Question 1, poster

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Evaluation of my A2 film poster- Question 1

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Question 1, poster

  1. 1. A2 Media Evaluation –Question 1 (POSTER) By Amy Payne
  2. 2. 1 2 3 45 67 8 9
  3. 3. 1. In terms of the rule of thirds, my poster is conventional, as the reader’s gaze is first drawn to the top of the poster with the actor’s names, which then reads downwards to the doll’s vivid eyes. The main focus in the poster is the doll’s eyes, which makes the poster confrontational and uncomfortable for the viewer. This is conventional of a film poster and a horror genre, as it makes the viewer feel as if they are being personally targeted, which is seen in film posters such as Insidious. However, I have developed this idea by having the doll closer to the viewer, which gives more of an immediate impact on the viewer.
  4. 4. 2. As the doll is presented in the form of a close-up, it makes the viewer feel more of a connectionwith the doll, as if they are made to feel part of the secret that the doll is hiding. This is ironic as it goesagainst the narrative, in which the audience are closer to the girl- which suggests that the doll being closemakes her seem deceiving. This links to the Dead Silence film poster, in which a dummy is close to theviewer, as if to imply a twisted connection between the dummy and the viewer. This idea is reinforced bythe fact that the dummy has a finger to his mouth, as if to suggest a hidden secret that has been sharedwith the viewer. This links to my poster, as the doll has a knife to her lips, and therefore it is almost likedramatic irony, like the viewer is exposed to an ominous secret that is not known by characters in thefilm. However, I have challenged the use of close-up that is found in Dead Silence, as the doll has no facialexpression in comparison to the dummy, and so it makes the image more jarring as a whole, and confusesthe audience as to what the doll’s intentions are- therefore creating intrigue and ambiguity, andpersuading the viewer to watch the film. As the doll fills the entire poster and is in centre frame, it impliesthat the dolls are of high importance in the film, and that the narrative will revolve around them- but alsolinks to the narrative in the sense that the girl seems to focus all her attention on the dolls, as they are theonly company she has.
  5. 5. 3. The doll is giving direct eye contact with the viewer, which makes them feel uncomfortable, which makes the poster more focused on the genre of horror rather than the narrative. This links to The Woman in Black, in which the last shot of the film shows the woman, stood still in the house. After a moment’s silence, her eyes turn directly to the audience, which has implications that she is targeting the audience. I used this idea for my poster, to make the audience feel more involved rather than acting as an observer. This makes the poster more effective as an advertisement to young adults who enjoy horror films, as it is involving them, rather than the poster being of the doll being threatening towards the girl in the film. The doll’s stare is also reinforced and emphasized by the vivid blue colour, which was achieved by creating multiple image layers and increasing the saturation. The colour blue has connotations of coldness, to suggest that the dolls are unemotional and cold.
  6. 6. 4. The doll’s tears give the impression of melancholy and sadness, which hasconnotations of family dramas and social realism. Although this might subvert conventionsof a typical horror film poster, it makes the viewer intrigued as to what relevance or linkthe tears have to the narrative, and therefore persuades them as a form of advertisementto watch the film. The expression of sadness is also found in the poster Shutter, in whichthere is a blurred image of a woman, with streaks running down her face. However, I havetaken this idea further as the viewer can clearly see the doll’s eyes whereas in Shutter theyare blacked out, which creates a stronger connection with the viewer. Furthermore, thedoll has a blank expression, which makes the image more disturbing, and gives theimpression that the doll is deceitful. This links to the idea of reality and appearance, whichis distorted throughout the film. Because of this, it makes the image conventionallysurreal, as the contrast between the tears and the lack of expression makes it visuallyjarring and bizarre.
  7. 7. 5. The knife blends in visually to the bottom of the page, which at a glance makes it less obvious.However, the rule of thirds is used here, as the viewer’s attention is focused on the doll’s eyes,which then follows directly downwards to the knife. As the knife is not immediately noticeable, itsuggests that the film will contain hidden secrets throughout, that rely on the audience’sattention to notice, rather than being directly given the information. The use of subtle knifeimagery is also found in the poster for Scream 4, which at a glance is the side profile of theinfamous scream killer. However, the chin of the character morphs into a blade, which is done tosubtly imply threat and danger. However, I have challenged this idea by making the knife evenmore subtle, as it has no colour or tone to suggest that it is a knife, but relies on audience toacknowledge the shape. By doing this, it makes the knife appear less threatening and indistinct,which makes the doll appear more innocent, which links to my film and the idea of distortingappearances. This image links to the hypodermic needle theory, which suggests that mediaconsumers are passive, and will accept messages for their “face value”, rather than challengingthem or forming their own opinions. However, that is not the case with my poster, as I did notwant the message of danger to be overly obvious, but for the viewer to look at it for themselvesand form their own opinion.
