Poster Conventions Research | 20.10.2017

Firstly, what are the conventions of a film poster?

It must be eye-catching and capture the target audience and genre with a picture. The title of the film is displayed in a large eye-catching font. An indication on the film’s release, whether that is a date, ‘coming soon’ or ‘in cinemas this spring’. The information on the directors and companies are displayed at the bottom also reviews and titles of other films that the company has made.

Bellow is an example of a poster that is relevant to my drama genre. This poster follows the standard conventions, and this is what I can learn specifically from this poster:

The Image: it is a merge of both the boat and the two main characters of whom the film is about, it highlights the two main aspects of the film. Also the picture of the two people holding hands indicates a love story.
The Main Text: so at the top is the names of titles that the director has also made. There is then the two main actors of the film, a large film title and a tag line. The titles are displayed in a serif font with a thin gold border around them. This is because a serif font is striking and separates the text a tiny bit more, and the border makes the text stand out even more over the picture.
Billing Block: then there is the information that includes the distributors, copy right information and the crew. In this poster, it is written in gold and in a san-serif font (standard amongst all posters), and san-serif fonts do not have the flicks at the end of letters, which therefore makes them easier for the eye to read.


The Billing Blocks 

Bellow is a better example of a billing block. This specific one is taken from the Todd Phillip’s ‘The Hangover III’ .


The name ‘billing blocks’ comes from the word billing which refers to the way credits are presented within plays film and television. Information in billing includes companies, actors, directors, producers and other crew members. The word block just means it takes a block space from the bottom of the poster, this is called a ‘one sheet’ in the movie industry.

Billing does not just refer to the block on posters, but also the opening and closing credits within a film. The order in which names and companies appear are relative to their significance. A typical ordering for credits goes: Film Studios, Production Company, Above-Title Billed actor, Film Title, Main Cast, Music by, Costume Designer,  Edited by, Director of Photography, Producer, Screen Writer and Director.

Above is the term ‘Above-Title Billed Actor’ which is another way of saying the characters with the most screen time and their name is a good tool for Advertisement. So Leonardo DiCaprio in the ‘Titanic’, his name is clear and bold on the poster.

The appearance of the billing block is normally a highly condensed typeface and the point size (by convention) of the billing block is 15%-30% of the average height of each letter in the film title logo.



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