Late Night Thoughts…

Some thoughts currently swimming around in my head, sort of in response to some of the discussion from my seminar class today.

-Movie posters aren’t what they once were. Not so much “art” any more as much as they are just another facet of marketing for a movie.

-Perhaps there’s a correlation to the fact that movies are now so expensive (ticket prices alone are at least $12 on most days, and can go as high as $17 for certain shows, not to mention food and drinks and whatever else you want while you’re there), people aren’t going to theaters as much, so they aren’t seeing posters as much. Since most people didn’t see the posters anywhere other than at a theater (so far from my survey answers at least).

-So then movie posters have less relevance because people aren’t seeing movies as much?

-Or perhaps it’s the fact that trailers in the theaters, on television, and online are so prominent that those are what draw people in nowadays rather than the posters themselves. So their meaning/importance has changed over time.

-Come to think of it, most times when you go to see a movie, the posters are (mostly) on the inside (though some are outside the theater) and on the way to the actual theater you will be seated in to see a movie. And if you’re carrying popcorn, drinks, candies; watching children, rushing to get in to a movie, more focused on finding which theater is the correct one for you, then you could miss seeing the posters entirely. You’re more focused on other things. And then, when you’re leaving and there’s a crowd leaving as well from the movie you’ve just seen, you’re probably just trying to get out of there or trying to use the restroom and then get out of there, and again, don’t see the posters.

-Then there’s the issue that you wouldn’t see all of the movie posters featured in one theater. Because chances are, if it’s a big enough theater, there’s two sides splitting up the amount of theaters in there, and you’ll only be going to one side of them, or be allowed entrance to one side depending on where the ticket takers are located. So there’s no way you’d see all of them…

-How do they decide what posters go on which side of the theater? Makes it harder to target specific audiences that way, since movies seem to play on either side with no rhyme or reason to it. It’s not like all the older teen/adult movies are on one side and the kids on the other and the posters match these target audiences… That would be a good idea to try actually though…

-Though! I did visit a theater near my school this past week, and they featured giant billboards/ads as well as posters for upcoming movies in the main part of the theater where you get tickets and snacks. And then on the way in to your specific theater they had older and more iconic movie posters decorating the walls. I thought this was really cool to see. I never see that. But that solves the issue of people not paying attention once they try to find their theaters, they would be looking at the posters for the upcoming movies while in line for tickets and concessions and such. That’s pretty smart actually. I like that. More theaters should do that.

-So if posters aren’t so important to getting people in the theaters to see movies, why spend the money making them? (I mean, I love them, so I think they should still be made, but just posing a question) Perhaps maybe to sell as merchandise afterwards? A few people answered my survey saying that they would consider purchasing a movie poster, mainly if they liked the design for it or liked the movie and the design for it.

-Next survey could be about how often people visit the theaters, and what they like to see when they go/what drives them to go and spend all this money at the movies. To see if maybe any of this data will relate to people’s views on movie posters and their importance (or lack thereof). 

-I wonder why the shift in media for movie posters happened. Like, what exactly started the trend of using photographs rather than illustrations or typography. Could this be replicated nowadays, but with bringing the posters back to the age of illustrations and typography? That might be interesting to explore. Will have to do some more research on this.

-Saw in one article that curiosity created by a poster can result in “on the spot ticket sales” Makes sense. But not sure if this would work nowadays. Because again, movies are expensive, and I feel like many people might not go to movies unless they are going for a specific movie that they know they already want to see. I rarely hear of anyone going to the movies, looking at the posters and/or titles of movies playing and picking one that sparks their curiosity and interests. But I guess I don’t have any actual data for this yet, I’m just hypothesizing. This leads back to one of my previous thoughts of creating another survey asking people about their visits to theaters, reasoning behind it, etc.

-I keep going back and forth on how I feel about all of this. I definitely see what people are saying, and hate to say this, but it’s looking like movie posters are in some way becoming “obsolete”… but I really hate saying that because I love them and don’t want them to become meaningless.

-Perhaps I’ll explore what it would take to make movie posters important and meaningful again. I really don’t want this form of design to die out.

-I’m so sorry this is all really long and is a lot of rambling. But I’m honestly really exhausted right now, and my mind is jumping all over the place. Though, I think it’ll be good for me to read later on, because this is kind of like a brainstorming session of all these ideas just ajsdfjklag out of my head.

-Explore the relationship of movie posters and the DVD covers for the same movies. See if they’re the same (since apparently some time ago they used to be the same), or similar in some way. Also, off of this, and off of what was mentioned in class, explore the relationship of movie posters and the Netflix thumbnails for them.




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