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(DR) Ghostbusters (2016) Toys

Okay, remember how I said I was splitting the Design Reviews for this movie into other sections because otherwise it would be WAAAAAY too long? Well here’s the big one that would have caused it to be extremely long.

Not necessarily design directly in the movie, but heavily tied to it, are the toys and the designs of the BOXES for the toys.

Ghostbusters (2016) whether you like it or not, is a movie meant to give females the spotlight for once. For them to be powerful, kick some ass, and do it while not being over sexualized. It is a movie for all of the little girls who wanted to play Ghostbusters with their friends, but were told to be the secretary instead.

So then, why is it that the toys for this movie are being marketed at ONLY boys.

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The packaging designs for the toys (while are certainly not bad, they’re kind of cool with the green slime oozing at the top) feature exclusively little boys. Or at least, masculine presenting children (since I honestly don’t want to assume the gender of the children on the box)

I have no issue with these toys being marketed to boys AS WELL AS girls (and any child of any gender for that matter). But the fact that it’s purely featuring masculine children on them, as well as not having ANY images of the new cast on them, is disappointing to me.

It may seem like a really minor thing, but honestly it’s not. It’s a BIG DEAL.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard little girls bring a toy up to their parents and heard them say “Oh, sweetie, you can’t get that. That’s a boy toy. That’s only for boys.” (and vice versa for boys wanting to get “girl’s toys”)

And it’s that sort of attitude that instills these crazy ideals that “Girls can’t play with boy toys, they need to play with dolls and makeup and blah blah blah. And boys shouldn’t play with dolls, boys need to man up and blah blah blah.”

I mean, just the other day I was in Toys R Us (looking at some of these Ghostbusters toys), and overheard this:

Father: “Come on boys, let’s go look at the video games” (and to get to said games from where they were they had to go through the “girl’s section”)

Child 1: “Aww Dad. Come onnnn. Do we really have to go through… this section. Ugh, so disgusting, girl’s toys.”

Father: “Yeah, I know, it’s pretty shitty you have to walk through there. Look, here are the BOY’S TOYS. Just for you BOYS.” (note: he was being sincere, he meant what he was saying)

Child 2: “Yesss! No girls allowed here!”

So yes, while it may not seem like a big deal. It really is.

Also, I’d like to note that these toys (obviously…) are placed in said “boy’s section” in every store. I mean, I see that they “fit” better there color scheme wise (since most of those sections are darker colors compared to the “girl’s sections”), but they could just as easily fit in right next to the (dark colored boxes) of Monster High Dolls (which, funny enough had a special Ghostbusters version of Frankie Stein). But oh wait. The boxes on featured boys on them. So they still wouldn’t fit there.

I just think, for a movie about showing how women can be really cool just like men can, they probably should have had some little girls on the boxes, or at least the faces OF THEIR MAIN CAST.

Also, I think we should get rid of this whole “boy’s section” and “girl’s section”. And just have it be the TOY SECTION.

Movie Poster Swap

So…

I tried something kind of fun today.

You ever see on YouTube the “genre-switch” movie trailers?

Yeah, I did that.

But with movie posters.

And instead of just genre-switching, I literally switched the two posters. Meaning I took the compositions/layouts/text of one, and applied it to another.

Here are the results:

(Also, I do not own any of the images, compositions, layouts, or designs. I merely recreated them with another movie’s title and character. But again, I did not create the imagery or layouts, etc. I do not claim to be the creator of them. If there is any issue with this, please let me know and I will remove them.)

 

 

Perhaps I’ll try some more of this, or just genre-switching the movies in general.

Either way, it was a lot of fun.

And again, I do not claim to be the creator of any of the imagery, compositions, layouts, fonts, design, etc.

(DR) Ghostbusters (2016) Posters

To spare everyone having to look through and read a super lengthy post I’m going to break up my Design Review for the newest Ghostbusters into a few parts.

That being said, here’s the first installment on the movie posters.

