This page is dedicated to posters for short and feature length films.
“One of those Days” Film Poster
This is the poster for my short film for which I tried to implement as many conventions from other film posters as I could find. I felt the poster represents my short film well and I tried to be a bit different with my stylistic touches such as the use of colour on a black and white background. I also added in some film festival logos to add a certain prestige to the project.
Poster Analysis: The Hangover and Comedy Genre Conventions
The poster for The Hangover features the main characters all on the poster certainly looking a little worse for wear. The title is toward the bottom of the poster taking up the entire width of it. The title play on the “bright lights of Vegas” cliché that we all know too well even without having visited Las Vegas, the background of the image also plays on the Las Vegas theme. Below the title is cast and crew credits with a release date at the very bottom. At the top of the poster is a credit for the director “From the Director of Old School” and the tagline “Some Guys Just Can’t Handle Vegas”. These two pieces of text would be enough to draw in comedy fans alone.
This is a very good poster which sells the product very well but more importantly, appropriately.
Many comedy films have similar posters to this including:
– Due Date: http://0.tqn.com/d/movies/1/0/E/X/W/due-date-movie-poster.jpg
– Grown Ups: http://0.tqn.com/d/movies/1/0/X/Q/V/grownupsposter.jpg
– Old School: http://uk.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/33/MPW-16722
The key conventions for a comedy poster are:
– Main characters in stances that are relative once the film is seen, funny and usually a bit wacky!
– Title credited below the image of the characters
– Credits of Director’s previous work, name not printed
– A tagline that is funny and that will hook you
These are very similar posters to that of the previously highlighted Rom-Com posters.
Poster Analysis: Hot Shots: Part Deux
The posters for Hot Shots: Part Deux parody the Rambo films in a similar vein as to how Top Gun was parodied in the poster for the original Hot Shots. In this marketing campaign, Charlie Sheen is far more prominent occupying almost the entirety of both posters and on the poster on the left is credited quite entertainingly making reference to the other Sheen, Martin. The images used of Sheen are comedic in one he has the Rambo headband the wrong way and in the other he prepares to fire a chicken from a bow. The second poster (right) has a tagline that reads “JUST DEUX IT” without crediting Sheen. This may be a reference to the Nike tagline “Just Do It”, again this uses postmodern audiences knowledge of previous experiences (with Nike and Rambo, which I’ll discuss later) to sell the poster.
The text almost directly imitates that of the one used on the posters for the original trilogy of Rambo films which was big, in capitals and bright red. The titles here continue to be central but are positioned towards the bottom of the poster, just above the cast crew credits. For a look at the Rambo posters parodied you can use this link to a number, some are more obvious influences than others: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=rambo+poster&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=bZsDU62SOKvA7AaTroHoDw&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=650#q=rambo+posters&tbm=isch
Hot Shots: Part Deux again uses comedic appeal to hook audiences rather than focusing on names like more critically acclaimed film might. The poster is appropriate for the film and the two run parallel very nicely, complementing each other exceptionally well.
Poster Analysis: Hot Shots
Hot Shots a comedy that parodies other films as seen here, the poster is spoofing Top Gun, Hot Shots was released in 1991, 5 years after Top Gun but this shows how playing on other genres can be effective.
The title also replicates that of Top Gun’s using a similar font and backing on the red and blue wing graphic which riffs well on the “fighter pilot” angle which occupied both movies. The title occupies the top, centre part of the poster with no cast credits above it. The tagline for the movie “The Mother of All Movies” is shown above the cast and crew credits.
The poster for Hot Shots looks to sell on it’s comedic appeal and uses well known media texts which it parodies (Top Gun) to help promote the film. This poster does a very good job of promoting the film and is very appropriate. This is a good poster.
Poster Analysis: Rom-Com Genre Conventions #2
Again, key conventions of Rom-Com posters can be seen here with occasional minor differentiations on the conventions.