  8. 8. 6. The font used for the film is childlike, as if it was handwritten by a child. Because of this, it links to the image of the doll and the idea of playing, which make the situation seem innocent. However, the colour scheme used for the titles is red and black, which have connotations of death, danger and bloodshed. The font is similar to that of Orphan, in which the font used is erratic and childlike, and has a scratch like effect. However, I have developed this idea by using two colours , that are significantly used for effect. The fact that two colours are used puts emphasis on ‘Hush’, as black is the more dominant and bold colour, which is done to reinforce the idea of threat and forcefulness. This colour scheme is conventional for horror films, and is used for the film posters of Frankenstein and Dracula. As these are classic horror films, it perhaps therefore suggests that although it is a short film and is therefore likely to be experimental, it also has elements of classic horror, to appeal to both a contemporary and older audience. and ‘Hush’ is in a large font compared to the rest of the title, which puts emphasis on it to give the title more ominous undertones. As ‘Hush’ is positioned underneath the knife, it links to the idea of murder, but is phrased in a way that sounds innocent, as if it were a parent calming a child at bedtime. Because of this, it suggests that there are certain aspects of the narrative that appear to be innocent but in reality are not, such as dolls - but the also the girl and how she is initially presented as being be emotionally calm and stable.
  9. 9. 7. In terms of the film’s tagline, the use of the pronoun ‘They’ is in reference tothe dolls, which makes them seem distanced from the viewer. Because of this, itgives a hint to the audience that the dolls are not of good intentions, and that theyshould not connect with them, despite the fact that the image of the doll is close,with the doll staring directly at the viewer. This makes it more ominous, as itsuggests that although dolls are innocent toys, they are deceptive in the film. Themenace is also reinforced by the word ‘only’, which raises questions in the vieweras to the truth behind the dolls’ intentions. The use of vocabulary is also similar tothat of The Children, in which the tagline is: ‘You brought them into the world.They will take you out.” Both taglines are used to dehumanize the antagonists,which creates ambiguity around them and makes them seems threatening andunemotional. However, my tagline is shorter, which creates more impact as it isshort and sharp, which is conventional of a poster, as it is advertising the film in adirect and abrupt way.
  10. 10. 8. The release date for the film is the 21st October 2013, ten days before Halloween. This is anappropriate release date for the poster, and indicates to the viewer that it is a horror film, butalso makes the advertisement more effective as appeals to the target audience who would beaware of horror films being released at this time. The date is positioned at the bottom of thepage- the last aspect to be read by the viewer. Because of this, it will stay in the viewer’s mind,and make them more likely to watch the film as they are more likely to remember the releasedate. This is similar to the poster for Paranormal Activity 4, which was released in the UK onOctober 17th 2012. On the poster, the date is also positioned at the bottom- however, thedifference is that my poster has an exact release date, whereas Paranormal Activity 4 justincludes the month of release. The reason for this is because the Paranormal Activity films arewell known and established within mainstream cinema, an d so they rely on viewer’s loyalty towatch the next film. With my film, it is not targeted at a mainstream audience, as it is a shortfilm that is unlikely to be shown in cinema, so I have to provide all information of the releasedate to draw in the audience’s interest.
  11. 11. 9. At the bottom of the poster, the doll fades into white, which is achievedusing a feathering tool in Photoshop for a gradual fade. The colour white hasconnotations of innocence and purity, which contrasts to the threateningimagery of the doll. In addition, it gives the poster a dreamlike and ghostlyquality, which suggests to the viewer that the film focuses on surrealism andfantasy. Visually, it balances out with the text at the bottom, but also doesnot detract from the image of the doll. This links to The Blair Witch Project,where the same effect has been used. However, it is used in The Blair WitchProject using dark colours, to suggest isolation and secrets. I have challengedthis idea by using white, as it is not expected, and makes the poster seem likethere is no secrecy and innocent. This is intentional as it subverts theaudience’s expectations, and leads them into a false sense of thinking thatthe dolls have no secrets, and therefore making the narrative more surprisingand interesting to watch.

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