‘The Birds’ – Film Poster Design:
I have decided to create a film poster based on the film ‘The Birds’ By Alfred Hitchcock.
The Birds (1963) Trailer
A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people there in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.
Melanie Daniels is a rich socialite, who always gets what she wants. When lawyer Mitch Brenner sees her in a pet shop, he plays a practical joke on her, and she decides to return the favor. She drives north of San Francisco to Bodega Bay, where Mitch spends his weekends with his mother and younger sister. Soon after she arrives, the birds in the area begin to act strangely. A seagull attacks Melanie as she is crossing the bay in a small boat, and then, Lydia finds her neighbor dead, obviously the victim of a bird attack. Soon, birds in the hundreds and thousands are attacking anyone they find out of doors. There is no explanation as to why this might be happening, and as the birds continue their vicious attacks, survival becomes the priority.
Here are some nouns and verbs based on the film ‘The Birds’:
Killer / Murderer
Birds suddenly begin to launch a vicious attack on people, and survival becomes the main priority for everyone.
Violence, Menace, Upset, Scared.
( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056869/ )
‘The Birds’ Film Posters Already Created:
What is a great poster? – Poster Design
A great poster is one that makes you kick yourself that you didn’t or couldn’t think of an idea quite like that. But a great looking poster isn’t necessarily a successful one. While the ideas behind posters might not be groundbreakingly original, can still look fantastic. When the imagery and type come together and are done just right, either in a subtle or plainly obvious way, in theme or color, it can turn a good poster into an amazing piece of design.
Mind Map – Film Poster Design
After trying to find the film on the internet i came across the dvd of the ‘The Birds’ in my local library. I wanted to watch the film to familiarize myself with the film as I had never previously seen it before. I really enjoyed watching this film for the first time. I think the film is made really well, with the use of sound and special effects.
While watching the film I noted some words down on a page that stood out during the film:
Then from that I created a mind map linking the words together:
Cultural Context “The Birds’ – Film Poster Design:
The Birds is a 1963 horror thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on the 1952 story “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier. It focuses on a series of sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks on the people of Bodega Bay, California over the course of a few days.
‘The Birds’ is a horror thriller film.
Horror is a film genre seeking to portray a negative emotional reaction from viewers by playing on the audience’s primal fears.
Horror Films – 1950s – 1960s
Low-budget productions featured humanity overcoming threats such as alien invasions and deadly mutations to people, plants, and insects. Alfred Hitchcock cemented the subgenre with Psycho (1960), while his The Birds (1963) introduced natural horror, in which the menace stems from nature gone mad. Late 60’s films brought horror into everyday life.
Thriller is a film genre that uses suspence, tension, and excitement as its main elements.
Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock. The horror, crime and action genres often overlap with the thriller. Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang helped to shape the modern-day thriller genre.
‘The Birds’ was filmed in 1963.
The movie is set in San Fransico in the sixties.
At this time San Francisco was the place of the American dream, a place in which people wanted to be. San Francisco was the place were counterculture / social revolution took off.
Counterculture/social revolution – 1960s
In the second half of the decade, young people began to rebel against the conservative norms of the time. This created a “counterculture” that sparked a social revolution throughout much of the Western world. It began in the United States as a reaction against the conservatism and social conformity of the 1950s, and the US government’s extensive military intervention in Vietnam. The youth involved in the popular social aspects of the movement became known as hippies. These groups created a movement toward liberation in society, including the sexual revolution, questioning authority and government, and demanding more freedoms and rights for women and minorities.
The 1960s did create a new America.
Other interesting things that happened in the year of 1963:
The Roman Catholic Church accepted cremation as a funeral practice.
John F. Kennedy, president of the United States was shot dead.
Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ is exhibited in the United States for the first time.
Films – 1960s
The counterculture movement had a significant effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theatres and revolutionized the film industry. Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world.
