The movie poster frequently considered one of the most iconic promotional tools of the feature film industry. This article will not be exhaustive but will try to isolate some of the persistent aspects of this form of film advertising. One might see the poster used to promote a feature film, advertise an Oscar telecast, or be used as a form of memorabilia. This article will be concerned with poster as a form of film advertising only. Hopefully this article will help us better determine whether the contemporary movie poster remains a vital form of feature film advertising.
Common Placement and Frequent Settings:
Where might you see the feature film poster? At a theatre one might find one in the or around a box office, lobby or foyer area . Any part of the house  (the non-theater stage area) may display posters yet the most aggressive advertiser might not be on or within the theater premises at all.
Frequently construction sites provide excellent walls for the presentation of posters yet the assertive conscious raiser may post a poster anywhere yet still preferably within blocks of the showcasing theater. Until recently, the film poster was designed to speak to the pedestrian and was designed to provoke traffic to the screening event. Since many posters are large many urban areas commonly provide space for the presentation of posters on billboards, bus stations, within train stations and magazines.
Still there are those who resist the presentation of movie posters such as when you see the term “post no bill” printed on open wall space. Sharing much of its history with live theatre productions, the “bill” refers to the “playbill” that frequently described coming plays and other theatrical productions .
As an artistic creator’s product, the authorship of the film poster is primarily a creation of illustrators and graphic designers. I believe though Hollywood would gladly take all of the credit for the development of the film poster and all development generally, all manner of film production would ultimately develop on more than one continent. More detail will support this statement later.
Terminology to Distinguish an Isolated History:
Since the movie poster shares similarities with other forms of fine and popular entertainment like the stage play, the circus, and or and musical forms of entertainment it has developed a history that is at least valued in the varied memorabilia markets.
Many would claim the most common form of movie poster is “the one sheet”. This form of ad has since 1984 tended to conform to the dimensions of “27 in X 40 in” page. Yet the product’s origins go all the way back to Thomas Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company in 1909 . Created to address pedestrians the window card was another of advertising media that appeared commonly until the eighties . This is how movieposter.com describes this product:
“Window card movie posters were printed on heavier card stock paper from the 1920s to the mid 1980s. These posters would be placed outside the theaters, in windows of nearby shops and businesses, as a promotional tool. Most window cards had a blank space allocated at the top of the poster for the theater owners to print the date and show times of the movies they were promoting. ”
Often chosen as an alternative term to discuss the theater based movie poster “The Lobby Card” is commonly referenced in memorabilia supportive environments .
Today vintage movie posters are extremely valuable collectibles that sometimes retail in the millions. Because maintaining posters was difficult prior to the 1940’s few of them even could be saved before this period. Because of their rarity they are expensive and sought after. Because of their value a whole community of professionals support the Movie poster world.
Dealers can be found in every major western and non-western country that has a film or poster industry. Framers of course attend to the security and display of movie posters. Restorers help to sustain the value and upkeep of old movie posters. Auctions, magazines, books and grading organizations maintain distribution and maintain the value of the field and it’s discourses. Suppliers provide materials to support all of previously mentioned functions .
Yet all of these activities assist preservation, guarantees conservation, and maintain a respect of the development of the contemporary and historical field, as we have known it.
Given all of the later innovations in movie advertisement, do you believe the movie poster is still an effective form of advertising for feature film entertainment?
Please join us for a discussion Tuesday 9/11/2012 @7pmE/12UTC