Topic: Great Fucking Movie Posters

And in a stunning turn of events, this isn't even about Drew Struzan. Yet.

I'm a massive snob when it comes to movie posters. It's a form that more and more amateurs have been making their way into as filmmaking has democratized, and it's a perfect example for the distinction between breaking the rules on purpose and not knowing there are rules to break. People make posters - and other people fawn over them - that look like they're right, they kinda look poster-y somehow, but are totally dropping the ball on the fundamentals of good poster design. And it kind of drives me insane.

I'd love to bloviate on the subject quite a bit over the course of this thread, and on the above distinction with examples, but to start with I just wanted to share this particular poster from Mondo.

If you're not familiar, Mondo does commissioned movie poster art from time to time, where they'll bring in an artist and have them design a poster for a movie they love. (Or that Mondo thinks they can sell.) The internet goes crazy for these pieces, and they usually drive me up the wall. They're often superb pieces, drawings, paintings, but the poster form doesn't lend itself to the style of artist they tend to bring in. (In my opinion, natch.) Often they're hyper-detailed line art in monochrome or stylishly limited color palettes.

If it was only meant to be a cool painting, I'd dig it. They always cross the "cool painting" threshold. But the purpose of the movie poster is to sell the film and the attitude contained within it, and generally movie posters follow a particular style of layout. (Not particular layouts, a particular style of layout, philosophy of layout.) And Mondo posters, not to put too fine a point on it, rarely do.

I have all these opinions man, and what am I supposed to do, keep them to myself?!

Anyway. Today Mondo released this, and it's not only far and away my favorite Mondo piece from everything I've seen*, it also just vaulted onto my "top ten posters of all time" list.

*note, this category includes at least one poster that my friend did that I purchased and framed.

http://i.imm.io/19fCr.jpeg

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Anyway, we're gonna do this thread in themes. More themes will come, and you can post again, but for now...

Only post one movie poster. Your favorite movie poster of all time. Explain why it's your favorite.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Okay Teague seriously, you can't throw down shit like:

If it was only meant to be a cool painting, I'd dig it. They always cross the "cool painting" threshold. But the purpose of the movie poster is to sell the film and the attitude contained within it, and generally movie posters follow a particular style of layout. (Not particular layouts, a particular style of layout, philosophy of layout.) And Mondo posters, not to put too fine a point on it, rarely do.

Without giving at least one example of wtf you're talking about. (In reference to the bad poster design... you can show me good ones all day but I'll still have no clue why it's good)

EDIT: In answer to the question, I have thought so little about movie posters I honestly can't even think of one to call my favorite (outside of all the stereotypical Struzen stuff)...hence the above comment, you have me intrigued.

Last edited by BigDamnArtist (2013-06-13 20:55:34)

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Oh, I'll get there. I've been wanting to do a general "Teague vomits his stupid opinions about movie poster design" thread for a long time, but I wasn't actually prepared for that today, I just saw the Mondo poster and got excited as balls. Explanations and examples are coming.

Consider it a cold open? I dunno.

Teague Chrystie

I have a tendency to fix your typos.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

http://24.media.tumblr.com/186f4a50125c545806a7cab0380b9735/tumblr_mjtsynCbR91s704b5o1_500.gif

...okay.

ZangrethorDigital.ca
youtube.com/bigdamnartist

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

That is a great Man of Steel poster.

There are too many to list as my favourites, but I always thought this was one of the best. Ironically, it scared me away from watching the movie for years. It perfectly encapsulates the spirit and tone of the movie.

http://media.creativebloq.futurecdn.net/sites/creativebloq.com/files/articles/article/2012/07/jaws.jpg

Honourable mentions (because I clearly can't be restained by the rules, hey, don't trap me man): Jurassic Park, Full Metal Jacket, Predator, and The Terminator.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

I have no general memory bank of posters that I have liked in the past. But looking through IMDb I remembered how much I love this one, it works really well both as a work of art, as a description of the movie itself, and the hour glass shape may not be entirely apparent at first, but once you know what the movie is about you may gain an extra layer of appreciation for the design.


http://livingincinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/127-HOURS-one-sheet.jpg

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Does anyone know the name the book where Drew Struzan talks about the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull poster and how he decided to retire? I think it was mentioned on one of the podcasts

Extended Edition - 140 Solo: A Star Wars Story!
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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Faldor wrote:

Does anyone know the name the book where Drew Struzan talks about the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull poster and how he decided to retire? I think it was mentioned on one of the podcasts

I thought that one of the panelists had the actual behind the scenes book for the Indiana Jones movies and was digging through it during the episode. I think it is this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Making-Indiana-Jones/dp/0345501292

But, I could be wrong...I haven't listened to that commentary in while. I mean, I might now, just to hear the pained groans of the panelists over this film wink

Anyway, movie posters...right

Actually, the first one that pops out in my mind is this from "The Dark Knight"
http://static.fastcommerce.com/content/ff808081163c05b001169d6655243ae9/mainimages/Dark_Knight_poster_Why_So_Serious_27X39.jpg

Perhaps its because of the life that Heath Ledger eventually breathed in to that role, but it really gave an odd sense to the movie. First of all, we know who the villain is, but the almost goofy artwork style smile has its own sense of macabre curiosity.
It stands out to me because it really creates more questions to what the film is about than normal. I like the almost lack of information in this style.

