The Art of Film Advertising Words by: Dennis Routledge Tizzard
Welcome to The Art of Film Advertising, a weekly feature which covers the latest posters and trailers for upcoming films. It’s been a great week for trailers, with a wealth of exciting new previews appearing, but not so great for posters. Bucking the trend, and jumping to this week’s top-spot, is the latest poster for Christopher Nolan’s (The Dark Knight, Memento) existential heist movie, Inception:
As cool as last week’s Inception poster was, it wasn’t really representative of how trippy the film’s going to be. This poster, on the other hand, is the poster equivalent of being on an acid trip whilst visiting Disney Land. It’s a striking and abstract (in poster terms, anyway) one-sheet and effectively conveys the twisted dream reality our characters will be involved in throughout the film. It also carries on the spiral motif Nolan used in this thoroughly psychedelic poster for his previous film, The Prestige. It’s also worth checking out the third trailer for the film which is decidedly epic. Inception is due for release on the 16th of July. Next up is a new poster for M. Night Shyamalan’s (The Sixth Sense, The Happening) fantasy epic, The Last Airbender:
Two keys elements (see what I did there?) is all it takes to make this poster aesthetically appealing and an effective piece of advertising; the image of Aang’s face and the fight scene below. The fire and ice effects, which are even more impressive in motion, look great here and give the poster a good sense of symmetry. The blue colour scheme and lines protruding from Aang’s face also add a subtle touch of allure to the poster. The Last Airbender is coming out on the 13th of August. Dark Castle Entertainment also released the first official poster for Vincenzo Natali’s (Cube, Paris, je t'aime) new sci-fi horror, Splice:
Whilst I’m generally against the idea of a horror film’s monster being revealed so early on I have to admit; this poster is seriously creepy. Once again, simplicity is the key. Here Dren (the genetically engineered creature in Splice) looks like a disturbing mash up of the xenomorphs from the Alien movies and a baby’s head. It’s made worse (read: better) by the fact that it takes up the entire image. In fact, if you took the image out of context, she almost looks harmless, but the blue light (yes, blue again) creeping in from behind and the use of a noise filter suggests that something much more malicious is afoot. Splice doesn’t have a UK release date as of yet but is due out on the 4th of June in the US. From one monster-orientated poster to another, here’s the first poster for new horror, The Task:
This poster is shockingly bad, especially in comparison to Splice’s. First off, the creature looks so incredibly cheap and tacky that it was probably created using a Halloween mask from Pound Land. The design is unoriginal, over-the-top and is far funnier than it is scary. Secondly, the camera in the foreground is really ugly and gives off a really obnoxious vibe. Besides, the whole ‘turning the camera back on the audience’ thing is, at this point, extremely clichéd. The blinding white light coming from behind him is the icing on the cake; this is a horror movie people, not J Lo’s latest rom-com. The new teaser trailer for J. J. Abrams’ (Star Trek, Cloverfield) and Steven Spielberg’s new mysterious project, Super 8, also hit screens his week: Little is known about Super 8 thus far (Abrams seems as if he’s pulling another Cloverfield with this one) but rumours suggest that the story will concern a group of children who encounter extraterrestrial beings whilst shooting an amateur film on super 8 film stock. The teaser starts out with a picturesque image of sleepy American town before a train suddenly rushes into the frame and a title card sets the scene; it’s 1979 and the US Air Forces have closed off a section of Area 51. Then out of nowhere a speeding car collides with the aforementioned train and things get loud. As the dust settles we see something, god knows what, attempting to smash its way out of the debris and before you know it, it’s finished. It’s short and to the point but Abrams knows exactly how to tease his audience into a hype frenzy; the frantic pace and cliff-hanger ending (not to mention the dirty camera lens finish) leave you wanting so much more. Abrams is set to begin shooting Super 8 soon with a 2011 release date in mind. Finally, we have the brand new trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s (From Dusk Til Dawn, Sin City)new mexploitation film, Machete: This is a great trailer because it plays on expectation so well. We’ve all (hopefully) seen this original ‘fake trailer’ which sat between Planet Terror and Death Proof and this latest one is very similar. The trick is the added and modified scenes in between which set up the new characters and set-pieces that look to be a lot of fun. The politically motivated introduction is also a nice touch, picking up on the current immigration issues in Arizona and connecting them to the film in question. What’s more, who can remember the last time De Niro and Seagal were actually in anything good?! Machete is due for release on the 3rd of September in the US but the UK release date is pending. That’s your lot for this week but check back next week for more of best (and worst) posters and trailers the film world has to offer. Click here and here to read previous The Art of Film Advertising articles.