Iconic Images: The Making of Great Movie Posters

“King Kong,” 1933

A monstrous shark rising from the depths toward a swimmer (“Jaws”), a whip-yielding archeologist (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), and an enormous gorilla clinging to a skyscraper (“King Kong”) are iconic images, each crafted to evoke an emotional response before a single frame of a film appears on screen. Throughout the decades – from the earliest days of film to the advent of television and today’s digital media – the singular purpose of successful movie poster design is to trigger a desire to see the movie. This program uncovers the secrets of great design by exploring the roles of storyline, imagery, titles, color, celebrity and other elements that combine to grab our attention (and sell tickets!).

Presented by Jason Scott, Ph.D., who teaches required undergraduate courses in Theatre History and Ethics Survey: Sex and Violence in Cinema at Arizona State University. Previously, he taught courses in film and television history, developed the Herberger online course “Great Movie Musicals,” created the Professional and Technical Writing for Film/Media Industries course, and is a faculty affiliate of the ASU Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture. He has delivered presentations at conferences hosted by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (PCA/ACA) and the American Society for Theatrical Research (ASTR). He serves as a freelance publicity and marketing consultant for entertainment firms in Los Angeles and New York, and has created marketing materials for over 200 film projects and individual clients.

Presented in conjunction with ASU’s Center for Film, Media and Popular Culture and the Arizona State University Foundation. Admission to this program is free to ASU students with I.D. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.