A film poster is a poster that is used within the advertising stage of a film and is paramount in the marketing of a film; as it allows for the audience to be very visually interested and excited by the film in a variation of ways.
Studios often print several different posters that vary in size and content in accordance to the market.
A film poster typically contains an image with text. The text usually includes the films title in large font (this is crucial, as it needs to ensure that the audience is aware of what is being advertised) and the main actors names. Including the actors names helps to promote the film, as if the film has popular stars this will encourage the audience to go and watch the film.
There may also be a tag line, names of the characters and directors as well as a release date. The tag line is typically very shot and direct to the point which therefore makes it very eye catching.
The image is conventionally a very large background image, that is extremely dominant and eye catching. Typically, the image used is of the main feature or character of the film.
The colour scheme within the poster is typically in a uniformed mannerism, and the colours usually contrast with the others so that they are as visible and exciting for the audience as possible.
Within posters, the representation of the images, texts, colours and fonts must all clearly identify the genre of film being portrayed this is because, if this isn’t clear the audience may be confused or put off by the film. For example, colours such as pinks and purples all suggest elegance and innocence, so therefore if they were used within a horror poster may cause confusion.
As my film is a horror, during my research and planning I decided to concentrate and adapt ideas from the following films.
Sorority Row As shown, there are three different versions of the sorority row poster available. The variation in style may be due to the situating of the poster. The font and sizing of the films title is predominately much larger than the rest of the text used, and in a completely different font; this ensures that it stands out and is as eye catching as possible. The red used within the title helps to support the idea that the film is a horror, and that although the poster is portraying very feminine girls that it is going to have a much deeper and more hidden meaning. At the bottom section of all three posters, the actors names, director and distribution company is all listed. Like mentioned before, if high in demand and popular stars are listed this will help to entice and interest the audience. A release date is included within the posters, alongside a short and snappy tag line/ unique selling point; this helps to make the film feel unique, and persuade the audience to go and watch it. The representation of all three images is very dark and gloomy, however has some essence of life within the characters portrayed, this supports the idea of mystery and in a sense is an unconventional feature. The fire in the background of the first two images helps to support the idea of danger and fear, whereas in the third the dagger and bleakness of the colours used helps to imply uncertainty and fear. The posters are closely associated with the films teaser trailer, as it reveals all of the lead female characters. The house that is shown in the background helps to imply the idea that this is where the film is going to be situated, and this helps to provide the audience with a sense of understanding and reassurance of the film. The lighting within all three posters has been edited so that the main focal points of the poster are targeted towards the centre of the poster, and predominately the girls included. This supports the idea that they are the main characters within the film, and have the most dominance and importance.
The Ring Importance cast, actors, director and distribution company names. Large dominant title, in the centre of the frame. Unique font used, and remained colour theme throughout. No characters are included which emphasises the mystery and sense of unknowing. Tag line/unique selling point that is quick and direct. Implies a deeper hidden meaning, as it doesn’t provide too much information regarding the film. Dull and lifeless coloured background that helps to support the idea of lifelessness and motionlessness; implying the idea of a horror film.
Conventions of my poster Quote, this adds to the attraction of the film. My character takes up so much of the frame that it is hard to distinguish her surrounding and whereabouts; thus again adding to the sense of unknowing and mystery. Dominant image which it situated across the whole frame. This helps to identify that the film is a horror. Tag line/unique selling point. Provides the audience with some sort of preview without giving away too much of the film. Release date; acts as information for the audience. Certification logo, actors names and distribution company. All helps to promote the stars and films attraction.
Throughout all three pieces of my work, I have tried to remain a similar colour theme. This typically being red, white, black and green/yellow. In regards to typical conventions of real media products being genre specific, horror films and in particular their posters typically use very similar ranges of colours; such colours are very lifeless and dull, and help to support the ideas of mystery, tension and fear. Red is the most predominately used colour within horror films, however is usually associated with blood. In regards to my own work, I have tried to move away from this, and merely used red to help my title stand out and be as bold, and supreme as possible. I feel the use of these colours within my own work, and real media products really helps to support the genre of the film, and in a sense is a safe option to choose as the audience can easily recognise and identify such colours with the horror genre.
