I now present to you an open letter to all professional poster designers.
Dear Professional Poster Designers,
My name is Glenn Dunks and I wish you would listen to what I have to say as I'm not sure you have heard me clearly. I have a mere two words for you that I wish would become your daily mantra.
Here we go. Are you ready?
Take, for instance, the newly released poster for Noah Baumbach's Margot at the Wedding. This movie stars Nicole Kidman, aka one of the movie world's biggest stars. It also stars Jennifer Jason Leigh, aka sadly not one of the movie world's biggest stars, but who is a recognisable talent to film fans. It also stars Jack Black, one of the movie world's most recognisable stars and is probably quite popular too, although I am not a fan (which is neither here nor there).
Margot at the Wedding also, apparently, stars a whole lot of white space. That's the only explanation I can come up for a poster of a movie starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Jack Black to be almost entirely white space filled with nary an "Academy Award Winner/nominee" tag in sight or anything.
And then when you actually do look at the images used I could swear my eyes are playing tricks on me. Have they actually made Jack Black blurry? Have they actually made Kidman and Leigh look washed out and flat?
I adore the profile picture of Kidman with her adorable fuschia hat, but that image should take up the majority of the poster space, not just a small little section at the bottom. And I totally get what the designers must have been going for (twee! folksy! indie!) and I understand the use of simple plain font (to give it that simple "we don't need a fancy design to entice viewers" vibe), but mixed with the abundance of nothingness, the entire poster is rendered utterly pointless. There is nothing here whatsoever to entice people to see Margot at the Wedding other than the names of the cast.
Look, I'm not asking for much. Just a little bit of ingenuity. A bit of visual pinache. A flourish of design. I hate to bring out the tired ol' "I could've designed this myself" argument, but it's a blatant fact that even an idiot with only passing skills in Photoshop could have made this poster with a movie still and a default font of Ariel.
I'm sure this is only a "teaser" poster of sorts as there are no credits, nor is there even a tag line (seriously!) but that still doesn't excuse lazy workmanship. This poster is out there as a means of advertising Margot at the Wedding and I can't imagine anyone seeing this hanging up in the foyer of their local cinema and thinking "Oh, that looks good! Let's see that." Seriously. Would you? I doubt it. When the final design (if there is one, natch) arrives I doubt much will have changed. Movies like this don't often much in the way of advertising changes and tend to revolve their advertising around one focal recurring imagine - in this case, Nicole and her pink hat - and while that image may work on a 200x200pixel ad box in a sidebar on some website, it doesn't work hanging up in a cinema lobby.
I intend to watch Margot going to this wedding she is apparently going to, but it won't be because of this invitation.