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Film magazine overview

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  • 1. Film Magazine Overview All of these six film Magazines have been created and designed to effectively and successfully promote films within the horror genre. Although all these Magazine front
  • 2. covers all belong to different sub genres, all of them share common similarities of conventions and how to use them effectively. Through carrying out this further research of these front covers and comparing them to one another, I have been able to clearly as mentioned identify the shared features and conventions within them and how to establish repeated patterns. All six of these magazine front covers feature typical and expected magazine conventions. The expectation to see general conventions in all of them such as the main image in which dominates the entirety of the page, and the masthead which always appears at the top right of the page. The masthead is always the largest piece of text in order to attract the audience’s attention, then the main image follows dominating the rest of the page exposing to the audience the film in which they are promoting, allowing them to gain an insight into the film’s narrative as they then realise that the main image will have something important to do with the narrative of the film. As well as the conventions mentioned, there are many others in which have been explored. Almost all of the film magazine covers feature a main character, or antagonists who are generally characters who play leading roles within the film. For example, on the front cover of TOTAL FILM they are promoting the horror film ‘Jenifer’s Body’ where she is not only the only female to be displayed but the only antagonist to be featured on the front cover who is being tormented by an evil and demonic force. This is exemplified through the clear use of
  • 3. mise-en-scene as her right hand appears to have blood dripping from it, intriguing the audience into watching the film to find out what has happened but also what happens next displaying that a significant image is effective in engaging the audience. The iconography of blood has been used to the film’s advantage due to it representing the sub-genre of Slasher. Another key convention which has been effectively carried out within five of the six magazine covers is that the protagonist is used as the dominating main image instead of the antagonist, displaying a comparison to film posters as they tend to display the antagonist that features within the narrative of the film. This could be due to the fact that the audience who read film magazines are primarily interested in the protagonist’s background within the film. Megan Fox, who play’s Jenifer, within the film ‘Jenifer’s Body’ displays a clear denotation of a ‘bimbo’ as her appearance looks as though she would fit to the protagonist role faultlessly due to her provocative clothing and her face perfectly pampered with makeup, as she stares into the camera with a fiery look creating direct address. Furthermore, Four out of the six magazine front covers display a clear use of direct address to fully engage the audience into reading the magazine. This use of mode of address means that the audience are then able to create a solid connection between themselves and the character on the front cover, creating an element of fear as they then want to find out the protagonists fate will end within the narrative of the film as the use of the direct
  • 4. address displays confidence on the antagonists behalf. Dissimilar to the film posters, there are no children displayed on the front covers of the magazines. This is done deliberately as the audience of the magazines are more interested in engaging with the narrative of the film rather than to be instantly terrified. All of the images which have been presented in the six magazine front covers are created and designed solidly for the audience to become engaged and persuaded, as they then go on to question the front cover which they will then later go and purchase reading and gaining knowledge into the films synopsis. As an example The EMPIRE magazine front cover which promotes the film ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ features the famous actor Anthony Hopkins automatically drawing in the attention of the audience as he is well known, successful actor. The title of the film. The name however has no correlation to the image, hooking the reader into why the actor is wearing some sort of mask which is in fact iconic for horrors, and what this has to do with the chosen film name. Four of the six front covers do not feature any sell lines which indicate that the featured film shown on the front will be the main topic of the magazine content, again appealing to the niche horror magazine audiences. This appears to be a clear convention for film magazines that are designed specifically to horror such as FANGORIA, whereas when EMPIRE have promoted a horror or thrilling
  • 5. film on the front cover, it is seen as a special edition as these types of genres are not usually featured within the front covers. There is a clear and repeated use of colours within all of the six magazine front covers, with the use of dark warm colours such as dark blues, red and black all helping to create an evil and mysterious tone to the magazines. However in contrast to the others, the edition of EMPIRE where it features the film ‘Jenifer’s Body’ the colours that have been used are more colder colours with a pale white nature in order to make sure the actress Megan Fox stands out from anything else in the frame, perhaps suggesting the reason as to why she has become an antagonist as she stands out amongst all the others. In comparison the rest of the five magazine front covers are enclosed by more warm colours, portraying the idea that their existence as humans has now been corrupted and disturbed by evil leaving them with no hope or escape. In each of the eight magazine front covers the masthead is perfectly placed at the top of the page in bold lettering so that the audience become aware of exactly what magazine it is. The masthead is also the largest, boldest text in order to entice the audience to pick the magazine up before becoming persuaded to read further by exploring the large, dominant main image. The magazine ‘FANGORIA’ is specifically designed and predominantly aimed at the genre of horror with the title itself connoting horror through the use of typography as there appears to be fangs descending out of each end of the title, almost
  • 6. reflecting a mouth, which again reiterates the genre for the audience. The magazine ‘MONSTERS UNDERGROUND’ features a variety of skull imagery which is a common feature within the genre of horror and in many cases is used as a prop. By placing the title at the top of the page it allows the audience to gain a full understanding and insight into whether the magazine is a wellestablished and well known one such as ‘EMPIRE’. This film magazine is a well-known and successfully selling film magazine which does not primarily specify in horror, so by the well branded magazine featuring and promoting a horror magazine this would create an impression that the film in which they have featured is of a high status and is being recognised by successful magazines, gaining a trust in the film from the audience. Whereas in comparison to ‘EMPIRE’, ‘FANGORIA is completely aimed in horror films, so therefore the feature of this particular genre is not as unusual. Majority of the film magazines placed above all include the names of the films in which they are promoting to engage and entice the audience into picking their magazine up, wanting to read further however some films differ as they choose to feature the name of the actor/actress within the film for marketing purposes, knowing that by featuring a well-known actress or actor on the front their target audience will definitely pick their magazine up. For example Megan fox is used to publicise the film 'Jenifer's Body' whereas the front cover ‘FANGORIA’ promoting Insidious has no mention of the actors that will feature in the film, meaning that the directors and creators of this film have chosen to let the narrative market the film but also maybe chose actors
  • 7. and actresses that are not as well known to give the narrative a sense of realism. There are symbiotic links that occur repeatedly between film posters, magazine front covers and trailers which identify which film this promotional piece belongs to. For example the ‘FANGORIA’ magazine promoting the film ‘INSIDIOUS’ continues the repeated colour scheme that occurs within all three of these promotional pieces, Such as the dark red, black and use of white tones that are displayed throughout all three. By choosing these particular colours not only stands by common conventions but gives the audience an insight of knowledge into the nature of the film insidious, giving them a better understanding again enticing them to watch the film. Another symbiotic link that features is under lighting. The magazine front cover displays the antagonist within the narrative, but because of the under lighting a devious persona is revealed which is reinforced by the dark colours. The film poster also uses dark lighting to portray the possession of the young child who features in the film. Therefore proves that by using symbiotic links for a promotional package it allows the audience to understand the narrative better whilst giving them an insight into the world of the film, but also displays a clear use of effectiveness and professionalism as everything has been thought about in terms of fully engaging the audience.