Notes 1

Some notes taken during my Seminar class this fall semester, either suggestions or thoughts I was having during discussion,


-Mentioned a 2D master copies assignment from Freshman year using cut paper. Perhaps try this with movie posters?

-Figure out a way to bring movie poster to people? Since most people don’t go out of their way to see movie posters, they only happen to see them if they’re going to the theater mostly.

-Make list posters. For example, make a checklist of stereotypes in movie poster design.

-People see posters, but don’t always realize that they are. For example, Netflix icons are the movie’s poster, just formatted to fit the thumbnail size, but many don’t know this.

-Make posters to draw people in about points of interest

-Conceive and market a Film Festival?

-Make posters on random or everyday objects. Misuse movie posters. Use them impractically? For example, a movie poster where a jug of milk is the star.

-Japanese movie pamphlets/program books are AWESOME, I wish we did that here.

-Why is it that I love movie posters? Explore this more.

-Maybe I like the posters more so as art, rather than having it make or break my decision to see a movie. Though, sometimes seeing a really cool poster online definitely makes me want to go and check out the movie. Kind of like how a book’s cover can entice someone to read the story inside. I also think I love movie posters for their designs, however many are following the same generic setups there are still some beautiful posters out there. Also, if the poster is really good and I really loved the movie, I love it even more because it represents that movie in some way.


Netflix/Movie Posters

It was mentioned in class how some don’t see many movie posters, they just see the thumbnails for movies on Netflix.

I joined Netflix with the free one month trial today to take a look and see the thumbnails for movies and compare them to their posters.

So far I’m finding that the thumbnails for the movies either are the poster, are the DVD cover, or are one of the two worked to fit the size and format of Netflix’s thumbnails.

So if you have been on Netflix viewing movies, you have definitely been seeing the movie’s posters in some form or another. At least from what I can tell so far, I’m going to do more comparisons to make sure. But currently I’ve checked a decent amount and they are the same as the movie posters (again, some slightly changed layout wise to fit in the thumbnail properly, but I still count that, since it would be the same imagery you associate with that movie’s poster)

Some More Thoughts…

As I continue researching I’m having some more thoughts, and since my other post was already super long, I’ve decided to make a new one.

Plus it’s not late night thoughts if I’m thinking them early in the morning.

So I guess early morning thoughts then? Anyways,

-I’m getting a lot of “somewhat”s on my survey to the question asking if a movie’s poster influences your decision to see a movie or not. I’m wondering if it’s because a.The poster is only a minor aspect to some people, or if it’s because b.The poster would really only make you inclined to see a movie if you liked it, and if you didn’t like it you would still probably see the movie because the poster is only one part of it’s marketing (and perhaps you like the trailers or other ads).

-Though, I suppose it could possibly turn you away from a movie if the poster featured problematic things. For example, (I know it’s not a movie poster, it was a billboard) the X-Men Apocalypse ad featuring the villain of the film choking Mystique, which sent the message that casual violence towards women is okay. A LOT of people were upset about this, and I can only imagine that at least a handful of them possibly didn’t see the movie because of it.

-Maybe I need to have a survey about the above thought. “If a movie poster featured problematic behaviors, would you be deterred from seeing the movie” Perhaps a question for a Twitter survey.

-One article ( I’m reading says “She stops and stares at the movie posters even when the cast doesn’t include her one and only, and I join her—because great movie posters demand our attention. And they deserve it.” I’m wondering if age has something to do with relevance of movie posters to you. Because they do seem like they’d catch a child’s interest, since their interests are usually vast when younger, and more selective as they get older. So perhaps this has some effect on it? Perhaps ask the survey questions to children and see how the results vary.


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.



(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.

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.