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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Movie Posters

I was so green with jealousy I looked like I was at the casting call for Wicked. And all because the other day the Wave-inatrix was in the office of an executive who had a giant framed poster of Blue Velvet behind his desk. I mean, it was huge. I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

Much like I couldn't take my eyes off of Sydney Pollack, dining at Canter's the other day. Oh, how I wanted to worship at his feet. But decency and respect demanded that I be satisfied with a secret, awe-struck stare.

By far the best poster I have seen in an executive's office was a vintage poster of Kid Creole and the Coconuts. The exec explained to me that he'd peeled it off the metro wall in Paris during the 80s. Now that was a cool poster.

Again with the digressing. Managers, agents and execs have great movie posters in their offices - from vintage movies to cult classics. So what? Well, movie posters sport the all-important tagline. Which is, at long last, today's topic. The tagline is that very pithy, evocative, catchy phrase which encapsulates the core entertainment of the movie.

Some examples:

Imagine your life hangs by a thread. Imagine your body hangs by a wire. Imagine you're not imagining. - Coma

Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free. - The Shawshank Redemption

What if this guy got you pregnant? - Knocked Up

It takes a real man to become a maid of honor.
- Made of Honor

On every street in every city, there's a nobody who dreams of being a somebody. - Taxi Driver

How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight? - Fight Club

So, Wavers - what would the poster for your movie say? Can you come up with a short, memorable and descriptive tagline for your poster? This isn't just a fun, what-if flight of fancy, by the way. The ability to think up the tagline is a necessary part of coalescing and articulating the essence of your script.

When you practice articulating that essence as a premise line, pitch and poster - you are also practicing making sure that the core entertainment of your story will be on every single page of your script.

So go for it - what would the poster for your movie look like and say?

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Emily Blake said...

It would be a woman with a gun ignoring her husband behind her as they both shoot at a bunch of zombies.

"If the world ended today, who would you want to be stuck with?"

I dunno. I suck at this.

Ray-Anne said...

How far will you go to keep your promises?

Visual? Mountain climber hanging on an ice wall with one ice pick.
Blue sky. Hard rock above and below. No ropes.

This is for a medical action thriller. Probably needs expanding.

Christian M. Howell said...

The first would be a picture of a cute girl standing with books in her arms; four males on one side, four females on the other side, with a college campus and shadows in the background.

The tagline is:

Growing up is hard. Are YOU ready?

Another is a spy standing without his mask and goggles in a "I don't know" position with two boys peeking out with Army web gear.

The tagline is:
Sometimes a boy can do a man's job.

I've got more but I'm finally able to write scripts so.....

PJ McIlvaine said...

The poster is of a baby-faced teen eating an ice cream soda with a big fat cherry on the top.

Taglines: It's hard out here for a virgin.


Nothing's getting laid except eggs.