Background of ‘The Birds’ film – Development and Special Effects:
Alfred Hitchcock hired Evan Hunter to adapt Daphne du Maurier’s story, ‘The Birds’. Hunter began working on the screenplay in September 1961. He and Hitchcock developed the story, suggesting foundations such as the townspeople having a guilty secret to hide, and the birds an instrument of punishment. He suggested that the film begin using some elements borrowed from the screwball comedy genre then have it evolve into “stark terror”. This appealed to Hitchcock, because it conformed to his love of suspense: the title and the publicity would have already informed the audience that birds attack, but they do not know when. The initial humor followed by horror would turn the suspense into shock.
The special effects shots of the attacking birds were done at Walt Disney Studios by animator/technician Ub Iwerks, who used the sodium vapor process (“yellow screen”) which he had helped to develop. The SV process films the subject against a screen lit with narrow-spectrum sodium vapor lights.
Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director and producer, often nicknamed “The Master of Suspense”. He pioneered many elements of the suspense and psychological thriller genres. He became renowned as England’s best director. Hitchcock moved to Hollywood in 1939 and became a US citizen in 1955.
Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex.
It was around 1920 when Hitchcock joined the film industry. He started off drawing the sets (he was a very skilled artist). It was there that he met Alma Reville. Hitchcock had his first real crack at directing a film, start to finish, in 1923 when he was hired to direct the film Number 13 (1922), though the production wasn’t completed due to the studio’s closure. His success followed when he made a number of films in Britain such as The Lady Vanishes (1938) and Jamaica Inn (1939), some of which also gained him fame in the USA.
In 1940, the Hitchcock family moved to Hollywood, where he was hired by an American producer, to direct an adaptation of ‘Daphne du Maurier”s Rebecca (1940). In 1979, Hitchcock was awarded the AFI Life Achievement Award, where he said this famous quote: “I beg permission to mention by name only four people who have given me the most affection, appreciation, and encouragement, and constant collaboration. The first of the four is a film editor, the second is a scriptwriter, the third is the mother of my daughter Pat, and the fourth is as fine a cook as ever performed miracles in a domestic kitchen and their names are Alma Reville.”
In late 1979, Hitchcock was knighted, making him Sir Alfred Hitchcock. On the 29th April 1980, he died peacefully in his sleep due to renal failure.
Cast – ‘The Birds’
Tippi Hedren – Melanie Daniels
Rod Taylor – Mitchell “Mitch” Brenner
Jessica Tandy – Lydia Brenner
Veronica Cartwright – Cathy Brenner
Suzanne Pleshette – Annie Hayworth
Character Profile (Main Character) – Film Poster Design:
‘The Birds’ tells the story of socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) who takes a trip to Bodega Bay to extract revenge upon Mitch Brenner. Soon after her arrival, the birds in the area begin to act strangely, attacking at random and leaving a woman for dead.
Melanie is a rich socialite from San Francisco who likes to play practical jokes therefore she’s no strange to the law, as thats how she knows lawyer Mitch Brenner. She is a beautiful woman and possibly she is some eye candy for the men as in the opening scenes whistles from men passing by can be heard and she turns and laughs it off.
She has lovely blonde hair and fair skin. Her hair is up most of the film but some of time throughout the film her can be see down. Her makeup is kept simple but sophisticated emphasizing her natural beauty.
During the film, Melanie wears an array of different outfits. The outfit that she wore most was an elegant green two piece suit (dress and jacket), accessorised with a knee length faux fur coat, a tanned leather handbag with high heels and gold jewellery. This outfit stands out the most as it matches her rich and sophisticated lifestyle.
Of course, green looked great on blondes – and blondes were Hitchcock’s favourite victims, frosty and aloof with a hidden fiery or mischievous streak that could win the sympathy of the audience, according to the director, better than a brunette.
Melanie was a mischievous woman, who loved to play practical jokes. In the opening scene in the pet shop, she pretends that she works there, helping Mitch to find lovebirds for his sister. He knows that she is playing a joke on him and so therefore he tries to get his own back by asking her lots of different questions, in which she doesn’t know the answers. After she finds out he was playing a joke on her, she decides that she has to get the last laugh. She travels to Bodega Bay were Mitch spends the weekends and leaves the lovebirds he was looking for in his house and a letter to accompany it.
