punchy, simple
and easy to read and understand;
they have to relate to the film in
some way, or suggest its genre or
The main credits are placed at the bottom of the poster, usually in a white font. This is
called the billing block and shows the directors, producers, actors and actresses in the
Iconography suggests the film
genre as the weapon , blood and
the presumably dead body are
connotative of a horror genre to
the target audience. Also colour
death, danger, death and murder
which further develops it into the
subgenre of slasher films which
portrays graphic acts of murder.
Important text such as the
release date and website is
placed at the bottom so the
audience will be able to take that
information away with
them, fresh in their minds as it is
the last thing they will see.
The text and colour used in the poster for ‘Margaret’ helps to presume the genre. The
blood, firearm and a brutalised victim are designed to invoke the horror genre. It give a
very strong inside of the storyline and should attract the right type of audience.
The framing of the body in the high angle shot is quite disturbing as the woman is
wearing a white dress, possibly a wedding dress which signifies purity and innocence
but it is stained with blood suggesting dishonour and madness.
The presentation of the woman with her eyes open and symbols drawn on her
forehand reminiscences of Japanese horror with its thematic themes of possession,
exorcism and shamanism. It fits with the focus on psychological horror and tension
building, particularly involving ghosts .
Also the title and the tag line are centralised on the character of ‘Margaret’ as it the
largest font that has been used to pull focus on from the image to the capitalised
lettering. The tag line ‘’a hunting affair’’ has many meanings but something definitely
worth killing for such as a matter causing scandal, a sexual relationship between two
people who are not married to each other or unfinished personal business of someone
with a vengeful vendetta though it might be a red herring giving the audience wrong
clues which are intended to be misleading.
• All of the posters contain images of the main
characters in the film. Generally the main character is
positioned centrally in the poster. Furthermore the
lighting, colour scheme and position of the actors is a
reflection of the characters in the film. Also the codes
and conventions of the film genre are reflected in the
layout, font choice and title positioning of the poster.
• To make a good film poster I would use one main
image related to the film itself. I shall also use large
lettering showing the title of the film and maybe the
actors in the film as well. My poster might also include
a tag line to tell the audience any extra information.