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Film Poster Conventions

Film Poster Conventions

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Film Poster Conventions

  1. 1. The Codes and Conventions of Film Posters A general analysis into the advertisement method of film posters.
  2. 2. What are Film Posters? • A film poster, in short, is a poster that is used to advertise and promote a film to its targeted demographic. They do this by giving the audience a glimpse into the narrative of the film through its use of colour, iconography and semiotics along with many other codes and conventions that I will analyse throughout. • Film posters are extremely important to the promotion of a film due to the flexibility in their locations. They can be found not only in cinemas but also, at bus stops, shops and online making it a necessity for them to be appealing to the target audience. Film posters are useful for distributors as they help they film reach a wide demographic which in turn helps to generate a hype around the film and draw a larger audience.
  3. 3. Film Posters: Genre • There are many features of film posters that work in cohesion to create a successful advertisement. The most important feature of a film poster is that its genre is immediately clear to the audience through the codes, conventions, colour scheme and iconography as this will ensure that the poster is drawing in the correct target audience and demographic. If this does not happen, the film will risk having its audience mislead into what the film entails which could lead to bad reviews through word of mouth and through people expressing their disappointment on social media platforms such as Twitter.
  4. 4. Film Posters: Iconography • An icon is a person or an item that is a representative symbol. This means that icons can be symbolic of something in the film which is why they are commonly used film posters. They allow for audiences to have a deeper understanding into the genre of the film so they are able to immediately tell if the film is something that would interest them or not. This again helps for companies to target their specific audience. • In this film poster for The Avengers, the iconography clearly defines which genre the film will fall into. The burning building represents danger and excitement which, in conjunction with the superheroes, tells the audience that this is an action film.
  5. 5. Film Poster: Images • Another convention of film posters is to have one main image which purpose is to grab the audience’s attention immediately. This is important due to the fact that film posters are seen usually by pedestrians who are walking past and therefore the purpose of the image is to stop them in their tracks. The image tends to be of one or more of the characters in the film. In some cases, like the La La Land film poster, the image is a shot from the film. The iconography shows the two characters dancing which shows the audience that this film is a musical.
  6. 6. Film Poster: Cast and Creative • The main actors, director and producer are commonly found on film posters as, if well- known, they can help to draw the audience’s intrigue about what the film is about. This is also what gives the film a USP or unique selling point from other films of their genre. By promoting the actors and director of the film, consumers may be more likely to see the it.
  7. 7. Film Poster: Title • It is extremely common for the title of the film to be found on the film poster purely because it helps the audience quickly learn what the film is called and in turn what it may be about. This will help the consumer make a quick decision on whether they are interested in the film or not. • Having said this, there are times when film posters do not need to put the film’s title on. This is usually the case for large franchises where the character’s face is so well known that the title is unnecessary.

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