Film Poster: Sex and the City

I was struggling to think of a suitable third film poster to analyse which would be associated with my own production. I’d already covered the conecpt of setting a narrative over many years, as well as the theme of Christmas. The only other dominant theme or aspect in my film which I could think to focus on was that of female sociability.

Whilst I’m aware that I may have let Sex and the City (King, 2008) sway my production too much as it is (given the parallel of the Miranda characters), I thought that it’s film poster would be suitable for analysis given the general parallels between it’s characters, for example, middle class, professional women who have been friends for a long time and regularly see each other and discuss aspects of their lives such as jobs and romance.

I decided not to go for the UK/US official poster for Sex and the City, given that there is not a lot to analyse in the way of female sociability. The UK/US poster has a heavy infulence on the title, and largely plays on using the Sex and the City name and franchise as an incentive:

The UK/US poster for Sex and the City does not appropriately express themes of female sociability

In a quirky twist, I’ve decided I will analyse the German poster for the film, simply because I believe it is more useful to me:

The German poster for Sex and the City

Shot Types and Composition

The poster only consists of one shot, which is of the four protagonists on what is presumably a night out. I beleieve this shot is extremely successful as it implies all the main themes associated with this film including fashion, friendship and romance .

The shot type used is a wide shot, which just about squeezes all four women into the portrait format. This makes the poster quite unique; rarely does a film poster consist almost entirely of a simple wide shot showing the characters doing something as mundane as walking down the street. Once more, the producers are relying on Sex and the City’s pop culture status. They rely on the idea that their target audience will be able to gather all necessary information simply from seeing the four women on a night out. Although there is of course the possibility that this is a teaser poster, hence the lack of information revealed instantaneously.

The composition of the characters is also very important. For example, Carrie Bradshaw can be found in front of the other women, whilst the others walk behind her in order of dominance within the film. This again adds to the idea of the shot acting as an incentive. Carrie is the main feature of the Tv Series, book and film and therefore must be the main feature of the poster.  

Carrie is often presented in front of the other characters, showing her importance within the series.

Overall Composition

This poster has a very simplistic layout in terms of composition. It has only four main features: the main shot, the titles, billing box and the release date. This means it differs greatly from the posters I have already analysed, where the use of a background was incorporated as well as a main shot. This is because the poster is trying to put emphasis on the relationship between the characters rather than the plot of the film.

The titles can be found at the bottom of the poster at an angle. There are several reasons for this. A simple one for example may be that by putting them at an angle, they take up more space and the audience’s eye is more drawn towards them, especially given their bright colouring. Furthermore, the lack of action in the main shot must be compensated for and this can be done by angling the titles without compromising the sophistication of the poster overall.

As far as the rule of thirds is concerned, this poster is quite effective. The human eye is naturally drawn towards the middle horizontal third. However, clearly there is little in this third other than the women’s bodies. This means that the brain must search the rest of the poster to find more features it can gain information from. In this case, the women’s facial expressions and the titles, which are placed in the remaining thirds, meaning all sections of the poster gain audience attention. The target audience also comes into play here. The women’s figures as well as their clothes would be considered important aspects of the characters and film respectively. Given that these are important to the target audience, they are placed in the first place they will look.

The middle third, usually the most occupied, is in fact quite plain

Titles, font and colouring 

Throughout it’s time on television, Sex and the City kept the same logo, which can be found below. However, for the film, a new logo was created, using a new font and new positioning of the words. This new logo can be found both on the poster, and in its usual form below. This new logo is used as the title on the poster. Given it’s new design, as well as the colouring, the target audience would be very quickly attracted to this. The new colouring in particular would attract those not in the target audience given that it is extremely bright and borderline garish.

The traditional logo for Sex and the City...

... being replaced with the new one for the movie

The new logo/title also incorporates a ‘glittering’ effect, which compliments many aspects of the characters, for example, the amount of money the women have, the fact that they are part of the New York glitterati. It also takes on the style of a handbag, shoe or other accessory, common props throughout he film and series.

The only other title which appears in pink is the release date. This is because it is the only information that the audience is not aware of, and is therefore just as important as the main title, hence the similar colouring. The actors names are in white, and do not show up particularly well. This is because they too are an important part of the franchise; anyone who knows Sex and the City is likely to know the actors names. Furthermore, the actors names are presented in the same order as they appear in the series opening titles, in-keeping with continuity. The billing box is also presented in white, given that the information it gives will not have immediate impact on the audiences.

The tilted title takes up more space on the poster

Impact upon production 

What I like most about this poster is the large focus it has upon the sociability of the characters, and how it uses this as the main feature of the poster. Although I would love to do this, I don’t think it would be possible for my own poster, given that I don’t have a well-known name or characters that my audience will instantly recognise. I do however hope to incorporate into my own poster the friendship of the characters, something which is easily and obviously expressed in the above poster.

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