I chuckled audibly the first time I saw this poster for Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?. I don’t know what I was expecting from a poster for this film, but a humorous version of the very famous Raiders of the Lost Ark poster wasn’t it.
I can see how it fits with the film tough. Spurlock’s documentaries aren’t as much about documenting anything as they are about expending some entertaining time with Spurlock himself. So here we have the guy front and center, as a Indiana Jones type explorer, travelling around the word seeking Osama Bin Laden and having some fun and adventures along the way. The poster tells you exactly what to expect from the movie, and in especial it tells people that this is a movie that is going to deal with some weighty subjects in an irreverent way.
I do worry that the poster might be a little too gimmicky. It catches your attention, and it’s the type of thing people will feel compelled to point to their friends when they first notice it in a theater lobby or when they first see it online. But the joke might get tired fast and not translate into interest in seeing the movie once it actually opens in the middle of April.
But its a fascinating way to get some attention for the movie, something that is always hard to do with a documentary.
I’m not sure whether The People Vs. George Lucas, a documentary which will supposedly allow Star War fans to speak their minds, will be a good film. It might be an interesting look at the relationship of the fans with Lucas and with the world he helped to create. It might be a boring whine fest. Or it might be something in between. But I do know that they already have a great (very) early teaser poster.
Now, it’s true that if your topic happens to be Star Wars there is an abundance of strong iconic images to choose from, which makes the job of creating an interesting poster easier. But I think we still should still give them props for using the assets they had well.
And what I like about the poster is that it doesn’t just create some random memorable and funny image that has something to do with Star Wars. It creates a memorable and funny image that has something to do with Star Wars AND that complements well the title and sets the courtroom theme more thoroughly. This makes the movie seem exciting, reminding us of the trials we are used to see on TV (real trials are a lot less exciting, of course) but the image also sends signals that there well be a healthy dose of sense of humor involved in the whole thing.
As a matter of fact I think the poster is so successful in making the film seem exciting that I might be more interested in it if I had just seen the poster without knowing anything else about the movie.
For those interested, the official site is here, and they have guidelines for making and submitting your own interviews talking about Star Wars and Lucas.
There weren’t many interesting new posters being released this week, so here is a round-up of recent posters that didn’t quite inspire me to write a full post about them.
Christmas in Wonderland
The most remarkable thing about this poster is how drab the colors are. They don’t exactly spell holiday cheer, do they?
The Pixar Story
Simple, and clean, but still manages to get the point across. I like it.
At first I wasn’t sure if this was a poster for a documentary or for a fictional story. I decided it was not for a documentary. I was wrong.
Death Defying Acts
This is a very safe poster design for a movie with such a bold title.
The Diving Bell and The Butterfly
I’m fascinated by the two images in this poster. The last picture from director Julian Schnabel, Before Night Falls, was a pleasure to look at, and I’m wondering if Diving Bell will be the same.
I kind of like this poster. It manages to transmit that “good old times” feeling, it’s splashy, and it introduces the main players and the story succinctly. It makes the film look as exciting as you could possibly make a documentary about two guy fighting for the top score in Donkey Kong look.
I do wonder why they don’t use any visual elements from the actual game in it. Due to rights complications perhaps? I imagine that is one thing that could have made the poster more attractive, at least to those of us old enough to be nostalgic for the classic Donkey Kong.
Whatever you think about Michael Moore and his movies, one has to admit that the marketing materials for them have been excellent. And these posters for Sicko are no different.
The general design is one that we have seen before in the Fahrenheit 9/11 poster: Michael Moore + some comic elements + clear references to a controversial topic. I think that the poster below is a little funnier, however, the one above is more iconic and memorable. But they both probably do a great job of getting the core audience for the movie excited about it.
Preaching to the converted? Maybe, but it will sell tickets.