God loves you!

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Pretty sure Struzan's I Quit story came from Teague's coffee table book The Art of Drew Struzan

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Thing about Mondo's movie posters is, as you say, they do a rather poor job of selling the film; they're really meant for folks who are familiar with, and have an affection for, the film.

I'm honestly not really clear what you find so #1 about the MAN OF STEEL poster you show. I can appreciate it, but compared to a great iconic poster like JAWS, I find it too busy, without a good flow -- the streaks interrupt the flow by their nature, and the blue one coming out of his side in particular just confuses my eye.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

This is probably my favorite of all movie posters. I have it among the 10 or 12 in my house.

http://collider.com/wp-content/uploads/indiana-jones-and-the-last-crusade-poster.jpg

More so than the posters for Raiders and Temple, it says that this is a movie with adventure at the center—literally—but it's also about these characters. I mean, LOOK at those faces. Not only are they accurate representations of the actors, each one is a jewel of a portrait.

And it's all surrounded by a frame of ancient stone that invites you in to the mystery and action like few other posters ever have.

The previous films' posters had a lot of the same elements, but never quite struck the right notes, for the most part. One for Temple turns Indy into a god. One for Raiders makes it look like he's having way too much fun.

EDIT: I do wish the portrait of Indy was a little "sharper". He seems to be just posing, rather than caught in a moment.

Last edited by Zarban (2013-06-14 00:42:23)

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Dorkman wrote:

Thing about Mondo's movie posters is, as you say, they do a rather poor job of selling the film; they're really meant for folks who are familiar with, and have an affection for, the film.

I have the same problem with the "minimalist" posters that are going around. They tend to just be jokes about one iconic scene in the film, often a spoiler, even.

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of that Man of Steel poster. It's too busy and complex. Superman posters should be simple and to-the-point.

"The Doctor is Submarining through our brains." --Teague

Twitter | Tumblr, for links to all my writing.

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

I generally don't like the Mondo posters, they just cram as much shit into every frame as possible and it ends up looking like an ugly mess.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Mondo is pretty hit and miss.

The Wobbling Warrior

16

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

http://www.collecttolkien.com/images/Posters/Posters%20FOTR%20Mini%20Frodo%20Ring%20Palm%20Power%202003.jpg
This one is one of my favorites and one of the only movie posters I've ever purchased.  I like the simplicity of it, along with the fact it still conveys one of the biggest through lines of the trilogy.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

http://i.imgur.com/6yBVD2k.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/P1k7EEA.jpg


If only the movie were half as good as the poster brilliantly set up...  sad

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Take a look at the credits on the poster for Jaws and compare that to the The Keep. What the fuck happened to the people responsible for that stuff? I know there are contractual requirements about text size, but you might as well just not have any credits on the poster at all. Or why not build in contractual requirements that your name be a certain height-to-width ratio?

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

I think that Frodo poster the only poster I still have lying around. It's a really good one. I also liked the Two Towers one.
http://www.moviegoods.com/Assets/product_images/1020/179008.1020.A.jpg

And the ROTK with Aragorn continued that minimalist 'central theme' of the movie.

http://www.impawards.com/2003/posters/lord_of_the_rings_the_return_of_the_king.jpg


I much preferred these versions to the standard ones (used for the DVDs etc.) which just have a bunch of floating heads, which I loathe in poster design.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. - Carl Sagan

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20

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

Yeah, floating heads always seem to be just a fallback if they either have no idea visually or are bound to sell the movie only through the big names- or both.

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

http://uk.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/6/MPW-3129

Extended Edition - 140 Solo: A Star Wars Story!
VFX Reel | Twitter | IMDB | Blog

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

I always loved this one:
http://posterwire.com/wp-content/uploads/silence_of_the_lambs.jpg
Closeup of the moth:
http://inspiredposters.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/3-silence-of-the-lambs-explation.jpg

We all float down here...

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Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

It goes deeper than you imagine...

http://www.zarban.com/pics/lambs-tattoo.jpg

Warning: I'm probably rewriting this post as you read it.

Zarban's House of Commentaries

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

I was going to say, that skull is crazy because it isn't really a skull.
Zarban beat me to it

God loves you!

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25

Re: Great Fucking Movie Posters

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/9041/rfdo.jpg

http://www.impawards.com/1999/star_wars … _ver1.html

I did not see a single trailer back then, only a few posters, and this one I really liked. To take the iconic image of what seems to be a younger Luke with the foreshadowing taken literal was a neat idea.

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