Monday, June 25, 2018

Movie Poster Design

Usually summer break is when I can get caught up on blog posts from the previous school year but this summer has been a little different! We recently moved to a new house in the country with a bigger lot that will allow for the creation of an even bigger butterfly garden, space to grow some vegetables, lots of room to play outside, AND it has a building that was previously a potter's studio! Eventually, when we get all the boxes unpacked, that space will become my studio and will have room to host workshops and teach classes. We just got internet hooked up a few days ago and on top of moving, remodeling, unpacking, etc., I'm due with our 3rd baby, like 2 days ago.

So, without further ado, here is a lesson that I've used the last 2 years in my high school computer graphics class. 2 years ago, I had a student enrolled in the class who was planning to major in film at university and would talk about the scripts he'd written. I started thinking about how cool it would be to make a life size movie poster for one of his films, as well as how many of our CTE competencies could be hit with a movie poster design project. Movie posters have emphasis and heirarchy, they give you hints at the story without giving away EVERYTHING, and they use color as a design element. 

I first asked students to come up with a movie concept- this could pretty much be anything appropriate for school. Some did parodies or mash ups, some did spin offs of series they enjoyed, and some made completely new ideas. The students filled out a simple google form with questions about genre, a short synopsis, etc. just to help them think it through.

After planning the idea, the students created thumbnail sketches to help plan the composition. They were supposed to create 3 sketches and get feedback from classmates on which was the most effective.

Next, we watched a short video on how color is an important storytelling element in films. The students were asked to choose a screenshot or poster from a movie, tv show, or video game in the same genre as the poster they were planning and sample the colors. I later showed how they could use the hue and saturation and color balance tools in photoshop to adjust the colors of the photos they were using.

The students then gathered images- either creating their own (preferred method) or using images labeled for reuse. We had digital cameras, scanners, graphics tablets, and our software available for use. The posters were designed to either 24x36 inches or 16x20 inches. Our school has a large poster printer so it was really fun to print the poster from the furture film-creator student at 24x36 inches and display it at League Art. He was a student who didnt' see himself as an artist so it's always extra fun to see a look of satisfaction on a "non-artist's" face when they are proud of their work.

 I recently posted the lesson plan with links to the plan document, rubric, etc. on the smARTteacher so feel free to head over there and check it out!


  1. I can't believe you have been doing all that and are almost having your baby!! How cool that it is an old potter's studio? That will be so great to have your own studio space. Good luck with your delivery!