Archive for the ‘Genre’ Category

AS Media Studies – Analysing Posters

September 27, 2013

Analysing Film Posters

When producing a film poster, it is very important to grab the target audience’s attention.

To achieve this, film posters use the pneumonic AIDA:

A is for ‘Attention’. Grabbing the attention of the target audience.

I is for ‘Interest’. The target audience are interested in the poster, and therefore the film itself.

D is for ‘Desire’. The target audience will want to go see the newly-released film, because of the poster.

A is for ‘Action’. The target audience actually going to the cinema to see the film.

If a poster doesn’t use AIDA, then no one will be engaged by its unique and often enticing features.

Conventions of a Film Poster

Here are some typical features that appear on a film poster:

‘Z pattern’. The composition of a poster, which refers to an invisible ‘Z’ going across the poster.

‘Rule of Thirds’. Used as a way of obtaining accurate composition. The poster will use the Rule of Thirds to have a correct layout.

‘Tagline’. The tagline of a poster is a way of engaging the audience in the film. For example, the tagline for the 1977 film ‘Star Wars’ is ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…’.

‘Narrative image(s)’. Image(s) that communicate the general synopsis of the film to the audience. Narrative image(s) are an example of NVC (Non-Verbal Communication).

‘Stars’. The actors/actresses who are going to appear in the film.

‘Genre’. The type of film that is being advertised as a poster. The genre of the film is usually revealed by the use of iconography (associated signs and sounds e.g. blood – horror, guns – action).

Analysis of the ‘Cache’ (‘Hidden’ in French’) Poster

1. The blood streak is a clear use of ‘horror’ iconography.

2. The poster follows the Z pattern. The top horizontal part of the ‘Z’ (going from top right to top left) goes across the stars’ names. The diagonal part of the ‘Z’ (going down from top right to bottom left) goes across the narrative image and the title. Finally, the bottom horizontal part of the ‘Z’ (going from bottom right to bottom left) goes across the small print at the bottom.

3. The white background is symbolised as being ‘pure’, but the blood streak is seen to ‘disturb’ this ‘pureness’.

4. The awards section of the poster emphasizes that the film is aimed at a niche market (specific audience) and it is also aimed at an arthouse film audience.

Analysis of the ‘The Grudge’ Poster

1. The use of the word ‘it’ in the tagline suggests that the ‘thing’ is being referred to as a monster. This is because there is no reference to ‘it’ being human.

2. The red colour in the title suggests that the film has a horror element to it.

3. The stars name is above he title. This suggests that the star is famous. However, because the name is in a small font, there is a suggestion that the star isn’t as famous as other Hollywood stars.

4. This poster has a good composition to it, due to it using the Rule of Thirds.

5. The narrative image is a Japanese monster. A Japanese monster is a typical feature of Japanese horror.

Thank you for taking your time to read this blog.


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