DAT403 Movie Poster Tropes: What Are They?

3 November 2015
1 minute read
Matthew French

“A literary trope is the use of figurative language – via word, phrase, or even an image – for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.”

The DAT403 Photomontage assignment states: “It should work as an original movie poster, including their traditional tropes…”

But what are traditional movie poster tropes?

Credit block

Credit block image from 'Sightseers'
Credit block image from 'Sightseers'

Press/media reviews and star ratings

Industry review star rating from 'Legend' movie poster
Industry review star rating from 'Legend' movie poster

Industry awards (Cannes, etc.)

Industry awards image from 'This is England' poster
Industry awards image from 'This is England' poster

Pull-out quotes

Pull quote image from 'Sightseers'
Pull quote image from 'Sightseers'

Main cast names/images

Cast image from 'Looper' movie poster
Cast image from 'Looper' movie poster

Tag line

Tag line image from 'Sightseers'
Tag line image from 'Sightseers'

Reference to previous works e.g. “from the director of …"

From the director image from '127 Hours'
From the director image from '127 Hours'

Often simple but striking colour scheme with just one or two main colours

'Little Miss Sunshine' poster image
'Little Miss Sunshine' poster image

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