Monday, 1 November 2010

Film Magazine Cover Analysis of Total Film Issue: October 2009

Total film magazine, is one of the two main film orientated magazines in the UK along with Empire. The magazine was first issued in 1997 by Future Publishing, the magazine features DVD news, Reviews of films, and features. The particular issue that I will be reviewing is from October 2009, the main film featured on the front of the cover is of Shutter Island, it is a film released in February 2010, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It comes from the Psychological Thriller Genre therefore it has similar codes and conventions to the Psychological Horror genre, Psychological relates to the human mind and its thought processes, and are therefore mental elements rather than actual physical elements of horror. Thriller films usually focus on actual action and storyline, and the physicality of the film, although with Psychological thrillers both elements are equally featured. 

The magazine Masthead is plain white and bold standing out against the darker background, this helps to make people recognise the magazine, throughout the Total Film franchise the title remains the same, with certain subtle changes depending on the articles featured, the word total sits inside the letter ‘F’ on the word film. Keeping the title of the magazine constant helps to establish a brand identity and it helps to create regular customers. The magazine name ‘Total Film’ instantly makes people assume and believe that the magazine is targeted towards films, it would also suggest that the magazine exclusively deals with movies and contains nothing irrelevant which the reader may not be interested in.  The size of the masthead on the magazine also implies that the titles presence is important, the word ‘Film’ takes up most of the space on the upper half of the magazine cover, having the masthead so large would strongly indicate how important films are to the reader and also the magazine but also it relates to vast size of the film industry itself, it can also make it stand out from the crowd of other magazines because people will see the word film and instantly know that it must relate to movies, and reviews etc. The masthead is styled simply, similar to that used on the credits of films this is because it will make the magazine more recognisable also the wide letter ‘M’ is a distinctive well known character used on the Total Film magazine. The target readership may relate to the magazine masthead because readers are used to looking at box office films on the big screen.

The main image featured on magazine is of Leonardo DiCaprio, who is well known for staring in a number of films, he is wearing a long gray cost, gray trousers a shirt and a tie, this would suggest that he has an important job role, the gun in his hand along with the police badge on his belt would strongly suggest that the man is a police officer. The serious look on the man’s face means he takes his work seriously the camera has taken the shot from a reasonably low angle, this therefore makes the man look even more powerful and someone of authority and possibly to make him seem intimidating to people. The character is looking down towards the ground which suggests that he is looking towards the ground, possibly at an object or could be sign that he is focused on the job in hand. He is also clenching his right wrist; this could mean that he is frustrated at something or possibly angry. The background of the image is infiltrated with mainly fog which suggests the film may have an unsettling film with a lot of suspense similar to that of thrillers. Also visible in the background of the main image is a building or structure of some sort with a lighthouse, this image may relate to him being on an island or alone and isolated.

When comparing the film poster and the magazine front cover there are a number of similarities or symbiotic links between the two, the first being the image of the lighthouse which features in both of the media texts, also the fog on the film magazine relates to that on the poster, in terms of the mist which surrounds the island. Also the colour Red is used on both on the poster and on the magazine front cover, also the styling is exactly the same, this creates an association between the text and the actual film itself, also the actor Leonardo DiCaprio appears on both of the pieces of media.

The sell-line at the top of the magazine will appeal to the target audience because they are film enthusiasts, this is the reason they buy film magazines because they enjoy movies. Next to the sell-line there features an image of a western film, movie goers can relate to this. The sell-line is titled ‘Greatest Movie Art Ever’, readers are probably very interested in films and anything associated with them. Another sell line featured on the front cover of the magazine relates Avatar the movie, with a quote from a person called Caveron who says ‘It’s got everything!’ The quote instantly indicates that that the article will be about Avatar and it may give the people the assumption that Avatar is a universal film containing elements of a wide range of genre, the sell line itself relates to a very popular and talked about movie, the magazine itself mainly focuses on the popular films. The sell line itself is written in white on a red background with and image taken from Avatar itself above, the first part of the sell line which aims to pull the audience in is in bold, the second half of the sell line is a slightly less bold because it mainly focuses on the details of the sell line. The mode of address used for the sell line is relatively informal as a quote is used and it is not very direct and to the point therefore readers will have to look inside to find out more. 

Generally most of the sell-lines are written in white but also there are elements of red used. The sell-lines are written in white so that they stand out against the much darker background, another possible reason for most of the sell-lines to be written in white is because it directly relates to the magazine masthead itself. Red is used to make a few of the sell-lines stand out, the red colour is exactly the same as the title of the film and also they way in which the colour breaks off is also the same, having the magazine theme on one particular film every time helps to bring the audience in because each issue will be different but also interesting to a keen movie enthusiast.

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