Media Film Poster Analysis

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Analyse 4 film posters, one from each genre discussed in your groups, commenting on: •Visual Codes
Layout and Design
Significance and Effects on the Audience

Film Posters are an important part in promoting films because they give the audience an insight into the film and give them an idea of what to expect. They are a vital aspect of film promotions as they are high profile and attract the audience because it is a major form of visual advertisement. When analysing film posters you notice that they follow certain codes and conventions within their specific genre of film. Within my essay I am going to be analysing the codes and conventions of four genre film posters which are horror, animation, comedy and action. My chosen horror poster is ‘The grudge’, for animation I chose ‘Toy Story 3’ and within comedy I chose ‘The Hangover’ and finally for action I chose ‘Crank’; all of my chosen films are iconic to that specific genre. Action film posters usually follow specific codes and conventions, especially within their visual codes. Dark colours are commonly used but with muses of red or orange colours, this helps imply danger and blood within the film. Within my chosen action poster ‘Crank’ its main colour is black which portrays the characters dark times ahead in the film, however it also has the use of reds and oranges which gives the audience the representation of blood, fire and danger. This has a significant affect on the audience because it shows them a brief but strong image of what to expect in the film overall because it sets the tone of the film. The key image is usually mid action shots of the main character holding a gun, as shown in my action poster ‘Crank’ with Jason Statham holding a gun; this signifies action because immediately the audience think the use of guns is going to be common factor within the film, this is an example of iconography. The foreground image also follows codes and conventions because it shows action, in my case helicopters, fire and police cars; this image is typical of the genre because it connotes explosive action within the film, immediately creating suspense. There are also many signifiers because the gun and the fire connote the film genre and pose a narrative enigma. Another iconic part of the poster is the use of Jason Statham because he is iconic to action films so this also has a significant effect on the audience because they automatically know it’s an action film. Also the image of his character on the film poster signals a very strong presence, as the picture is a low angle image which makes the characters look and seem bigger and portrays power; this has a significant effect on the audience because they want the them to experience the character’s presence through one image, and in my opinion they do this. The overall poster depicts a typically male audience with its use of colours, imagery, chosen fonts and its chosen genre is stereotyped to a male audience. The font chosen within the poster also has effect; it is a bold, sharp cornered font which represents the film as a whole, with the action being bold, big and explosive. Typically most action film posters have their film title in capital letters to make the audience remember the film title, the block capitals could also represent the action within the film, bold and big which would give the audience the idea that they are to expect plenty of action. The busy layout of the poster also represents this because in every aspect of the poster there is something going on; in my poster Crank you have fire, police cars, helicopters, the main character, a gun and a bold central title. In other action posters this is also common to have a busy structure because if the poster was just all one colour with no forms of actions (guns, blood, vehicles) the audience wouldn’t feel the same suspense and excitement as they would from another action poster with a busy layout, so the layout has a significant effect upon the...
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