-Characters take up majority of poster
-Key cast billed above title
Poster Analysis: Rom-Com Genre Conventions #1
As can be seen, the posters for these Rom-Com’s are all very similar with only slight stylistic differences. The lovers stand taking up the majority of the poster (usually centrally but not always cf. Pretty Woman and Wedding for Bella) with the title, star credits and taglines usually over the image of the romantic couple. It’s all very simple but it sells the films well as this almost formulaic poster layout has been used for over 20 years now!
Poster Analysis: Two Weeks Notice
The poster for Two Weeks Notice sells on it’s stars whom regularly star in Romantic Comedies. The two take up the majority of the poster with them visible from the waist up and they are stood against the backdrop of an American city in which the film will be set.
All key text is located through the central column of the poster spreading to the left and right like the title does covering almost the entire width of the poster and this immediately catches the eye of the observer. The title itself plays on an almost universal idea of having to give “two weeks notice” when leaving your job as one of the characters does in the film (hence the relativity of the title). Above the title, the leading actor and actress are credited. The text, again, is quite large as audiences know both Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant, this clearly being a selling point for the producers. At the bottom is the quote “Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant are a perfect match”, another hook for audiences. This plays on key conventions of the Rom-Com poster with a stance from the two lovers, star billing is key and the title often plays on the theme of the film.
Overall, this sells the film well and the film delivers a similar tone to the poster so this is quite successful as a poster.
Poster Analysis: Jurassic Park 1-3
These are the posters for Jurassic Park (L), JP: The Lost World and Jurassic Park III (R), I’ve grouped these together as they’re all so similar and this was the easiest way to do it.
The designs for the posters are very simple with the JP logo the focal point of the poster and the text around it merely supplements to the “main attraction” if you will.
The logo for JP is ever present throughout with a different title through each incarnation of the logo on each poster. The logo is very basic on the first poster, slowly progressing to more detail versions of the logo. Unusually for a franchise logo, the colours change, the orange outline is yellow for the second poster and finally grey for the 3rd. For the first 2 posters (left and centre, above the logo reads ‘A Steven Spielberg Film’ however not so on the poster for JP3, this would most likely, largely have been down to the fact that this was a teaser poster so all details were minimal with a release date of ‘SUMMER 2001’ being the most useful piece of information on the poster, this still is very brief. The first two posters both feature cast and crew credits along with various production company logos along the bottom of the poster such as Amblin Entertainment and UNIVERSAL Pictures. The two earlier posters also feature taglines that both grip the observer and sell the film. The first tagline is “An Adventure 65 Million Years In The Making”, an interesting slogan which thanks to the dinosaur-centric logo would certainly arouse viewers. The second reads “Something Has Survived” and the font is more suited to the edgier feel of this poster. This sells on the expectation that audiences would’ve seen the first JP film and would want to see the second. It’s certainly interesting to see how production companies use the fact JP was a hit to sell the sequel.
Overall, these are good posters that follow a simple pattern but are certainly effective.
Poster Analysis: Jaws
This Jaws poster is an interesting design as the image doesn’t take up the entirety of the poster. It has a selling quote at the top, above the image claiming it to from the “terrifying No.1 Best Seller” to draw audiences in.
The title stands out, in the colour red as if to show how prominent danger is with the titular shark. The title is placed near the top, in a very central position. The image sells the film very well capturing the essence of Jaws and summing up what we all would remember about the film, this has become a classic poster and image in the film world that is recognised worldwide.
Below the image, the stars are credited in a similar size writing to that of the top quote. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss are credited in a triangle with the title shown again, below. The other credits are listed at the very bottom in a smaller font.
Poster Analysis: Prince Avalanche Poster #1
This is the poster for Prince Avalanche, a small indie film starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch that toured many of the hottest independent film festival including Sundance Film Festival. The picture used gives the impression of the central relationship between Rudd and Hirsch in the film leaving multiple hints in it’s construction such as how they paint the road lines. The cones and the lines are representative of this.
