Monday, 1 November 2010

Conventions of Movie Trailers, Posters, & Magazine Front Covers

The following is a list of the codes and conventions that are traditionally followed when producing Trailers, Posters & Magazine front covers.

Movie Magazine Covers: A number of conventions are traditionally followed when producing a movie magazine, the most prominent of these conventions that is very strictly followed is the presence of a Masthead at the top of the page, usually either in the centre or on the prominent left-hand third. The idea of a Masthead is to remain constant so that brand identity can be created. Magazines also usually ensure that they keep to the same style and format each issue with only the content changing. Magazine covers usually always have some sell-lines, although the number always varies. Colours used on front covers are traditionally kept to just the primary colours, and just using a limited number of different colours.

Magazine covers usually always show an image which is relevant to a film possibly being released, it is also more than likely to be there main article for that issue. Men in general tend to dominante movie magazine front covers, this is confirmed after analysing different covers. Not always considered to feature on magazine covers however more frequently present on movie magazines, are the use of 'Puffs' or 'Banners' designed to give the audience something for their eyes to look at- perhaps relating to a deal.

Movie Posters: Movie posters, just like magazines are there to draw in a potential audience to see your film. This is even more true when talking about movie posters, which are one of the studio companies main ways of selling the film and entice its audience in. Therefore movie posters particularly have to be eye catching and stand out among the rest, achieving this requires the need to use minimal text and use more imagery, iconography and colours. Usually film posters use their main character on the front of the poster, with horror films this is always either the antagonist (killer) or the protagonist (central character, where the plot develops around).

When featuring the antagonist on the front of the poster they are usually shown to me powerful/dominant, they are usually always hidden behind a mask or their face may be darkened. The antagonist is usually pictured to be in distress/alert or fearful of something (likely to be the protagonist). Darker colours are usually used for horror film posters to convey the mood of the film. Also present on the movie poster is the tagline which is usually at the top of the poster with a message giving a posible insight into what the film may be about.

Always present on a movie poster is the title of the film, this is usually written towards the bottom middle of the poster however it may also be placed at the top of the poster. The reason for placing the title towards the bottom of the page is because this is where audiences generally look first. Production companies and studios also like to have their logo on the poster towards the bottom corners. Credits generally also feature on posters although this is not always the case especially with early release posters. Finally posters also feature either the date when a film is released or perhaps text along the lines of 'Coming Soon'.

Movie Trailer: Unlike Posters & Magazines the codes and conventions of movie trailers are more flexible, considering that differnt genres will have slightly different conventions when producing film trailers.

In general film trailers always feature a number of different straps, these give information a bout the film, such as, the title, director/producers involved and if they are well known in relation to other horror films, also the straps may give general information on the narrative of the trailer. The beginning of a movie trailer usually involves studio/production company logos, before a shot which will then set the scene for the rest of the trailer. Trailers in the horror genre tend to build on tension already created, and therefore the speed of the editting in a trailer usually speeds up as it gets towards the end, before slowing back down again.

Also elements such as mise-en-scene have to be followed, such as the use of objects suitable to the genre e.g. weapons, also the use of the correct camera angles and shots suitable for the message trying to be conveyed. At the very end of a film trailer there will sometimes feature a teaser shot known as a 'Sting' giving an additional scare for the audience.

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