The Widow’s Web: Film Poster Analysis

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Above is an analysis of the visual elements of our film poster and how they conform to typical conventions of the noir genre.


Magazine Cover Analysis

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

An analysis of how our magazine front cover conforms to typical conventions of both S&S publications, but the magazine industry in general.

Sight & Sound: Analysis (Photoshop)

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

How did you use media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?


The first draft we made

This was the first version of the poster that we made. The original photo can be found below. After editing the Sight & Sound and BFI logo onto the image we decide to use a colour splash of the red and blue graffiti. To achieve this we desaturated the image to make it black and white. Then after duplicating the image we used the quick selection tool to select the area of graffiti and then inverted this selection. We then used the colour selection tool and the eydropper tool in order to only show the red and blue sections.


The raw photo that we had to work with


Making the image black and white


The quick selection tool to highlight certain parts of an image

Then to create the credit block we used text manipulation in order to modify the ‘Plus’ text.



Select the pixels around some text


This allows you to add an outline to your text


We selected the Plus text and added an outline to it to make it stand out slightly more.

We then did some audience feedback on the first draft. The main response was that our cover did not follow the typical conventions of the Sight & Sound covers. We, therefore, looked to change the text and titling to make it look more like covers of the past.

Based on this feedback we then made two newer versions. This included using a more appropriate font (Abati MT Regular) that looked more like the font used on the cover of Sight & Sound. We then used the eyedropper tool to make the bullet points the same colour as the logo to have a unified colour scheme. We noticed that certain covers would use a box around the words ‘Exclusive Interview’, so using the shape and eyedropper tools we did this to create a yellow box.

The final main feature that we added to the cover was the use of a gaussian blur.


Adding a blur to the image


By inverting the selection of our director (Andrew Wills) we were able to add this blur to place more emphasis on the director himself. Above you can see the two versions side by side (with the left being without the blur and the right being with it included).After some more audience feedback, we decided as a group that the version that used the blur looked more appropriate. We also decided to remove the white outline to the word ‘Plus’ as this did not follow the generic conventions of the publication. This then led to the final version which can be seen below.



The final cover


We as a group are happy with this cover, however, of course, it is not completely perfect. The way in which we have used the quick selection tool to blur the background makes our director look like he has been superimposed onto the scene slightly when you view the image close up. The text ‘Andrew Wills’ could have been improved further as well. Maybe making the text white would have made it look more simplistic than using the red font to try and match the background.


After obtaining some feedback from our peers, we decided to make a final few adjustments to the poster. We decided to make the text white to conform to the typical conventions of previous Sight & Sound publications and to make it easier to read to the audience. We also decided to remove the gaussian blur from the cover as the feedback we received from the audience indictaed they preffered it without the blur as it made it look like we had photoshopped Andrew Wills onto the background (when it was a real photo). This will now serve as our final magazine cover.

Sight & Sound v4

Film Poster Analysis

A short analysis of a film few posters ahead of producing our own poster for ‘The Widow’s Web’. This will help us conform to the typical expectations of a film poster regardless of the genre.

It is also important to consider what role a film poster has in the industry. Put simply, the purpose of a film poster is to advertise the film to a general audience. This could be on billboards, buses or in print media. Therefore, the poster must be appropriate to be viewed from both a close and far distance, large or small. Thus, the font and image of your poster should be clear to read on both mediums. If your poster is eye-catching enough and sells the main features of your film (be it a famous actor or director), then there is a good chance that an audience member will look up your film online and do some further research which may end up with them seeing it in a cinema.

So, when we come to produce our own poster, we must consider not only the ways that we should conform to the noir genre, but also to help our poster act as the best promotional tool possible.

Ancillary Tasks: Magazine Cover Analysis

In this task, I analysed the differences between Empire and Sight & Sound magazines. By completing this task, I now know the differences between a mainstream and a niche magazines cover. This will help us as a group during our own magazine cover production once we have decided what sort of an audience we are going to target.

Neo-Noir Trailer Analysis

Here is a brief analysis of the trailer of LA Confidential. The main takeaway from this trailer is the use of the Femme Fatale. Unfortunately this trailer has become quite dated and therefore would not be as effective for us as a group due to its use of a stereotypical voiceover. Although, this trailer has shown us that you need to have the appropriate lighting, costume and music for when you are shooting the Femme Fatale. This will in turn symbolise to the audience within the trailer what sort of a character she is going to be- i.e. a sexually promiscuous manipulative woman. Therefore when filming the scenes with Rosette, we will ensure that she clearly has these character traits.

I also conducted a separate analysis of the film ‘Pulp Fiction’. Despite also showing signs of its age- in the fact that it has a stereotypical voiceover, there are some elements that would be worthwhile to use in our trailer. Firstly, this trailer utilises the music to full effect. It incorporates the dialogue to interrupt the music and also uses a different track to embody a different tone or emotion. This has demonstrated to us that we need to ensure that our own tracks are carefully chosen in order to match the mood of the film. Furthermore, having looked into this trailer, we have also realised the importance of transitions in our film. In this trailer, they have used the gunshots to cut to the title of the film in order to give the name ‘Pulp Fiction’. This shows us that introducing the name of the film to the audience is actually one of the most important aspects of a trailer- so we will try to bear this in mind during our production.