The poster has all key writing in the central column of the poster such as title, cast, director and the unspecified release date. This is a teaser poster and so would be basic giving very little away. I think it looks really good, giving off an indie vibe that would be popular with it’s target audience.
Poster Analysis: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Portrait Posters #2)
The second set of portrait posters for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford has a vintage feel and were made to look like actual photographs taken from the era.
The one on the left features both Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck but only Pitt is credited. Pitt was the selling point for the film and this would be why. The title isn’t particularly big but along with Pitt’s name, stands out due to it’s colour, contrasting the dour brown background.
The poster on the right features only Casey Affleck with the title above him reading “ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE; Best Supporting Actor – Casey Affleck” with quotes from USA Today and Newsday also adorning the poster commenting Affleck is a “real revelation” and that “he gives a performance of glorious complexity” respectively. This most likely would’ve been for the post nomination announcement Oscar push, he would later lose out to Javier Bardem, an almost sure bet for No Country For Old Men.
Both posters are spot on with translating the tone, mood and atmosphere of the film yet they aren’t particularly appealing posters and most audiences wouldn’t be pulled in by bland posters of people sat down in comparison to a flying hero, decorated in all sorts of glorious colours shooting bad guys, a poster which would draw a larger number of audiences in but for accurate representation of the film, these posters get a 10/10.
Poster Analysis: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Landscape)
The landscape posters are the same as the portrait posters so I won’t talk too much about it. Just interesting to see. The poster on the right uses 4 star ratings and 3 quotes, it also displays how the film showed at the Venice Film Festival for which Brad Pitt won Best Actor for, the Venice Film Festival is far more arty and as I said in the last post, this represents the film far better than a poster with a cowboy showing his guns like a trigger happy outlaw in an action packed Western.
Previous winners at the festival included Brokeback Mountain (Dir. Ang Lee), Somewhere (Dir. Sofia Coppola), The Wrestler (Dir. Darren Aronofsky) and lesser known foreign films such as Lust, Caution (Dir. Ang Lee) – USA, China, Taiwan and Faust (Dir. Alexander Sokurov) – Russia.
Brad Pitt won the Coppa Volpi for Best Actor and is in similar company with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) and Michael Fassbender for Shame (Dir. Steve McQueen).
All these films are valued artistic films from the past 10 years and like Cannes Film Festival, Venice attracts these types of films however this wasn’t placed on every poster which again shows how Warner Bros didn’t want to promote it like award winners from previous years would’ve.
Poster Analysis: The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (Portrait #1)
These are 4 of the portrait posters for the 2007 film based on the novel by Ron Hansen that depicts the twilight years of the famous outlaw, Jesse James.
This was the main poster used when marketing the film, some of the foreign posters had quotes from such as on the Polish and Swedish versions of the poster (seen pictured far left and right from middle).
Warner Brothers didn’t initially like the film and so put very little marketing into it, this would explain the lack of posters and absence of quotes and star ratings which could have earned the film a higher revenue. Instead it’s selling point is Brad Pitt who is pictured front and centre of each poster. On some DVD cases, his face takes up the entirety of the front cover (http://www.dvdactive.com/images/news/screenshot/2008/3/jessejames3d.jpg) as seen here. Casey Affleck isn’t so well known and along with being credited second he is also in the background. No other actors were used for the marketing on posters whilst having a sizable cast of less well known character actors that only film buffs might be familiar with.
The posters do change in tone and colour for each country with the Mandarin poster being darker than the English, Polish and Swedish posters and the size of characters differ slightly. The Mandarin poster also features an image notifying audiences that the film took part in the Venice Film Festival.
The credits below the title list the key cast and crew but Brad Pitt and, less so, Casey Affleck are the focal point of the poster campaign for The Assassination for Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Importantly though the poster catches the tone of the film and as a piece of advertisement it works for what it’s advertising, it doesn’t promote a guns blazing Western action adventure but a low key, moody, thoughtful journey into the mind of arguably the most infamous figure in the West.