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By Tiffany Unscripted of Your Film Review
I’ve noticed that something that's often overlooked is the importance of the movie poster. It’s not just promotional material. It’s the main design element that captures a persons’ interest.
The challenge is to design a poster that has the right balance, which conveys the movie’s theme.
Too many elements in the design will the poster will force a viewer to overthink. People will find it difficult to interpret and gloss over it. A lack of key elements in the poster, and you risk a loss of interest because it didn’t convey the message. Never make the viewer overthink. Creating a movie poster is maddening for any graphic designer!
I had an opportunity to speak with MOT Creative. MOT Creative creates Key Art design for prestigious clients in the entertainment industry.
Hi, MOT Creative! What's your story?
Our Creative Director, Ali Aydin, started his career in advertisement for huge media corporations in Turkey. Soon after, he discovered his true passion: key art design for entertainment companies.
In 2009, he moved to the steaming hub of the industry, Los Angeles. After gaining experience working with all the big studios (Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, HBO, Netflix, FX, etc.), he felt ready to pursue a dream—opening his own key art design agency!
He founded MOT Creative early 2016 with a small but amazing team of designers, an account manager, and a marketing executive. Soon, MOT Creative grew out to be a valuable player in the entertainment poster business! It has been so exciting to see the company grow.
I love your movie poster designs. Could you share your thoughts on the importance of a good movie poster?
Just think about it for a second. In today’s day and age, what are we first introduced to when a new film or TV show comes out? What do we see when we drive down big boulevards? What do we scroll through when we open our Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu accounts?
If you are looking for something to watch at night, you probably scroll through a lot of titles you don’t know, would you pick the movie that you feel attracted to over one with a bad poster?
Most times we don’t even realize ourselves how this psychological process works. It makes our job fun!
You have created some stunning movie posters. They are eye-catching and artfully designed. Could you share your design process? What do you consider before you begin to design a movie poster?
Most times when we start communicating with an interested client, we begin by listening to what the client needs.
We need information about the movie, the distribution (theatrical, video-on-demand, or home entertainment), and any kind of specific wishes a client may have.
Every project is different, but most times when we start the process the studio shares all assets they have: streaming link of the film, unit photography, taglines (if available), and screenshots.
They also fill out a creative briefing that provides guidelines to make sure the client gets everything they need. Our creative team then brainstorms about possible designs and deliver the first presentation. When the studio has looked over the presentation they give us feedback and we revise options for them until we can deliver a high-resolution final design that matches all the client’s wishes.
What do you believe is the most important message a movie poster should convey?
That is very different per project, but overall: it is what we want for a poster? It has to adapt to the identity of the film; essentially it’s the face of a movie.
We try to tell the story in one image artistically without giving out too much information. When you see a movie poster, you should get excited about watching the film!
Do you prefer adding cast members to the design or keeping the design focused on the genre of the film? An example of this would be a Star Wars movie poster that shows the cast members in comparison to a poster like the Prometheus (2012) movie poster, which has a haunting theme.
For a design team, there is usually not much left for the imagination when we make art using a big movie star’s headshot.
Of course, when we work on movies with Hollywood heavyweights in it, it is always a very fun project, but if we want to be more creative (which is essentially what we love to do), conceptual designs are more intriguing.
However, our most creative works are the films without big names, because we can focus on an event in the film or the genre. The reality is that most studios want the important cast members on the poster to sell the film, but when this is not the case, we like to surprise them with some great art from scratch!
What is the difference between a movie poster and key art?
Key art is essentially the main image (plus title treatment) of a movie that is used in all marketing materials: ads, trailer, posters, etc.
The design team for the movie poster often designs the key art for a film on the poster, and then it is used later for all marketing purposes.
Do you have a favorite project you can share or a funny story to tell regarding a movie poster?
We love all our projects, but if we have to pick one, it probably is Hacksaw Ridge! That was a very special project for us.
When we had just opened the design agency, an international movie distribution company reached out to us and said they loved our portfolio and the way we worked.
For us, this was our first international big movie after starting the agency. We designed over 100 posters for our client.
When Hacksaw Ridge premiered in China, Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield both signed our artwork. Moments like those make our jobs so much fun and exciting!
Thank you for chatting with us about movie posters. Is there anything else you would like to add that we didn’t cover?
We have our eyes on the future! MOT Creative has already done so many great projects in its relatively short existence and it keeps on growing.
The reason we grow so fast is because we care about our clients and our artwork. We are always busy thinking how we can create more unique innovative designs that are iconic as well as unforgettable. Not an easy job, but we love what we do and it challenges us every day.
Our projects and clients are getting bigger, but we also really enjoy independent films and smaller projects. It is the diversity in the field that sparks our creativity. Our posters can be admired at motcreative.com.
Our story is only just beginning. We are confident that more of our great adventure awaits!
Tiffany Unscripted has been the Managing Editor of Your Film Review for over two years at Occhi Magazine. She manages a small team of writers that cover all genres of movies, including writing featured articles on trending topics. In addition to writing, they cover live events, such as film premieres and screenings in Cleveland, Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Silver Springs.
She especially enjoys the opportunity to meet emerging talent who enjoy sharing their passion, journey, challenges, and success with our readers. You can learn more about Your Film Review at OcchiMagazine.com.