Movie Unsheets
September 20, 2010 1:40 PM   Subscribe

When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film? Some talented graphic designers have taken to creating one sheets for already released films. These 'unsheets' as screenwriter John August calls them are often clever and subtle pieces that reference iconic scenes of the film such as Die Hard's infamous walk on broken glass scene for example. Previous discussion of re-imagined movie posters. and here.
posted by clockworkjoe (27 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?

What?
posted by dubitable at 1:52 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a fine line between minimalism and laziness.

And I'm saying that as someone who likes retro faux-70s design, like these covers for invented paperbacks.
posted by theodolite at 1:53 PM on September 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really like this one.
posted by dng at 2:01 PM on September 20, 2010


I don't know, when a movie sheet not one sheet for one and any?
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:07 PM on September 20, 2010


I like these but... Saul Bass.
posted by rog at 2:08 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ah, I remember Misery, that feel good film about an injured runner's rehabilitation and him regaining his rightful place at the front of the pack!

Or Sweeny Todd's barbershop, where the neighborhood kids gathered to hear the wisdom of their elders, through the metaphor of a good shave.

Good times.

(These are great!)
posted by quin at 2:08 PM on September 20, 2010


How is babby formed?


Okay, seriously - I was walking around Best Buy the other day and I noticed something unnerving about video covers, which are presumably similar to or straight copies of the original movie poster - wayyy too many of them feature the main characters -- looking at you. Strangely. Tells me nothing about the movie, is not particularly original, and, in the aggregate, is kinda creepy.
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:20 PM on September 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm looking forward to confusion these reimagined posters create for future generations that have trouble distinguishing the unsheets for the originals.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:24 PM on September 20, 2010


When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?

What?


RTFA. Or don't, and read this excerpt:
One-sheets present the movie that studios hope audiences want to see.
The Shining

But there is an entirely different class of movie poster that I want to champion. These are posters made after the movie by talented fans — in many cases, decades later. They’re not trying to make a movie look appealing. They’re celebrating movies that are already beloved.
Instead of hyping some key element(s) of the movie, they emphasize key parts of the movie people already know. Walking in broken glass is not a key part to Die Hard - if you miss it, you're not missing the movie. It's nothing like the authentic posters, the scene is not even in the trailer, but it is a good snapshot of the main character if you already know the movie.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I've been a fan of redoing movie poster as an exercise in graphic design for a while. Whhen done well the results can be stunning, but like any graphics project in the wrong hands, some are atrocious. This one for One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest kicked my ass especially hard.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:30 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?

What?

RTFA.


But where did verb?
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:32 PM on September 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


The first poster for The Silence of the Lambs is not an unsheet, but it contains an unsheet. Look closely at the deaths-head on the deaths-head moth.

The poster for The Silence of the Lambs was judged best film poster of the past 35 years at the 2006 Key Art awards.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:32 PM on September 20, 2010


wayyy too many of them feature the main characters -- looking at you

I always used to think it's because a) people don't like to read, b) you're biologically wired to see faces in patterns, and c) the fastest way to communicate a movie's contents is to show you the main actor.

So, you're walking through a Best Buy, and you see Russell Crowe staring back at you, and deep in the lizard brain, there's chemicals firing off, going "Hmm, Russell Crowe. I liked him that one time in that other thing. Dude with a sword, right? What's this one?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:34 PM on September 20, 2010


...wayyy too many of them feature the main characters -- looking at you. Strangely. Tells me nothing about the movie, is not particularly original, and, in the aggregate, is kinda creepy.

One of my favorite things when I was in China was looking at the cover-art on Chinese movies. Every single one of them showed the main characters (okay, good, fine) looking at the viewer (not that weird, at least I'm used to it in the US), maybe something exciting like explosions in the background (sure why not), and then multiple other scenes from the movie, featuring all the same characters, photoshopped in so that each person was on the box cover up to four times.

I really like to think that every single Chinese movie includes a storyline featuring the main characters' identical twins or clones or doppelgangers.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:35 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Be sure to follow that link to Trajan, the movie font. (It seems like it's actually been FPP'd in the past, I missed it then.)
posted by JHarris at 2:37 PM on September 20, 2010


Why the hell is my lizard brain watching movies? Shouldn't he be keeping my heart beating a stuff? GET BACK TO WORK SLACKER
posted by shakespeherian at 2:37 PM on September 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


It is interesting how many of these share a similar aesthetic: one-color field + minimalist graphic reference to iconic scene in film (but no humans allowed) + movie title (and maybe stars) placed so as not to interfere with minimalist reference. Is this the hip thing in client-free graphic design all over right now, or is it an unsheet-specific cliche?

Do most unsheets avoid faces because they are hard to draw (in terms of time required), or more likely to get you sued, or just too easy (eliminating the "think up a simple-as-possible iconization of a famous image from the movie" puzzle), or what?
posted by No-sword at 2:39 PM on September 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


About the The Silence of the Lambs one-sheet infinitewindow references.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:49 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


fffff

It should read When is a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?
posted by clockworkjoe at 2:58 PM on September 20, 2010


I bought this one based on Groundhog Day at an art show in town.
posted by chinesefood at 3:23 PM on September 20, 2010


The Tom Whalen Star Wars IV poster is absolutely AMAZING! I love the way he uses a negative of Kenobi to frame the main group, whlle Kenobi himself is framed by a silhouette of Darth Vader. R2 & C3PO are also captured in negative against the same silhouette, but smaller and off to the side to denote their ancillary status. I also like how the illustrations display the personality of the characters, especially Han & Leia. The whole thing reminds me of a Polish Soviet bloc era movie poster, but it instead of being vaguely inspired by the title, it actually makes sense in the context of the movie.
posted by bionic.junkie at 3:41 PM on September 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


It should read When is a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?

We tease because we love.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:48 PM on September 20, 2010


When a movie one sheet not an ad for an upcoming film?

What?

RTFA.*

But where did verb?


* and add a verb in your head, and maybe a comma - I missed that asterisk the first time.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:02 PM on September 20, 2010


Oh man, I wish I had seen this before I made this post. Comic artist create their own movie posters.
posted by clockworkjoe at 7:06 PM on September 20, 2010


Sorry to be de-rail-y right off the bat (the first sentence actually made me laugh out loud).

For the record, I think this is a really cool post, and also really like the Saul Bass thing that rog linked to. It's only peripherally related, but reminded me of this too.
posted by dubitable at 7:30 PM on September 20, 2010


I love the Home Alone one. Illustrating a random detail is a great way to craft a film's iconic moment.
posted by MikeF7033 at 9:36 PM on September 20, 2010


I think at this point, they count as cute. Not artistically forward, not graphically stunning, just cute. And cute's fun.
posted by redsparkler at 10:12 PM on September 20, 2010


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