Film Posters Designs from 1963 – Film Poster Design:
Another of Alfred Hitchcock’s film posters from the 60s:
Psycho – 1960
Some other film posters from 1963:
I don’t like this film poster as I think there is too much going on in the poster. There seems to be to much type surrounding the image and I think everything is just packed into the poster making sure nothing is forgotten. I know nearly all the type in the poster probably had to be in it but it seems too much for me. A simple image and title could make all the difference. It would be better to let the image speak for itself and let that portray what the film is about, and to keep the audience wondering what happens next…
I like this poster solely based on the colours used. I like how the main part of the poster is just simply done in black and white and then the blue is added as a pop of colour to show maybe what happens in another part of the film. My eyes were drawn to the black and white image first and then i slowly followed the blue line down the middle of the image to the next image. I like posters that are black and white and then a pop of colour is added, I think it works really well.
So far, I am thinking that I want to have my poster black and white mainly and then add a colour like red in parts of it to make it pop and stand out more.
I like how this poster is divided into different segments showing different parts of the film. I think it’s a good idea to show various parts of the film but to still keep the audience guessing what happens next. I would like to maybe try this type of idea with my film poster and see if it worked or would it give to much away about the film, because you don’t want people to know everything about the film before they’ve even seen it.
This poster I like for most of the same reasons as the two previous ones. I like how there is the small bits of yellow and red in the poster against a black and white background, and also I like how it shows various parts from the film. Even though it shows parts from the film, it still doesn’t give the film away your still left guessing what will actually happen throughout the film.
This poster for me is a bit hit and miss, as i like some parts of it and others I don’t. I like the image of the raven sitting on the skull as it is a strong image that relates well to the film title and it sparked some ideas for my film poster. The parts I don’t like about this poster is again, I think it is quite cluttered and there is too much going on in it. There is way too much imagery and a lot of type in it and everything just looks squished into the poster.
I like how in this poster the image speaks for itself. Looking at the main image and the barbed wire you automatically think of people trying to escape from maybe a prison, without even seeing the title. I think this is how film posters should be, by letting the image speak for itself and for an audience to be able to get an idea of what the movie might be about without even reading the title, or to give them more of an idea about the movie from what the title might have been giving them.
I like how simple this film poster is and also the figure of Marilyn Monroe being the main imagery in the poster. I liked this idea of just a character as the main image, and it gave me some ideas for my film poster, that I could maybe just use Melanie Daniels (Main Character) as the main image in mine.
Black and White with Red Posters:
Here are some posters below that have black white and red incorporated into them, using the same colours that I want to use in my own film poster design:
These are 2 different variations of the ‘Black Swan’ Poster. Neither of them are the originals but these one’s capture the colour scheme I want to have in my own poster and I thought they were interesting. I think the second one looks better as I like the random feathers around the poster.
These poster’s are different variations of the film ‘American Gangster’. I like how the black and white image is the outline of a man/gangster but then it has a faded image of a city going through it, maybe to symbolise the city that the gangster runs. I think the second poster works better as its only parts of the outline of the gangster.
I am not mad about this poster. I think there is too much of the colour red going on in it. I mean the poster is done well and i do like it, I just think there is maybe a bit too much of the red going on, and it kind of classes with the type slightly. I would say if your going to use it, maybe have more black and white and a little less red.
I like this poster, especially the type for the word ‘house’. Your eye is automatically drawn to it first as it’s in red and it stands out against the black background. I like the smudging effect through it.
I like this poster mainly for the image of London down the bottom. I like how the outline of the city is so simple but it works, it’s just simple markings. I don’t really like the rest of the poster, i don’t think it compliments the imaging at the bottom.
This is probably one of my favourites of the the posters I looked at so far. I just like how simple it is and also how simple the colour scheme is. This is how I want my poster to be as far as the colour schemes goes, mostly just black and white and then little hints of red throughout.
These are both posters related to the film ‘Precious’ and I like them both for different reasons. I like the first one as it is a different interpretation of the many posters above it. Instead of using red as the pop of colour, instead orange was used. I like also really love the image in the middle of this poster. In the second, I like how the poster is made of simple brush strokes and combined they give you an image of the main character Precious, showing that a poster doesn’t have to be neat and polished like every other poster. It works just as well as any other poster.
