Thursday, 11 March 2010

Ancillary Task (dvd cover) - Research

When asking for audience feedback on networking site Facebook, one friend suggested that one of the posters I had created would be good as a DVD cover. Although not part of the original specification for the coursework task, I felt this would be a good idea.
When given this suggestion I looked into the codes and conventions of DVD covers that used one of the promotional posters for the film as the main image.
This is true of the DVD cover for The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008). The main promotional poster for the film features the central protagonist in front of a building with the signiture "Batman" symbol burning in the windows. This is a strong image and is easily recognisable. This is why they chose it to be both a poster and dvd cover.

The DVD cover for The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001) also features the main poster as the entral image. It features many of the central characters doing things that define them in the film (e.g. Aragorn weilds a sword), providing exposition to the content of the film.

Unlike the previous two DVD covers, the cover for Hard Candy (David Slade, 2005) doesn't show the main character fully, choosing to have her facing away from the camera. The image of a young girl standing in the centre of a large beartrap is striking and will grab the audience's attention. Unlike the other two DVD covers, this one continues the front image onto the spine of the cover, rather than putting a seperate image on.

The DVD cover for Kes (Ken Loach, 1970) also has a single image of the central protagonist on the front cover. It has a plain title in a bright colour, so it grabs attention. This DVD cover also uses the main promotional poster as the central image for the cover.

From studying these DVD covers I have discovered several common elements that are used no matter what genre or plotline the film involves;

  • The image on the front of the cover is bold and attention-grabbing, as this is the first thing the market will see when purchasing the product.
  • The title is in large letters, often in a bright colour to make it stand out further from the background. Again, this is to further promote the film and let the market know quickly which film it is.
  • On the back of the cover is often a series of still shots from the film, highlighting particular characters or situations that might draw special interest.
  • At the top of the cover on the back there will be an image that differs from the one on the front, providing more exposition to the plot. This will generally be a staged photograph, that isn't in the actual film. However, it isn't always (for example, Lord of the Rings has an image of the Moria scene in the film)
  • The billing block, production company logos and distribution logos are always placed at the bottom of the back cover. This will also include the BBFC and film censorship ratings.
  • The spine of the cover always includes a serial number, the title of the film, the production logo and the BBFC rating.
  • If there are extras on the DVD, there will be a box listing them in the centre of the back cover.
  • There is a hologram of the production logo in the bottom right-hand corner of the back cover, next to the barcode. This is to prevent copyright violation.
I will have to conform to these conventions in order to create a realistic DVD cover for Masque.

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