Movie posters are extremely important to a movie’s advertising campaign. It’s what most people see first (next to a trailer for the movie, or sneak peek) and often what people will purchase to hang on their walls if they really love the movie and/or the poster. They give people a glimpse of what a movie is about, and entices people to see the movie. So to me it is very important for a movie to have good movie posters.

Now, I’ve talked in a previous post about how many posters nowadays are all the same between different countries’ versions, but also a lot of movie posters in general are designed similarly/follow trends (see this wonderful video highlighting some of these trends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXJiBkFgprQ )

That being said, a few of the posters I’ve seen for this movie sort of follow said trends mentioned in the video.

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They have the teal going on as a background color for most of them, not so much paired with an orange (unless you count the bit of orange on their suits, which I don’t). They also sort of use the “floating heads”, except it’s the Ghostbusters logo rather than the heads of the cast (though the posters for the original do this as well). But the main cast does appear at the bottom.

So they do follow the trend for the most part. At least those ones do. So in that aspect, I can see why some people wouldn’t be super fond of them. Personally, out of those four, I prefer the one with just the main cast on it in the midst of a battle. It has the most energy out of all the posters, and I really love the expressions the characters have on their faces. It really feels like it captures the essence of a moment in the movie, and most definitely would make me want to see this movie.

Another thing I’d like to note, two of those four feature Kevin, who has the role of the ‘attractive, oblivious secretary’ (a role which usually women get in movies, while the men get to have main roles as heroes). I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Because yes, he is a part of the team. Sort of. But I feel that if it were the other way around (male heroes of the film, and girl secretary), the woman secretary would not be on the poster. In fact, this is proven to be true, as the secretary from the original films is not featured on their posters.

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So, as much as I enjoyed Chris Hemsworth in his role as Kevin, I don’t really think he needed to be on the poster. He did play a part in the film, and he was a part of the team in some sort of way, but I honestly think the focus should be on the four amazing heroines of this movie. Especially since the point of this movie is to show, and inspire, females that they can do incredible things, just as much as males can.

However, there is another series of posters for this movie, and I have to admit, they knock it out of the park.

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These are so cool! Such nice photography, love the black and white with a bit of color. Love the expressions on their faces. Love the variety of posing for the characters. I love how cool these make all of them look (because they are all super cool in the movie). You get a good view of some of the gadgets and the outfits. I just love everything about these. They all follow a similar layout with some variation (i.e. which side the text is on and how the characters are positioned) I think they work extremely well together.

I want them on my wall.

They make me want to see the movie, again.

These posters knock it out of the park for me. Absolutely.

An Observation on Movie Posters

Recently I’ve been reading/looking at the book Art of the Modern MOVIE POSTER International Postwar Style and Design by Judith Salavetz, Spencer Drate, and Sam Sarowitz, with text by Dave Kehr.

It’s a fairly large book, with an amazing amount of movie posters in it, so I’m only about 1/4 way through it. But even so, I’ve already begun to notice how creative and interesting each countries versions of movie posters are. There’s such an interesting variation in how each country creates a poster for the same movie, and so far the best example of this that is shown in the book is on pages 120 and 121 showcasing posters for Star Wars from the 1970’s (and a few from 1991).

This got me into thinking about how nowadays most of our movie posters are fairly consistent throughout all the countries. Some do have minor changes, but for the most part they have either the same imagery or something that makes it look very close to each other.

Below I will show you the posters for Star Wars that are exhibited in the book, and then I will compare them to the ones for Star Wars: The Force Awakens (since it is the most recent installment to the franchise).

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(I placed them in a slideshow for convenience.)

As you can see, most of the posters are vastly different. They all have the same sort of vibe or feeling to them, this sort of mysterious, sci-fi look, but very different imagery, layouts, and text choices.

This definitely makes things more interesting, and also it can be seen as a view in to what each country’s aesthetic is. Or rather, how they chose to market it the movie to the people of their country shows what would draw certain people in to see the movie. I think it’s really cool to see that, and I love that they are all unique to each country while still keeping the overall feeling of sci-fi to them. They really work well as a set.

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(Again in a slideshow for convenience. Also notice they’re all basically the same, except for minor changes in China’s… where for some they shrunk Finn down and removed Chewbacca… And also used a different image of Kylo Ren.)

