Posts Tagged ‘art’

Minimalistic Movie Posters Are Cool

February 9, 2012

In this blog and on my Facebook and Twitter pages, I have highlighted many examples of minimalistic movie posters. In case you just surfed in and don’t know what they are, minimalistic movie posters are movie posters distilled to a single image or just a main image with only the most necessary background. Since words don’t really describe minimalistic posters here are some examples:

(FYI: The Dark Night Rises poster was done by artist Chaz Russo and his work can be found here. The Amazing Spider-Man poster was done by freelance graphic designer Matt Ferguson and his work can be found here.) I must admit that seeing these kinds of movie posters have turned me into a fan. What is it about such posters that make them so great? Here’s my two cents on the subject:

Not Created by Committee
One person created these posters. That person had an idea and decided to execute it. There was no market research done on the images. No suits were involved in the process.  If digital means were used to create the poster, it was used by someone who didn’t just learn how to the use the program at 9:00 AM on Monday and started making posters at 10:30 AM. It was just one person and his or her vision. Out of that came a thing of beauty.

Created by People with Talent
These posters were created by people with 1/100,000 of the budget of a Hollywood studio, yet they create something that makes you stop for a moment and look at something in a good way. Yet, the studios are drowning in money and when they try to make a minimalistic movie poster it turns out like this:

The above X-Men First Class poster is not a good movie poster, period. Yet, the artists who make the minimalistic movie posters time and time again make amazing posters. They have the mythical “it” and that enables them to meet the challenge that creating a minimalistic movie poster entails. Not to say that it is easy to create such a poster, it isn’t. After all, how do you decide which image to focus on and how do you stop yourself from putting in other images? I don’t know how they do it. Still, because of their talent, they create posters that surpass almost anything the studios create.

They Are Good Ads for the Movie
There have been times where I’ve seen the “official” poster for a film and thought “That’s nice” and wasn’t moved to see the film.  I’ll see a minimalistic movie poster for the same film and think “I WANT to see that movie.” Never mind the fact that the film is past its theatrical run and it’s only available on DVD. The minimalistic movie posters instill desire in me. The Photoshopped creations from the studios just don’t do that.

They Are Works of Art
Look at the examples of fan created The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-Man minimalistic movie posters and tell me that they aren’t works of art in and of themselves. Even if you know nothing about the movie in question, these posters look good enough to be displayed in any museum.  Through the artist’s knowledge of the film, as well as use of color and space, he or she creates a work of art. This one lone person, who has nothing more than talent, the right tools and access to the Internet, is able to create something beautiful. Whereas the studios, with all their resources, more often than not create something that ranges from pedestrian to downright dumb and many times, the movie poster isn’t even beautiful.

Just goes to show you, less is more, especially since committees aren’t known for creating great works of art.

Sources:
http://www.shockya.com/news/2012/01/16/the-amazing-spider-man-gets-three-fan-made-minimalist-posters/

http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/10/21/adam-rabalais-art/

http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/rorschachsrants/news/?a=51170

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The Enduring Appeal of Movie Posters

December 15, 2011

As I was surfing the ‘Net looking for topics to write about I found few items that show both the evolution of movie posters and how they endure both as works of art and commerce.

First, there was an article in the December 3 San Diego Reader about rejected movie posters from the 1980’s. This article was just one in a series of articles about a collection of movie posters designs that the studios rejected. Most of these movie posters featured in the article were mock-ups or one of many versions that an artist created for studio executives to choose from. One of the posters featured was for the thriller Fatal Attraction. The mock up is on the left and the version that appeared in movie theaters is on the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
I like the one on the right, since the tagline of “On the other side of drinks, dinner and a one night stand is a terrifying love story” makes you wonder, “What do they mean by that?

Another web item featured pictures of Ghanaian movie posters. While I mentioned these types of movie posters in a previous entry, (you can read it in The Travels of American Culture  February 10, 2011) to refresh your memory, Ghanaian movie posters came about in the 1980’s as VCR’s and videocassettes were introduced in the African nation of Ghana. Independent contractors would drive around the countryside with a television, VCR and generator. They would stop in a particular town and for a small admission fee, they would show a movie, mostly American films. In order to advertise their show, they hired artists to create movie posters. These creations were made with oil paint and canvas. Sometimes the posters reflected the plot of the movie, other times they reflected the imagination of the artists. (See below.)


Well, by the mid 1990’s, as television and video became more available, these mobile cinemas fell by the wayside and the operators couldn’t afford the artists anymore, so they relied on photocopied movie posters. Subsequently, these posters became sought after by collectors and they have asking prices of $200 and up.

