The art of poster design: a student's take
As part of the CIS online film festival, each original short film created by secondary media/film students, had a bespoke movie poster designed for promotional purposes. As part of a unique cross-discipline project, Grade 10 design students were tasked with creating a marketing campaign and promoting each of the films through different mediums — including movie posters.
Erin O’Rourke, MYP design teacher, says, “I love to watch this festival unfold and how the design students contribute to its success in our community. What started as a pivot into home-based learning last year, has now grown to a fantastic celebration of art and design. Our design teams are learning and demonstrating what it's like to design for an authentic client with real deadlines and stakeholders. Our film students get to benefit from this promotion design, by increasing the reach of their films to the larger CIS community through the campaigns.”
We caught up with some of the grade 10 design students to find out what inspired them and how they came up with their final design.
Movie title: A twisted tale
Director: Aleandra O
Synopsis: As a young teen is getting ready to go to sleep, he notices something supernatural in his mirror. Little does he know, it is lurking in the shadows.
Poster inspiration: I was inspired by Japanese horror manga.
Movie title: Kidnapped
Director: Rebecca H
Synopsis: A man struggles in a dangerous situation when a stranger arrives to hopefully help him.
Poster inspiration: I wanted to reflect the tension in the film so I didn’t show any detailed character faces in the poster. The unclear characters create a sense of uncertainty in the viewer so they can’t be sure whether it’s the shadowy kidnapper or the main character who is holding the knife. The black and white colours not only outline and give the characters contrast, it also highlights the most important element of the film: the knife.
Movie title: The summoning
Director: Alexey K
Synopsis: When three doctors are summoned…madness overrules the school as children begin to go missing.
Poster inspiration: The movie is about how three doctors are chasing a girl, so I decided to put the doctors in the background chasing the girl in the middle of the poster. I deliberately made the doctors bigger and placed them at the top to show their ‘power’ over the girl. Most posters I’ve seen are done in this way.
Movie title: The magical card
Director/Editor/Cinematographer: Yiming G
Synopsis: Do you believe in magic？If you discovered an invitation card to the magical world, would you go there? A student who gets locked in at school is unaware of the horrors that creep up after hours.
Poster inspiration: My posters are inspired by many effective movie posters, such as those by Disney, that I've seen throughout my life. I have created three different posters to advertise the film, to bring variety to our marketing campaign. All posters have a magical card as their main subject to effectively promote the film, as the card acts as an iconic representation of the film. I've used a pink/purple color theme, along with fancy fonts and stereotypical representations of magic (such as the witch's hat and the wand), to establish the film's fantasy genre.
Movie title: No Cal
Director: Sparsh B
Synopsis: Desperate to get perfect marks on his math test, a boy calls in a favour and anxiously waits to see how it plays out.
Poster inspiration: I designed the poster around the theme of the movie. The silhouette in the poster appears frustrated and in distress, which represents how the protagonist in the movie feels. I also used a calculator in the title text because the movie is based around a calculator, as the title "No Cal" hints at.
Movie title: Horma
Director: Olivia Z
Synopsis: A student enters the bathroom after school and decides to play a horror game but suddenly hears a ghostly sound. She yells and wants to escape but no one can hear.
Poster inspiration: I wanted to have a simple poster design to make sure the audience can watch the movie without any obvious spoilers. I was inspired by the bathroom setting of the film, so I decided to edit the image to make it look eerie by reducing the overall brightness and highlighting the mirror. The crack in the mirror is an ode to another horror element, signifying bad luck as an allusion to what happens to Emma the main character. The typography is in bold letters, in a "spooky" font and the dark red for "Horma" is common in other horror film posters.
Movie title: The Gift
Director: Mikaela M
Synopsis: Lindsey is left heartbroken after a Valentine’s present went terribly wrong. Can Scott explain himself in time to save the relationship?
Poster inspiration: I did some research into alternative designs for movie posters and I decided to utilise a minimalistic design with minimal shading. The style was chosen to allow elements of the poster to be easily defined and to reflect the film's simplistic plot and punchline.
Well done to our grade 10 design students for their thoughtful and creative movie poster designs. If you haven’t watched the student films yet, be sure to log in to the film festival website here with your CIS credentials. You can also view the student films from the CIS film festival 2020 here.