Compare and Contrast the codes and conventions that are used to establish genre and to market the film to its target audience in 2 contemporary film posters. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the code and convections that are used to establish genre and to market the film to the target audience in two posters. During this essay I will compare two posters e.g. by checking if there are any similar signifiers. The starting point for my analysis is the definition of a major genre, sub-genre and a generic hybrid.
A major genre is a media term to describe an important category or style of music, film or another type of entertainment e.g. Star Wars is in the sci-fi genre. A sub-genre is a smaller type of genre in the major genre e.g. Spy movies, but a generic hybrid is a film with more than 2 genres, e.g. Star Wars has more than 2 genre; Sci-fi, Romance, Action plus many more.
However identifying distinct film genre is very hard because modern day films have so many different genres. Media producer such as Hollywood studio, are particular interested in generic hybrid because it increase the target audience as some people will go for the romance, and other will go for action, therefore more people will watch the money then the studios get richer. Genre can also be useful to the audience because they can recognise and understand film. Director can also use genre for many reason such as it can develop stars by associating them with a particular genre e.g. John Wayne can be associated with western movies. Also it helps them create a formula to make film a success.
Cleary film posters are a vital aspect of film promotions as they are high profile and it attracts audience because it is a major form of visual advertisement. Poster use unique image of the film so it create word of mouth and raise anticipation. The use of copy and images conveys the unique selling point. Film posters are not the only type of film promotion. There are also trailers, celebrity interviews, sound track, merchandises and film reviews. Film promotion have several intended effects: importantly, it aims to create anticipation so it urges people to go watch the movie. It also creates word of mouth, and to sell the film. One of the most successful posters was for the film ‘Titanic’ which grossed billions at the box office.
The responsibility for film promotion lies with the distributors such as Columbia. Film promotion may also involve several specialist companies and therefore can be very expensive due to the sheer scale of the promotion and distributing. The larger studios may avoid these huge cost as these studios are often vertical integrated. Vertical integrated film can help to save the studios some money because the studios own and control each stage of product, this includes the studio owning they own cinemas; they produce, distributes, and exhibits films.
The focus of this essay is to compare and contrast the code and convections that are used to establish genre. My genre that I am analysing is the action. Typically, we would expect to see the main characters poised in action. Film such as Die Hard, here provides an excellent example of a typical action movie. Arguably, the target audience is broad because many people will like the action scene and the special effects. The core of this audience will largely be males aged 15-35.
The first poster I shall analyse is for the film ‘Hard Cash’. It was released in 2002. Initially, the film was called ‘Run for the Money’. This film was produced by Millennium Studios which immediately suggest this has a high production value. This film clearly has high production value because there are popular stars such as Christian Slater. The key image are the two main characters, Christian Slater and Val Kilmer, holding gun this signifier the action because you think there will be a gun fight.
These are also example of iconography. The foreground image depicts a close-up of Verne Troyer while the mise en scene shows a boat on fire. This image is typical of the genre because it connotes explosive action. There are many signifers: the gun and the fire connote the genre and pose a narrative enigma. It is also possible to identify the iconography of another genre; Verne Troyer signifers the comedy genre because he usually play a comical character.
The particular font has sharp edges so it connotes this is more for males also the dollar sign is used instead of a S. This is iconography as is symbolises a fight for wealth. The tagline is “Everybody has a price”, connotes the theme of money also sound like they are trying to kill someone. This also conveys the narrative enigma. The main stars names are at the top with their pictures. The minor stars names are at the bottom with their former show and movies that increases the target audience because it targets anyone who likes the star’s former shows.
The second poster I shall analyse is for the film “Man on Fire”. By deconstructing the poster we can see the key image is the main star Denzel Washington being protective of the innocent girl. This creates a narrative enigma of what is he protecting her from. The mise en scene shows there is a huge fire, this connotes the action genre and establish the poster’s narrative enigma. Near the bottom, we see a string of clip so it acts as a trailer. One of the pictures shows the innocent girl gasping as this connotes a thriller element because what is she scared of. The font is narrow and square but Denzel Washington name is filled in with fire, this show that his character is very angry and a person to be feared. The tagline for the film is “A promise to protect. A vow to avenge” this show he is set to get revenge no matter what. That enforces the action and thriller genre.
Clearly, as the poster depicts the same genre, there are key similarities such as the fire in the mise en scene which connotes the action genre. By examining in both posters, it is possible to recognise some important similarities for example the font is more aimed for males. The most obvious explanation for the similarities betweens the posters is that both the image has to connote action and fire does that well. Also the fonts were aimed for males because that is the target audience.
The “Man on Fire” poster is the most effective poster because it creates an air of mystery of what does that innocent girl have to do with the storyline therefore “Man on Fire” enjoyed a greater box office success in American. The unique selling point of the “Man on Fire”, is the sense of mystery that the image of Denzel Washington protecting the girl creates. The unique selling point of “Run for the Money”, is the sense of a lot of action that the image of the boat on fire connotes.