Best Movie Posters of the last 100 Years- Film Poster Design:
I came across a website that had a list of the best movie posters from the last 100 years and i found it interesting to look at all the different movie posters over the years and to look at the ones that worked really well.
This is the link below to the website if your interested in looking at the other posters that made the list.
Here are just a few of the posters I liked the best:
Videos – Film Poster Design:
Here are links to two videos I found on youtube that I found really interesting related to Film Poster Design:
Hand painted vintage Bollywood film posters now extinct – CNN International Icon Show
This video is about a man named S.Rehman who hand paints film posters. For decades, the streets of Mumbai were decorated with beautiful hand painted film posters. Now film posters are digitalized making hand painted posters less popular. S. Rehman is one of the remaining poster painters there are left around.
I think his posters look amazing and such an amount of work goes into them and that’s seen with the detail of his paintings. I never knew prior to this knew that some Bollywood posters used to be painted.
Making a Film Poster (Timelapse) – Photoshop – After Effects
This is a time-lapse video of the making of a poster using photoshop and after effects. It shows how a simple photograph taken on your camera can be used to create an amazing poster like the one above. The smallest of changes or effects added to the photograph makes it come to life and with the added type turns it into a great looking movie poster.
I really enjoyed this video as it’s great to know how you could use an image an incorporate it in a movie poster easily.
First Sketches (Ideas):
These are some of my first sketches that I done quickly to begin with.
Philippe Apeloig was born in Paris in 1962. He was a graphic designer who mostly specialised in typography. He did in fact design posters too, but the main focus in them was the type. He taught typography in Paris at an arts school.
After two transformative internships at Total Design in Amsterdam, he was hired as a graphic designer at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in 1985.
In 1993, he won a fellowship at the French Academy in Rome, where he researched and designed typefaces; his font October.
He returned to Paris from America in 2003 to run his own studio.
Apeloig’s design compositions have won numerous prizes. He contributed to recent blockbuster exhibitions by designing posters for “Yves Saint Laurent”.
Here is a poster he designed for ‘Yves Saint Laurent’. I don’t really like this particular poster design. Even though it is for a famous brand, it doesn’t really do anything special in the poster. I think there is too much going on in it, as the typeface would have been enough on it’s own making the picture in the background unnecessary. Without the background image the poster would work really well as the type looks great and the colours used work really well too.
Poster Design Work:
Here are some of Philippe Apeloig’s other posters he has designed;
Singin’ in the Rain
I really like this poster design and think it is very creative. I like the way he incorporated the umbrellas in the type, as the type was very basic on it’s own. The way the umbrellas are sitting on top of the type and cutting parts of the type off is a great idea and it works really.
Out of all the posters I’ve looked at so far, this would be one of my favourites, as it just works so well and looks great at the same time, which is what a poster is all about.
I don’t really like this poster, as it is a bit much. There is a lot of type placed on top and behind each other, which makes some of it hard to read.
Mario Vargas Llosa
I like how instead of having just one image placed in the center, he decided to break up the image into four sections (all different shapes). The portrait image can still be seen clearly but it just makes the poster more interesting.
Am American in Paris
I love the creativity behind this poster, incorporating the type into the shape of the Eiffel Tower. I really like posters that play with the type, instead of just placing the text somewhere on the poster with a basic font. Without looked at what it says, you can already tell by looking at the poster that it is linked to Paris somehow.
The placement of type in this poster is really interesting. I like how the type is wrapped around the buildings
Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970) is an American contemporary street artist, graphic artist, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY (clothing) who emerged from the skateboarding scene.
He became widely known during the 2008 U.S presidential election for his Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster. Nearly all his poster designs have strong messages coming across through them.
Both these posters are exactly the same designs, with strong colours. I like the design of these instead of just having a portrait with the used of the colours for the shaded parts of the image.
This poster is really good, helping a strong message to be conveyed.