So, how do these two examples show the enduring appeal of movie posters? Don’t worry, I’m getting to that. Movie posters are the original multi-taskers. They are vehicles of both commerce and art. Movie posters, if they are designed well, pique the viewer’s curiosity about a film, later they serve to remind the viewer how much he or she enjoyed the film and are things of beauty, in and of themselves. If they didn’t meet these criteria in the first place, no one would want them. So, despite all the tech diversions out there, folks still have an affinity for a 27 inch x 40 inch piece of paper that features pictures of people in situations ranging from the absurd to realistic. “It’s the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Sources:
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/big-screen/2011/dec/03/part-5-famous-movie-poster-rejects-youve-never-see/

http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2011/12/01/ghanas-movie-posters-are-better-than-americas-movie-posters

http://www.obsessedwithfilm.com/cool-stuff/cool-stuff-ghanaian-movie-posters.php

Interactive Movie Posters

June 23, 2011

Someone once said that the only constant in life is change. The same can be said about movie posters.

What am I talking about?

Since the beginning of motion pictures, movie posters have been made of paper. The dimensions and artistic styles have changed over the years, yet paper was the dominant medium. That is until recently. Technology has advanced to the point where movie posters are no longer just static images. I wrote about this development in my blog entry of December 16, 2009 called Living Movie Posters. Yet, what I wrote in 2009 isn’t the end word on the evolution of movie posters.

You mean there’s more?

Of course there’s more.

A recent issue of Pocket Lint, a gadget news and review website based in the UK, had an article about Warner Brothers releasing a smart phone app, which can be used to unlock audio samples, visual animations and other features locked in images from the upcoming Green Lantern film. App was created by a company called Zappar and it created “hot spots” in the poster that can be tapped to allow a smart phone owner with this app to access these goodies.

What if you don’t have a smart phone? Well, on one hand you’re going to miss out; on the other hand are other ways movie posters are evolving. One way is digital signage. Digitimes, an English language website that covers Taiwan’s IT industry, ran a short piece about how digital signage is being used in the Phillipines. One digital sign company called Cayin has 22 of its digital signs in select Filipino movie theaters. These signs are used to display movie posters, trailers, film synopses, rating, screening times, and even promotions. Before the digital signs came along, movie theater employees would use PowerPoint presentations and that limited them to a single layout without show times.

These two developments show how technology is playing a part in the evolution of movie posters. From static displays on paper to dynamic images rendered via a smart phone, movie posters are become more than just advertisements and more than just art; they are becoming experiences in and of themselves. What’s next? I have a feeling we’ll find out very soon and it will have a certain cache of coolness. After all, if it wasn’t cool, no one would want to be associated with it.

Sources:
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/40253/greenlantern-augmented-reality-app-launches

http://www.digitimes.com/supply_chain_window/story.asp?datepublish=2011/06/07&pages=PR&seq=209

How To Spot A Fake

July 29, 2010

Since there is a huge demand for collectibles, works of art and designer goods, there is a shadow industry of counterfeiters that wants to meet this demand.  Not only are these people taking money from legitimate businesses by selling fake items, also the consumer is being cheated by having to pay their hard earned money for an inferior product. If that wasn’t bad enough, in many cases, the sale of counterfeit products helps to fund organized crime and terrorist organizations. So, selling counterfeit goods isn’t a victimless crime.

Still, how can a consumer protect him or herself? Here are some tips to remember when it comes to purchasing collectibles, works of art and designer goods.

  1. If possible, examine the item in question. Many times it is the little things that will show that an item is a fake. Logos that don’t look right, colors that aren’t crisp, details that aren’t rendered correctly and images that are blurry are signs that an item is counterfeit.
  2. Educate yourself. Read books and articles about the item you want to collect. Contact dealers and ask questions. The more you learn about how an item is and isn’t suppose to look, the less likely you are going to be fooled.
  3. If you are buying something online, read the description more than once to make sure you understand what is being sold and read the feedback comments. The comments should be a mix of sales and purchases and from different people.
  4. Related to number 3, if things don’t seem right, ask the seller for clarification. If the seller doesn’t answer your questions to your liking or doesn’t answer your question at all, don’t deal with that person.
  5. Use some common sense and realize that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. A real Rolex watch or Louis Vuitton bag would not be sold on a street corner or flea market. These companies invest a lot pride and money in their products and they would never allow their products to be sold at a place, like a street corner or flea market.

Yes, people will continue to make counterfeit goods, because there is a market for collectibles, antiques and jewelry. Still, when a person knows what to be on the lookout for, that person will be less like to buy a counterfeit good and have more money in his or her pocket for the real thing.

Sources:
http://www.scrippsnews.com/content/terrorist-groups-funding-operations-counterfeit-goods

http://www.ehow.com/how_5282328_spot-counterfeit-vintage-baseball-cards.html

http://www.scams.flipshark.com/safefeedback.html