The colour scheme of the image used also adheres to typical conventions, as within a large majority of horror posters the frightening aspect of the film is typically represented in a dark and gloomy mannerism. I feel my image develops this idea, as I have tried to emphasise the bleakness around her eyes by really exaggerating and emphasising the darkness of her make up and pupils. Coinciding with this, I have edited the image using a variety of techniques so that she appears an abnormal and strange colour; I feel this also adheres to typical conventions, as within many horror films the possessed or taunting character is very often represented in a weird and different colour to the rest of the characters. (Some examples are shown on the next slide). My image is a typical convention, as I feel that it helps to support and promote the genre of the film, due to its mystery and gloomy/cold mannerism.
Design and layout Within my poster, I feel that predominately I have adhered to the typical conventions otherwise used within real media products in regards to my layout and design. For example, I have used a large dominant image which is situated across the entire frame of the poster; I feel this in particular is conventional as in a large majority of popular film posters this idea has been implemented. In regards to the choice of my image, I feel this again is also conventional as due to the focal point of the image being just off the centre of the frame it allows for it to be extremely eye catching as well as allow for the audience to clearly acknowledge it without having to look too closely.
My research and planning stages of the course have allowed me to recognise how typically the title of the film is not always directly central, and in regards to my two earlier mentioned studied films this is also the case. Conventionally, the title is either just below or above the centre of the frame, or directly at the bottom. In regards to my own poster, I feel I have developed upon this convention as I have allowed for my background lower opacity title to be central within the frame, however my more significant and noticeable title to be just below the centre. By doing so, it allows for the title and the image to be just as equally supreme within the frame; this is because the title doesn’t distract the audience away from the centre of the image, and neither the image distract away from the title. Coinciding with this point, I feel that if I were to place the title directly central it would overlap too much of my background image, and appear slightly too structured and ordered; whereas due to the film being horror I wanted it to look slightly more chaotic and mystery.
The font style used within my poster I feel is relatively bold and boisterous, and by portraying such mannerisms helps to support the idea of the film being very loud and chaotic. Nevertheless, the image I have used contradicts this as I feel it portrays my character to be very lost and unsure of herself, which in a way implies shyness. However, during my research and planning I noticed that typically the possessed character does appear in a such a way, but with an element of mystery and vagueness. I feel my image adheres to this, as again the character appears very emotionless and dull; she has no facial expression what so ever, which again supports the idea of mystery and suspicion.
Within my design, I have included a release date; this is a paramount convention of movie posters as it allows for vital information to be provided for the audience, and also acts as an incentive to watch the film. Similarly, in regards to incentives the quotation I have inserted at the top of the poster also acts as this, as it encourages the audience to go and watch it due to the positive review.
The persuasive language helps to promote the films likeability; for example the words ‘winner’ and ‘best’ all help to support the films popularity and attraction.
I chose to situate it at the top of the frame, as I felt that due to the layout being predominately towards the bottom section of the poster I felt that it would gain enough attraction and be eye-catching enough to be viewed. I also felt that it would not be overcrowded or demeaned by another text feature situated there. Conventionally, phrases such as these are placed amongst the text and don’t gain very much attention, however I feel that by challenging this convention would help to promote my film even more, and increase my target audiences interest and enticement.
My design also features the actors and company name at the bottom of the poster, the situating of this is a typical convention as commonly this feature is placed at the bottom is smaller font than the rest out of the main attraction and eye focal point of the poster. I feel my font sizing slightly challenges this convention as it is a lot larger than real media products, however due to its sizing I feel it emphasises the importance of my actors, and therefore acts as a promotion feature for the film, as the audience would be greatly influenced by the casting of the film.
Rule of 3rds? I feel that my poster has in a sense without me purposely meaning to included some elements of rule of thirds; this is because, my point of interest (being her eyes) has been situated about 1/3 of the way down the frame rather than being directly in the centre. By doing so it has acted as a reference point for the audience, and in a sense allowed the emphasis on her eyes to really be exaggerated. This is also similar with the title, as it is slightly lower than the centre. I feel that this has allowed for my poster to be divided into sections, which has allowed for it to be easily understood and more noticeable, without appearing too overcrowded and messy. Typically, rule of thirds is divided into nine equal sections, however I feel that due to the layout of my poster I have only been able to include three or four sections.
Semiotics has been applied within my poster through the use of my tag line ‘All is lost’; I feel this due to it having a deeper meaning in relation to my background image. For example, by including such a phrase allows the audience to acknowledge that maybe the character has been lost e.g. Her personality has been taken over or that she has caused something to be lost. Similarly, this works with the title of my film ‘imprinted’, as it implies that the character has been taken over by something or even controlled.