I have chosen to analyse a poster advertising a film called “Dune”. It is a remake of an earlier science-fiction film. I found it in a magazine called “Cult Times” which is a science-fiction magazine aimed at people of both genders and all races aged 20 to 40 that are sci-fi fans although it does still appeal to most sci-fi fans of a wider age group. The poster depicts a starry night in a desert like place with a large moon/planet that takes up most of the sky.
Over the bottom third of the page the same desert like place is shown however the sun appears to be shining and there are lots of people with their arms in the air. This part of the picture looks as if different pictures are put together in a collage and the lines smoothed out. At the bottom and sides of this section the images fade to black. In yellow letters that stand out from the background is written, “FRANK HERBERT’S” (and in a much larger font) “DUNE”. Over the background picture for the next third of a page is images of several people.
The main one is in the middle of the page and is a white man with blue eyes. His image merges with the light that looks like a sun and on the right hand side with three people, who again appear to have been collaged and merged together. On his right contrasting sharply with the main face ore three other people who have been merged. All the images are close-up’s/medium shots and the left images merge in to the moon/planet also. The top third is just the background showing the top half of the moon/planet.
When I first look at the poster I immediately look at the writing and then my eye is drawn up the page to the centre or the big head. The bottom third of the page can be broken up into five main images/features. The entire bottom third of the page has an orange and yellow theme. It looks very sand-like and connotes a desert. The sand connotations are backed up by one of the five features, the writing. The writing isn’t just one solid colour it is a mixture of orange and yellow dots, orange at both ends fading to yellow in the middle.
The only reason it’s colour stands out from the bottom third of this page is because of a dark shadow behind the letters and that it is place half on a grey/black edge that fades into the images. The font itself reminds me if sand pictures where the sand has just been blown off. The main reason I think this is because of a grainy pixel look behind and above the text where the sand is, it is almost as if the sand has been blown away to create the desert behind leaving only the name. The actual name “Dune” also connotes sand and deserts and immediately brings to my mind images of great mounds of sand.
The left and right hand edges of the picture are two more of the five features. They are both quite dark and fade to black on the outside edge of each page. It depicts people holding up their arms as if in rebellion, anger or in a cheer. I am not sure which is the preferred narrative although I do not believe it is in anger because the are all facing the big image of a mans head and he is lit in warm desert colours and looks to be their leader. However the preferred narrative may not be as obvious to me because I have seen the film and already have conceptions that may change my view of the narrative.
The middle of the bottom third of the page is two image that have been blended together to create a feeling of distance and depth. The bottom of the image starts off very light, gets slightly darker and then changes back to light where the desert appears to meet the sun in the horizon. There are two very indistinct figures in the middle of the page that blend into the background and I think are there to break up the monotony of the rest of the image and provide a scale for the other part. To the right is a small, although large looking picture of a worm.
It is left to the imagination exactly how big but it is bigger than both figures in the front of the picture and the depth of the desert means that the viewer is looking at the worm from far away. The sun highlights the worm making it appear even larger and almost monstrous. The sun is the last of the five features of this section of page. It blends with the neck of the large head making it appear as if he is in fact the sun, coupled with the pictures of people with their hands raised I think that this lends itself to the cheering narrative of the people.
The image as him as the sun and hero of the film is heightened by his contrast with the people on the left. Colour plays a crucial role in this representation of him. He is the same colour as the desert, the sun and the light side of the moon, however the dark side of the moon has a blue colour. Blue connotes coldness and in this context it is almost cruel. The three people on the left all appear through a blue lenses and the main head is in great colour contrast with them because the left side of his head is very light and cuts off sharply.
However on the right of his head his face blends with images of three other people seen through the same orange light as he is. This contrast in colour connotes that those in the orange are good people and those in blue are bad. That his head is forward and obscures some of the blue and orange images connotes that he has come forward and that is a very important part of the story. This also lends to the narrative that he is leading the people of the desert in a rebellion against the evil people depicted to his left.
This is shown through the contrast of colour, orange for good, blue for bad and metaphorically. He is the light of his people – the sun – and he is going to rid them of the evil – the night. As he is also the only one looking directly out he appears even more important and is definitely the most likely hero. The top third of the page acts to balance out the bottom and to stop the images from looking too busy. As well as the unfamiliar setting the large amount of space taken up by the stars and the moon/planet make this seem as if it is set in another society/world.
There is a very circular shape to this advert that helps to lead the eye all around, as does the contrast between light and dark and colour. My eye is drawn to the light section near the bottom of the page by the semi-circular faded black outline. To keep my eye on the centre of the picture the sun/neck of the mans head leads in a semi-circle the other way bringing my eye to the centre and main focus of the page, the large head. From there my eye leads to the right, around the circular moon/planet back to the centre.
The advert represents people in quite a stereotypical way. The ordinary people (in the bottom third of the page) are wearing rag-like cloaks in a peasant looking brown/orange. This connotes that they are poor and need help from someone, like the hero who is the main focus of this page. The hero, or who I believe to be the hero of the film is handsome as is conventional in films. His hair is quite stylish but we cannot see what he is wearing. I believe him to be quite wealthy because he is in-between people in expensive (as far as I can tell) looking clothes.
This surrounding of wealthy people connotes that he has come from them to help the people. The advert targets it’s audience firstly by the magazine it is in. As it is placed in a cult magazine it is obviously targeting people who enjoy that genre. It is also quite artistic in a way that would be lost on a 5yr old so its audience is clearly 18+. Both male and female characters are represented and most are attractive which suggests it is made to appeal to both sexes. It also has a very mysterious air about it and I think that this would attract its target audience as well.