Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tip #82: Create a film poster

By Dan Parkes (Director/editor)

Once you have your basic film title logo sorted (refer to previous blog) then the next natural progression is to develop this into a film poster. It is good to do this as early on in the production as it can create a sense of unity and focus for production design. But ultimately remember that it is an advertisement to help "sell" your film so should indicate the mood and genre of your film in an appealing way.

Early concept poster for 'Ambleton Delight'

The early versions of the Ambleton Delight film poster reflected the state of casting at the time and how the main cast might look together. Being a drama set in an English village, the design centered round the main characters and the countryside in the background and this basic concept remained until the final official poster.

A later example of the concept poster for 'Ambleton Delight'.

Here are some elements to think of in your poster:
  1. The main title/logo should be large and bold enough to catch the eye.
  2. It should list some of the main cast -although this is not mandatory. But if you have a "named" actor then their contract may stipulate "top billing" meaning their name should feature prominently above the rest.
  3. If your film has a "tagline" or phrase that might catch people's attention this is the place to use it. For example with Ambleton Delight our tagline is a sarcastic expression taken from a line of dialogue in the film: "Experience the delights of the countryside."
  4. Cast/crew credits. Normally this is located in the lower portion of the poster and in small print. A tall type font works best. There are some free replica fonts you can download to imitate the official font used in Hollywood here: http://www.dafont.com/sf-movie-poster.font
  5. Festival selection/nomination/awards. If your film has festival information worth listing you can use the laurel leaf to list this. Here is a template you can use: http://www.sonnyboo.com/downloads/images/Film_Festival_Laurel_Leaves.png
  6. Film critics quotation. If your film has been reviewed then these are definitely good to include. In the case of Ambleton we included a quotation from a film festival.
  7. You should create both a portrait and landscape ("quad") version -the landscape version can also become a desktop wallpaper.
  8. Overall, does the poster make people want to see it? Does it look professional enough?
Final version of 'Ambleton Delight' poster, here seen as a"quad" or landscape version.

For some great tips and examples check this link: http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2011/02/7-elements-of-a-great-movie-poster-design/

Here are some classic designs for inspiration....

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