Rethinking Movie Posters

Observatory, The Arts

This is the kind of wishful thinking nonsense-article that drives me nuts. The Independent is running a piece about how movie posters are boring and are being reinvented by a new generation of designers. Having worked in the industry for a long time, I know how these articles come about; a couple of nice images surface and are mooted into a trend, which is then confirmed by industry insiders. The Sunday Times used to call me regularly to confirm trends, like ‘Are Shakespearean movies the latest hot trend?’. I would reply ‘No, there just happen to be two out at the moment.’ They would then ignore this and print the story anyway.

In this case, some commissioned work is being used, by extension, to represent the whole film industry. The truth is that designers and writers are trying to change things all the time, but Hollywood won’t let them because there’s equal size representation for stars, or the campaign has already been chosen for North America, and it’s cheaper to use the same three-heads-artwork for the UK.

Hollywood still believes that you’re more likely to see ‘Green Zone’ if they use a huge shot of Matt Damon’s face because it will make you think of the Bourne films, and they’re probably right. So while it would be lovely to see 1930s-style Russian woodcuts of rom-coms, you’re more likely to get Jennifer Aniston. And a dog wearing sunglasses if it’s a comedy. Article here.