poster

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.

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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 http://www.dafont.com 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.

Focus Groups: Film Poster and Magazine Cover

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

We conducted some open-ended focus groups to gain some initial insight to our film poster and magazine cover.

Magazine Cover:

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After posting out a link on social media to this focus group, we received some responses to gauge an initial reaction to the cover. It was clear that many wanted us to adjust the image of Andrew to make it look less photoshopped which was caused by a gaussian blur we had added to it. Many also felt that we should change the colour of the font of ‘Andrew Wills’ and make the below text (tug) larger and easier to read as well.

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We then took this feedback on board and removed the blur, made the font white and made the tug larger as well. This small focus group was, therefore, useful in gauging an initial reaction to our piece allowing us to make said improvements to it.

Film Poster:

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 16.04.29We then proceeded to use the same method of feedback for our poster. This indicated to us that we should improve the tagline, make some adjustments to the lips/mouth of Rosette to make it appear more streamlined and improve the spider webs around the smoke.

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We then made changes accordingly. Whilst we did not change the cobwebs as we felt there was not much we could do to improve it any further. However, we did change the tagline to have a direct correlation with the web that Rosette spins. We also went back and refined the lips in Photoshop to make them look more realistic and plush. Once again, focus groups made this clear to us and we were able to act on this feedback accordingly.

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.

First Attempt at Designing a Film Noir Poster

This was my very first attempt at producing a poster for the Neo-Noir Genre. It is extremely basic and was made in a matter of minutes, but it gives a good basis already in learning in what is successful and what is not when producing a film poster. Firstly the most important aspect that the poster had to have (that I identified) was the fact it needed to use chiaroscuro lighting. This was in order to conform to the standard conventions of the genre. I also chose to use the New York skyline in order to use the idea that the film would be suburban just like other films of the genre (for example- Chinatown). The title ‘The End’ was mainly chosen on a whim due to the time constraints. However, there was some thought behind it. Many films will try to keep their title as short as possible with a word that links with the subplot for their film,¬†for example, Brick.

Although there are still some issues with this basic poster. Firstly, the lack of a human character on the poster gives the audience very little idea what the film is about- or who stars in it. Furthermore the lack of a tagline, production company or release state prevents this poster from serving any purpose at all- but this issue was mainly due to the time constraints.

Despite these flaws, this was a worthwhile exercise in ascertaining what makes a successful poster- an important skill that is needed for the year ahead.