Silvia Pelissero, a painter best known as Agnes Cecile, was born in Rome, Italy. She has become a successful self-taught artist known for her layered, gorgeous watercolour work. Agnes Cecile’s creates rich, emotional human portraits using humble images coupled with abstract color and detail.
I love these watercolour paintings, as they look amazing and it is a unique way of doing a portrait. The splats of watercolour paint inspired me to to create my own splats using red and black watercolour paint.
Here are some watercolour designs I done for backgrounds. I tried to create blood splats with the watercolour:
*find full designs in notebook or folder with posters designs*
I enjoyed using watercolour and I feel my designs turned out exactly how I wanted them too. I tried using them in some poster samples I created which are my *folder provided*.
Here’s is a video link on youtube of Agnes Cecile’s watercolour notebook, which shows some more of her amazing work:
Photographs of Birds:
I gathered some research from a library book called ‘ Birds Britannica’ by Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey. It was a book which had photographs of all sorts of birds in it, but I just focused on Crows and Seagulls as they are the type of birds featured in the film. I also got some large scale images of other photographs in the book which could be used.
After looking at photographs of birds, I decided to get some photographs of my own with birds. I was looking out my window one day and I seen some birds on a telephone pole so I grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures of them:
I also found some other photos related to birds that I had took previously:
I then started to play around with some of the photographs I had taken and try and incorporate them into a poster. I used photoshop to adjust the photos to how I wanted them:
*find full designs in notebook or folder with posters designs*
I wasn’t really liking the idea of using photography in my poster, as it wasn’t doing much for me. So I done some sample posters using photography, but then I decided to just concentrate on the other medias I was using for my poster.
‘Birds Britannica’ by Mark Cocker and Richard Mabey
I really like Paula Scher’s work, especially her maps and the way she uses type in them. They are very similar to word clouds, which go along with the same concept.
I got inspiration from looking at these maps below to create my own images with type in them.
Then I started to play about with the outline of the bird, and began to just focus on the outline making it up of smaller birds:
I really enjoy creatingthe image using type and smaller images. I made you look twice at the image, firstly see the whole design as one and the to realize it was actually in the shape of a bird.
I also done some other variations of the stuff above which you can find in my *folder provided*
This was my poster idea I done, but I realised that the poster wasn’t scary enough to showcase the film as a horror. I decided then to incorporate scratch marks into my poster to make it more scary and to make it come across like the birds are attacking, which is what they do in the film.
Here is my poster, with the scratch marks in it! I had to move the directors name over to the left, to put the scratch marks on the right.
Variations of Poster:
I choose this design as my final design, but I tried different colours and fonts as seen below. I had to try keep the colour scheme dark to match the darkness of the film, as it is a horror film.
I like this coloured background against the white! I added a feather that I scanned in and faded it behind the type in the bottom left hand corner. I don’t really like the look of the feather behind the type, so I decided to take it out.
Here, I tried a grey background instead still trying to keep a dark theme with the colours. I didn’t want to go with a black so an alternative was to go with a dark grey instead. I like the colours used in the scratches having them a lighter grey with a red outline symbolising blood. I tried two different fonts for the main title and not liking either of them. The top font was to pretty for the poster as the film is a dark horror/thriller so it didn’t go and next posters font was to plain.
I done both of these posters with a plain white background and putting all the colour into the images and the type. Once again I tried two different fonts for the main title and much preferred the second one, as it was like splats of blood and it when with the dark horror theme more.
Final Poster Designs:
I narrowed my final poster down to both these posters. I used the same colour scheme in both but just reversed. Initially when I began the task of designing a film poster, I wanted a colour scheme consisting of black, white and red, but I have ended up with a different one here. Also I changed my font for ‘The Birds’ to a font I found on the internet.
I really liked this colour scheme for my poster, but when I printed out testers of them they seemed too dark in colour and not as nice as they did on screen so I decided to mess around with some other colours and came up with two final posters:
I liked the colour schemes in these two posters and decided to go with the poster on the right hand side as my final design.
Film Poster Design:
‘Oh No’ by Jonathan S. Harris
( http://www.dafont.com/oh-no.font )