Thursday, October 31, 2013


Just what is a film poster?  It is a poster used to advertise a film.  They are used by movie studios to promote a film, both domestically and internationally.  Present day posters feature photos of the main characters of the movie.  Prior to 1990, the posters used illustrations rather than photographs.  These placards also contain the film title, actors and directors names, and the release date of the movie.  They can be found inside and outside theaters and elsewhere on the streets and in retail entertainment outlets.

The earlier advertisements were compositions of multiple overlaid illustrations from scenes in the film.  Many others were artistic interpretations of the overall theme of the movie displayed in various artistic styles.

Originally these posters were printed for the specific theater where the film was being shown.  At the end of the film's run, the posters were returned to  the National Screen Service which was responsible for the printing and distribution.  In the 1980's most American movie studios took over production and distribution of film advertisements.

There are several kinds of movie poster formats.

Lobby cards were a smaller form of poster, usually 8x10 or 11x14 inches in size, popular before 1930.  These cards are very collectible.  Age, quality, and popularity determine their value.  Lobby cards were most commonly issued in sets of 8, each with a different film scene.

Teaser posters are used in the early promotion of a film.  They feature a basic image or design which doesn't reveal much about the plot or characters.  They are generally used to create hype over the film.

Character posters are promotional placards that feature a character and the name of the actor playing it.  It may also carry a tagline reflecting a quality of that character.

Pictured above are 10 of the most famous movie posters in recent film history.

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