Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Ancillary Task (poster series) - Drafts.

In addition to producing a promotional poster for my film "Masque," I also decided to create a series of other posters that could be used in a marketing campaign, featuring different designs, characters and aspects of the plot. To do this I used different images, both taken from still shots in the film, or photographs taken separately.

For my second teaser poster I also drew inspiration from The Dark Knight. As part of the poster campaign for this film, images of the three central characters hiding part of their faces are used in one of the teaser posters. This is to signify that they're hiding some part of their character from the rest of the world. I thought this was a good concept as the girl has concealed part of her character that only appears at the end of the film. As the film involves white masks, I thought that having the girl holding up half a white mask to her face would be the boldest statement for my second teaser poster.
The first step I took for my teaser poster was to take an image that I took seperately and darken the background. I altered the contrast of the original image on photoshop to make the girl stand out further. By doing this the mask appears brighter than it was previously, and this places more emphasis on it.

I then darkened the original image so it blended more naturally into the black background. I also lessened the saturation of the image to provide a more sinister, dark, unnatural feel to the image. I particularly darkened the left hand side of the girl so that it appears she's coming out of the darkness. Her hair on the right hand side fades into the black background, showing this further.

The next thing I did was to add my tagline. I chose to have a different tagline to the one on the first teaser poster. This is commonly seen in poster series for franchise blockbusters. I chose "EVERY ROSE HAS ITS THORN". This is a commonly known phrase, but I took it out of the song "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison. In this case, the nameless girl is the 'rose' and her 'thorn' is her cannibalism. It also has the tie-in to nature, as the boy is killed in the woods I thought this would be a good idea.

I then added in the large "COMING SOON" at the bottom of the image that is common of nearly all teaser posters. I also added the URL of my coursework blog as commonly at the bottom of film posters can be found a link to the film's promotional website. Once I had done that, I copied the text layers and then moved them slightly to the side of the first ones. I then blurred them to give the slightly faded glow outside the lettering. By changing the colour to orange it ties in with the fire in the film.

As I felt the image with just a plain black background was dull and wouldn't attract much interest, I decided to take a still from the film of the cannibals gathered around the fire and underlay behind the image of the girl. To do this I put it on
 a separate layer and removed the black background. When I did this the girl looked very out of place as she was in a completely different light to the cannibals. I therefore changed the overall colour to a deep red and faded it slightly, so the image is still visible. However, it made the image darker and less eye-catching than I had wanted, and although audience feedback told me that having the cannibals in the background was a good idea, it also told me that the poster was too dark to be effective as a poster.

This is the final copy of my second teaser poster. As the red overlay on the last draft made the entire image look too dull, I removed it. Instead I just changed the hue of the girl, making her skin redder and her mask with a more blue tint. This signifies that the mask is involved in something supernatural, and the red of her skin signifies the firelight and the blood that comes when the boy is ripped apart. Having the text in a light grey that I took directly from the mask links the two together, and also makes both stand out more to grab attention. I 
think that the link to The Dark Knight posters is a good idea, and the image has proved effective and popular with the audiences that I showed it to. It also provides an intertextual link with a film that has provided much inspiration for Masque. I think that my second teaser poster works well and would attract audiences.

I also created another teaser poster featuring the girl, but this one I liked much less, and I don't think is as effective.

For this poster I took a still from the film, shortly before the girl looks up into the camera.
 She looks to be pondering something, and this expression gives her a mysterious aura and provides general interest in the image. Rather than layer her over the cannibals to link that solidly, I merely suggested the link by overlaying her onto an image of fire. As the cannibals congregate around the fire, this provides anchorage to those who've seen the film as to who she is, but generates interest as to why the girl and the fire are linked.

The tagline is again different from the original teaser poster. For this poster, focused solely on the girl, I chose "SHE HAS HIS LOVE, SHE WANTS HIS HEART". This will spark interest as the two are generally links, so the fact that they have been separated implies that she wants his physical heart (which, of course, is true). I used the same typeface, colour and layout as my second teaser poster to provide a link between the two.

I don't like this poster as much because it has less going on in it and it is generally not as strong an advertisement for the film as other posters I've made.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ancillary Task (poster series) - Research

When a new film is released, particularly a hollywood blockbuster that is part of a franchise, the distribution company will often release a series of posters rather than just one. This is true of the recent release The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Usually, when a company releases more than one promotional poster, there is one main poster which is used most often (shown above, the poster that is largest) and then several posters alongside it. These extra posters usually focus on one character, or show different aspects of the narrative of the film.

(pictured left: Alice Cullen)
This poster focuses on a character who isn't seen as a main character. The yellow car featured in the poster provides exposition to part of the narrative in the film, where Alice steals a yellow porsche in order to race through the Italian town. It also shows several images laid over each other to establish a link between events throughout the narrative (in this case; Alice, Alice's vision of Bella jumping of the cliff, and the car Alice steals).

Other franchises include several versions of the teaser poster, portraying different aspects of the plot or suggesting a different theme in the film. For example, Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight , released several teaser posters in the run up to release of the film.

Many of these posters feature the main characters, although only two show the faces. In one of the posters, no character is shown at all, with only the Joker's face drawn on a blank jail cell wall, modified to include the bat shape, providing anchorage of the film. In my teaser poster I didn't include my characters, instead focusing on one of the props that linked in with the title. This was due to this convention of concealment of actors faces. Indeed, in the Dark Knight posters that do include the characters, their faces are obscured by certain objects relevant to them (joker card, throwing bat knife, Harvey Dent badge). Again, having the face obscured slightly is another convention of teaser posters, if the face features at all, as shown in the posters featured below from Wolverine, G.I.Joe and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.