Posts Tagged ‘Studio Heads’

Death of the Movie Poster?

January 20, 2011

God bless the Internet. It makes research for many things, so much easier. Particularly this week’s entry, since I found a few posts dealing with the art of movie posters. One post on SeattlePi.com wrote about how Mondo, a small company out of Austin, Texas that started as a sideline to the Alamo Drafthouse, makes high quality limited edition movie posters. The writer goes on to say that Mondo’s artists make better movie posters than the movie studios do. (You can find examples of the latest item for sale here: http://blog.mondotees.com/.) Another item, this time on the Thristy for Milk blog mentioned that recent movie posters are just photoshopped creations that are made by committee and don’t compare to movie posters of the past.

Yes, many current movie posters are just photoshopped creations and many fan created items are works of art, still before the wholesale basing of today’s movie posters continues any further know that:

1.)   While movie posters prior to the 1970’s were drawn, the art department had to bend to what the studio heads wanted.  After all, the studio heads were the ones who signed their checks and if the people in the art department wanted a job, they had to do what their bosses wanted.

2.)   Works of art like the “Mona Lisa” and the Sistine Chapel were commissioned. That means artists of the likes of Michelangelo, Da Vinci had to swallow their pride and do what the patron wanted. Granted, Michelangelo clashed with Pope Julius II during the years he worked on the chapel and Da Vinci was such a perfectionist that he took the Mona Lisa with him to France, so he could continue working on it, when he was appointed as “the first painter, engineer and architect” for King Francis I. Up until the late 1700’s, most artists, if they wanted to eat, attached themselves to the nobility and they did what they were told.

3.)   Don’t knock all “modern” movie posters.  Modern photographic and design tools are just that—tools. It takes imagination and a keen eye to use those tools to create a movie poster that is worthy to be called a work of art.  Don’t believe me. Just look at the posters for the final Matrix movie, Black Swan, A. I., American Beauty—just to name a few and you’ll see what I mean. (It also helps when the studio heads don’t overdo the suggestions.)

So, reports of the artistic movie poster being dead are greatly exaggerated.

Sources:
http://www.seattlepi.com/movies/433305_film43568774.html

http://thirstyformilk.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/the-state-of-movie-posters/

http://www.timelineindex.com/content/view/1324

http://www.oil-paintings-reproductions.com/Articles/Leonardo-da-Vinci.html

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3D Movies—The Boomerang Film Effect, Since It Keeps Coming Back

April 22, 2010

Recently several big budget films, such as Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans, have been made available in 3D versions. This film effect isn’t new. Mainstream 3D films first came along in the 1950’s as a way to get people away from their televisions and back to the theaters. Most of the films from the 1950’s wave of 3D were in the horror genre. They included films like Bwana Devil and House of Wax and they weren’t exactly Oscar contenders. Many times the fact that they were 3D films was the only thing going for them. Also, the moviegoer had wear cheap paper glass with red and green plastic sheets in each eyepiece, in order to experience the 3D effects. Then the fad faded. In the 1980’s came a resurgence of 3D films. Movie such as Jaws 3D and Friday the 13th Part III in 3D, helped to cement 3D’s reputation as a cheesy gimmick that didn’t add much to the film.

With advances in technology, the studios are hoping that the recent crop of 3D films will show how this can enhance a film. The trouble is how do the studio heads define enhance? Among the group of recent 3D movies, only Avatar was filmed in 3D. The 3D effects in Alice in Wonderland and Clash of the Titans were added post-production. Because of that fact, not everyone is jumping on the 3D bandwagon. Avatar director, James Cameron states that the decision to make a 3D movie should be made by the director, not by studio heads.

So, where does that leave the average filmgoer? I don’t know. I will say that while I’m intrigued by this next generation 3D, in the end, I want a movie that tells a good story. I don’t want to pay extra for a gimmick that may not add anything to the movie going experience. So to the studio heads out there, cool your jets when it comes to 3D. Like James Cameron said, if the director wants to do a 3D movie, great, let him or her do it. If not, leave the film alone. Not every movie benefits from being viewed 3D. Also, many filmgoers have complained of headaches and dizziness from watching a 3D movie. So, just because 3D worked for Avatar, it doesn’t mean it will work for every movie.

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/aug/20/3d-film-history

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/digital/3d/aliceinwonderland3dvfx

http://www.latinoreview.com/news/james-cameron-thinks-studios-should-chill-on-3d-conversions-9545

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62N14P20100325?feedType=RSS&feedName=entertainmentNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2Fentertainment+%28News+%2F+US+%2F
+Entertainment%29