Oct 25

It’s a Lot: making a movie poster

How do you make a movie poster? Creating images for It’s a Lot artwork, starring Femi Oyeniran, Jazzie Zonzolo, Red Madrell and more, in cinemas this Friday.



UK release poster for It’s a Lot, with writer and star Femi Oyeniran (centre). Design: Oink Creative. Client: Kaleidoscope

You can’t beat a bit of movie magic, and I find it really rewarding working with a creative & marketing team to get the keyart images they need for a strong film promotion campaign.

We see film posters all the time, but quite how they are made up can vary enormously.

Plenty use grabs from digital filming, or stills from an on-set photographer as the basis for key art. That way the visual tone and identity of the film – and even basic things like the makeup and costume – can be carried seamlessly across marketing.

But for It’s a Lot – with UK stars of Anuvahood, and billed as a sort of Black British Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – my client producer/distributor Kaleidoscope, and designer, Aitch Creative, had come up with a brief for a poster echoing 80/90s comedy classics like Bachelor Party and Home Alone.

On set specials

Not the sort of thing you get via on-set stills: lots of shooting from above, comic expressions and big energy, which required ‘on-set specials‘ –  film lingo for setting up a studio on location, and grabbing the cast in between bursts of filming.

The shoot itself came about at a day or so’s notice, so there was only one sketch to establish tone (see gallery below), but I’d worked with the same team on Victim the Movie, so we were pretty confident.

Even a 4am start to get to the shoot location – a Mansion in Chiswick where the first week of filming was taking place nearly a year ago – and a mountain of equipment for my and my assistants to carry couldn’t dampen enthusiasm.

The cast – including writer, director and star Femi OyeniranJazzie Zonzolo and Red Madrell  among others – had a heavy shooting schedule of complicated party and interior scenes, so that we often had less than five minutes with each person or group.

With so little time, I’d often be giving rudimentary physical ‘line readings’ for the actors  – see the shot below of me caught in the act – to help them understand what we needed.

But thankfully they were all absolutely brilliant (and very tolerant of my attempts to demonstrate…), bringing a character and energy to the shoot that really came across in the final shots and finished artwork.

Tops marks especially for the youngest actor, who outshone practically everyone with his comedy eyebrows

Gallery: from concept to keyart

As not infrequently happens, the final poster actually ended up being designed by another agency – the excellent Oink Creative – but hopefully in the gallery here you can see the throughline from initial concept to on-set shots, to early design ideas by Aitch, to final artwork by Oink.  Like the title says, It’s a Lot.


[important]It’s a Lot: Written & directed by Femi Oyeniran. Starring Femi Oyeniran, Jazzie Zonzolo, Red Madrell, Kojo, Eddie Kadi, Vas Blackwood, Tim Westwood. IN CINEMAS OCT 25.[/important] MW 25/10/2013

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