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Codes & Conventions of Film Posters


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Exploration of the Codes and Conventions of Film Posters

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Codes & Conventions of Film Posters

  1. 1. Codes and Conventions of Film Posters
  2. 2. What’s the purpose? • It must be eye catching & captivating to the audience • There must be a focal picture that will draw in the audience’s eye • The title of the film must be obvious • It clearly defines the film’s genre • Designed to attract the largest possible audience • Usually an indication of when the film is being released – Date or ‘Coming Soon’ or less specific ’In Cinemas This Summer’ • Credit Block – Director & Producer info
  3. 3. Written Codes (Language) ‘A comedy about growing up … and the bumps along the way.’ This dialogue is ironic, because from the iconography we can see that this girl is a pregnant teenager. As the quote from a critic situated in the right hand corner of the poster tells us, this is a comedy, so the snappy tagline anchors this and may encourage people to watch the film. Some of the actors names are running along the top of the page, which is a way of trying to entice people to watch the film as if they like one of these actors they may want to see them perform.
  4. 4. Typography The text at the top of the poster tells us that this film is ‘from the directors of…’ 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 colour-change here is used to make the phrase ‘but her life is,’ stand out from the rest of the sentence. This tells the audience that the film is about Georgia’s ‘mental’ life, the word mental is funny as it is unusual, so it may make people interested in the film. The words ‘angus’ ‘thongs’ and ‘snogging’ are all in larger font than ‘and perfect.’ These narrative cues signifies the themes of the film, making them clear to the audience. The fact that the word snogging is larger than all of the others connotes a possible a theme of love; anchored by teenage representation, this theme of love will be more ‘coming of age’ or dramatic… Also, consider the use of lower case letters in the Film Title...
  5. 5. Photographs and Illustrations This film poster has used a visual representation of a doughnut ring shape in exchange for the letter ‘O’, which creates comedy. This is effective as Homer Simpson, one of the main characters, is known for his love of doughnuts. We assume that it is Homer’s hand reaching for the doughnut (audience expectation) The fact that Homer’s hand is reaching up and taking the doughnut is also funny because from one simple image we can see everything that is loved about the Simpsons; the iconic yellow skin, Homer’s body size and his greediness.
  6. 6. Lighting The lighting in this picture seems very peaceful, as a bright yellow sunset is low in the sky, covered by blue/pink clouds overhead. The blue gives a calm sense, whereas the yellow sun signifies peace. However, the dark clouds rising overhead give a sense of something looming over the main character which suggests that something may not be as it seems. This is anchored by the bottles of alcohol underneath the man’s sunbed, as this is not normally associated with peace, more so chaos and trouble. The lighting here is artificial, used to enhance it’s effect. The use of high-key & low-key lighting anchors this binary opposition within the narrative.
  7. 7. Camera Angle and Shot The straight-on, extreme close up shot enhances the baby’s foot, which is an important way of symbolising ‘the tree of life.’ This camera angle allows it to be the main aspect of the poster design, while the extreme close-up enhances each line on the baby’s foot, paying attention to the detail and relating to the themes in the film.
  8. 8. Colour Schemes The colour black can symbolise death, loss of hope, spookiness, fear. The colour scheme in this poster is red, black and white. The colour red can signify danger, blood, death and murder. The colour white connotes ghosts, mystery and the unknown, anchored by the smoky effect in which it is used. The colours in this poster all relate to the thriller/horror genre, due to their connotations.
  9. 9. Title of the film – typography is different from the rest of the written codes. A catch phrase/tagline for the film to entice someone to watch it. Has to be a very brief idea of what the film would entail. Image of the main character or just an image which is very relevant to the film. If the image is brightly coloured and excitable you can guess it is a comedy, however the image represents the genre so it’s important it is clear what genre the film is. All the distributors, copy right information and the crew of the film is to be listed at the bottom (Credit Block) Main cast members is to be shown clearly, which denotes Star Appeal.
  10. 10. They often have an example of the film creators previous work to give an idea of what to expect from the new film. This image clearly shows it is a comedy genre as it’s a funny images and denotes a man laughing. Suggesting laughing is what you will do whilst watching the film. (Audience Gratification) Main characters as often the cast of a film depends on whether people will watch it or not. If it’s got unknown people starring people are less likely to watch it. Often shows the date of release so viewers can get excited and plan to see it.
  11. 11. All three film posters have similar generic conventions. They all show the title of the film, and the genre of all three films is clearlyrepresented by the images used on them. At the bottom of both ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘The Last Exorcism’ it shows the date of which the film will be released. On all three film posters there’s a small print of the producers/distributorsof the film which is a convention which seems to be on most posters. Also, as the actors in ‘Step Brothers’ and ‘Love Happens’ are well known it says their names at the top of the poster because people enjoy going to see a film with a successful starring role in it. All three posters have catchy slogans which also present the genre.
  12. 12. Generic conventions of horror film posters.
  13. 13. An extreme close up image of an eye is often a generic convention used in a horror movie poster. A manipulation of the eye is often used to cause it to “creep out” anyone who see’s it due to it’s eerie and unusual look. The cropped image of the eye also signifies the fear they are feeling as the eyes are often widened with fear. This creates enigma codes as nothing can be seen other than this terror-filledeye. In the poster for ‘The Candy Man’ we see a silhouette of a person within the eye. Using an eye as a horror film posters image is effective as it can be manipulated in many ways to cause it to look scary. This also creates a teaser for the audience as it gives away very little (enigmatic).
  14. 14. Many horror films are set in an eerie house which is often (especially in more supernatural films) where the evil and the horror originates. Blood and gore films sometimes also take place in a house. Usually the house is surrounded by lots of darkness to create that eerie feel to it. The appearance of the house is often very old fashioned looking and not very looked after which is unsettling for an audience as most people associate home with safety and comfort.
  15. 15. - The main character will usually be shown in a dark light to add uncertainty and fear of the unknown. - In horror film posters, it has become common for font to be almost child-like.This type of font may not be in a straight line and it would be very informal in comparison to the Serif or Script font just like how a young childwould write. - Dull colours – symbolic of fear and loneliness. This is to reflectthe genre of the film and also the emotions of the characters. - The charactersshown on a horror film poster are genericallythe main antagonist or the protagonist. They will never be very detailed as the producers would want to keep this a mystery. - The posters background is also typically very dark (low key lighting) to keep the audience unaware of what the setting is of the film. - Iconic films such as the Scream franchise depict an iconic mask worn by the antagonist, which is now a well known merchandise product on a global scale. - A dark background makes the foreground image stand out indicating that it has a significant role in the film.