How We Made Our Film Poster (Photoshop)


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

As a group, we successfully created a professional looking film poster within Photoshop as part of our ancillary tasks to our trailer. In this post, I will be discussing the features of the software package that we used to produce the poster and why we made certain decisions.

Here is the original image we took of Caitlin (Rosette) to use as the basis for our poster. Whilst we tried other ideas, this post will focus on the production of this version of the poster.


Firstly, we needed to refine the image of Caitlin so that we just had her mouth. To do this, we used the quick selection tool to select her mouth/chin area and then inverted the selection to be able to remove the top part of her face.

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Next, we needed to manipulate her lips and cheeks to make them appear more plush and natural than they already were. We focused on the cheeks, to begin with. To make them appear smoother we used a combination of the clone stamp tool and the spot healing tool to take a sample part of her cheek that we wanted to replicate across her face.


Once we had perfected the cheeks, we needed to work on the lips to make them appear redder to conform the visual conventions of the Femme Fatale’s sexuality and danger. To do this, we used the brush tool and changed the opacity to 42% to make the change as minimal as possible. We chose the specific shade of red we wanted by using a specific hex colour (#8D271B). By keeping a low opacity to the paint brush, this meant that we did not lose the glossy feel to the lips and make it appear that we had just painted over the top of them.

We also needed to remove Caitlin’s teeth from the picture and this was achieved by using a very thin black brush.

Then, the final element of Caitlin’s face was to add a glow around her to make her appear like a more mysterious and angelic character. This was achieved by using the eraser tool around the edges that had been softened to give a smoother feel to the edges.

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We then needed to add the smoke coming out of her mouth. To do this, we imported an image taken from the internet of some smoke in a PNG format (so there was no preexisting background). We then increased the hue of this image to make it appear redder to match Rosette’s lips.

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We could then add some cobwebs around this by importing them into the Photoshop file. By selecting the image and pressing Cmd + T we could resize these to our satisfaction. We also used the transformation tool to rotate these cobwebs as well.

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The last element was the titles. We downloaded a custom font (Upper East Side) from and installed this to use within the Photoshop file. We could then use the text tool to import this and use as the title and tagline and adjusting it’s size accordingly.

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For the credit block at the bottom, we downloaded a font called Steel Tongs which allows you to easily add a credit block to the bottom of the page.

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Above is a screenshot of us producing the text is After Effects. This was used on both the poster and in the trailer itself.

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This, in the end, produced the following poster. Whilst I understand it is not perfect, I feel as a group we can be proud of what we have produced.


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

Skills That I Need To Gain This Year

Throughout the production stage this year, I need to develop my skills in several areas; Photoshop, Premiere, the DSLR and After Effects. Whilst I used the first three of these last year for my practical- for A2 I will need to gain more advanced skills within these pieces of software.

For example…

Adobe Photoshop:


In Photoshop this year, I am going to need to be able to produce a film poster and magazine cover as part of my ancillary tasks. In these tasks I made be called upon to use the following image manipulation tools:

  • Lasso tool: Used for drawing freeform segments of a selection border
  • Quick selection tool: Allows you to select part of an image to perform transformations on it
  • Eyedropper tool: Allowing you to select the colour present on the image
  • Airbrushing: This alters and conceals facial features to make them look more ‘photogenic’
  • Content aware tool: This allows you to remove parts of a background using colours and objects that surround it
  • Spot healing brush tool: This is very similar to the content aware tool but can be used for more specific facial blemishes
  • Inverse selection:


Adobe Premiere:

We used Premiere to a fairly advanced level last year to produce an opening sequence for a horror film. We used the chroma key features and many standard clip manipulation tools. This year, to improve our understanding we may need to use the following tools:


  • Colour correction: Allows you to change the colour palette of a certain shot
  • Keyframing: Used to pinpoint a certain point of a shot to perform a manipulation of it
  • Distortion: May be used for a flashback shot
  • Warp Stabilisers: Used to stabilise any shaky shots
  • Advanced Transitions: Transitions that involve more than just moving from one shot to another

Adobe After Effects:


We did not use Adobe After Effects last year during our piece. This year, we may use this piece of software to produce the titles of our trailer using custom fonts and keyframes rather than static text made in Photoshop.

I will hopefully come back to these features at the end of my piece to see how many of these tools I used and what other new features I learned how to use. This will be to create the most professional media texts possible.