But nowadays it seems companies are very concerned with having a very consistent design throughout all of their marketing. This can be good, don’t get me wrong, because sometimes design can look all over the place if not consistent in some matter. But also, I feel that to be a good set, not everything has to have the exact same imagery or layout. You can have fun with design and change it up a bit and still have things be consistent, much like the posters for the original Star Wars. Most of them have similar color schemes/give off the same sort of vibes as the others, while still having variation in layout and imagery making each one unique.

(Also, it’s likely that in each country the movie’s other marketing is similar to it’s country’s poster for it. So there would be consistencies there. )

I just feel like nowadays movie posters are designed and then not much changes about them from country to country. A few tweaks here and there, and of course the language of the text on the poster changing, but otherwise they’re pretty much the same poster.

As I said, I agree that consistency should most definitely be a thing, and is important in design, I don’t think that means that everything needs to be “cookie-cutter” the same. I think we need to bring some fun and uniqueness back to movie posters.

We need to breathe new life into them again.

Ghostbusters (2016) Design Review

Hello everyone,

We have something we need to all talk about. And that is the advertisements, promos, and ad campaigns for the new Ghostbusters movie.

While the idea of the new Ghostbusters angered many people, there are actually tons of people that this movie inspires.

I’m not going to discuss much my review of the actual movie (perhaps I’ll review the design work within the movie at some point), but I want to talk about some of the design work I’ve been seeing outside of the movie itself.

This includes movie posters, printed advertisements, magazine covers/articles, website, product design (including clothing and toys) and their packaging designs, and also possibly the movie trailers.

Because in looking at some of the designs for those things, I have to say some of the design choices don’t really make sense to me (and others as well).

Anyways, expect to see these reviews popping up on my blog soon!

-Alex

 

Proposal: Take One!

Below is the first proposal for my senior thesis project. Since I’ve proposed it, I’ve gotten some feedback about figuring out which direction I would be focusing in (movie posters, movie title screens, the story of the person who watches movies all the time, etc.) I still don’t know which direction I’m exactly going for, but nonetheless, here’s my first proposal:

“Figuring out the topic for my senior thesis has been a huge struggle for me. I’ve gone through many ideas, overthinking and trying to make ideas fit that I had no interest in but thought might be what the school would be looking for a student to do. But I’ve come to realize that this senior thesis doesn’t need to be what others want it to be, it just needs to be what I want it to be. It should involve things I’m interested in, and could spend time looking into and developing a more complex thesis from these interests.

So what am I interested in? I’m interested in a lot of things, so I also struggled with making a decision as to which interest I would pursue. In the end, I’ve decided upon an interest that is something I’m very passionate about and yet I haven’t used it as a basis for any of my work yet; movies.

I’m very interested in movies, and while I haven’t seen much a variety (I usually don’t watch many dramas or action) doesn’t mean I have no interest in the other categories. But on average I watch at least one movie a day; usually, although not so much while I’m at college, then it’s perhaps only a few times a week if I have some free time in between classes or at the end of Thursday nights sometimes with housemates. I also really enjoy going to the movie theater to see movies, however not so much lately as the prices have been rising at a really alarmingly fast rate.

I am interested in many things of movies, the actors (I like to keep track of who’s in what and figure out where I’ve seen an actor before when I’m watching a new movie), the script, the screenplay, poster design, and prop design.

Annie Atkins is an artist that I look up to, and I find her work, and her job to be very impressive! She does the graphic design for many movies; The Grand Budapest Hotel being one of them (which is still on my list to see) You don’t really think about it, but all the papers and signage and basically everything in a movie needs to be designed. And that is really intriguing to me. She also designs movie posters as well, which is something that has always interested me as well.

In any case, I have a passion for watching many movies, and would like to incorporate this into my thesis somehow. I don’t have a solid direction of what to do with it yet, but I’m hoping to really flesh out a basis for it during the summer, since I’ll have some time to think more clearly about it without overthinking and stressing about everything else at the same time.”

-Alex