Finalists have been announced for the Hollywood Reporter's 39th Annual Key Art Awards, honoring achievements in movie advertising, including best designs and copy lines in movie posters.
"Key Art" refers to the image on which a film's marketing materials are based a painting, graphic, photo or montage that takes center stage on the film's poster, newspaper ads, and lobby displays. Two of the most striking iconic images from last year were the Starship Enterprise and Michael Jackson.
Marketing executives, creative directors, art directors, designers and other movie and ad industry figures judge choices for best posters, trailers, TV ads, new media and packaging, for theatrical and home entertainment releases. There are separate categories according to genre (i.e., action, comedy, drama, horror) and rating (PG-13 and lower, R and higher).
"Teaser" posters are exactly that they're to tease you about an upcoming movie, often appearing many months before the release date, just to let you know that you will so be there on opening weekend. Some teaser posters and trailers may be released before the movie is even shot, so anxious are marketers to get the word out.
The Russian film "12," inspired by the classic jury drama "12 Angry Men."
Hollywood does mayhem very well, as evidenced by these two apocalyptic posters for "2012."
Many studios' marketing campaigns are actually designed by outside agencies, whose art directors and designers are up for the awards. Santa Monica-based Ignition Creative leads all agencies this year with 59 Kay Art Award nominations, including their designs for "District 9," "The Cove" and "The Men Who Stare at Goats."
This witty design captures the core of the comedy "Cold Souls," in which an actor (Paul Giamatti) rents a soul in order to perform a role more, well, soulfully, only to discover an underground trade in souls.
This poster advertising the animated film "Coraline" merely suggests the journey of the central character without actually revealing anything.
This Australasian poster for "Antichrist" cuts to the chase of one of the most controversial aspects of Lars von Trier's sexual drama.
The poster for "Taken" is a fine example of a copy line being used as an integral part of the poster's design.
Two of this year's nominees for Comedy Posters (Rated R and Above) were created by L.A.-based Mojo, "Away We Go" and "Taking Woodstock."
The angles of these striking posters for "Ninja Assassin" and "The International" each deliver a sense of impending dread and terror.
The poster for "(500) Days of Summer" encapsulates a fascination with love interest Zooey Deschanel.
Photography used in posters may highlight the film's stars, or obscure them. In the case of "Duplicity" the graphic design sets up the cat-and-mouse spy caper pitting Julia Roberts against Clive Owen, while the dreamy look of "Nine" suggests Daniel Day-Lewis is not the main focus of the musical celebrating romantic movie fantasies.
The phantasmagorical U.K. one-sheet for Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus" reveals much of the film's wild imagery (and much of actress Lily Cole as well).
Among this year's horror poster nominees are "Grace" (about a baby with an appetite for human blood! ) and "The Uninvited."
The poster for last year's Oscar winner for Best Picture uses critical acclaim with a film image that perfectly captures the horror facing the film's bomb disposal technician.
A wonderfully appropriate image for this documentary on what really goes on in America's factory food production, without going into the grossness that viewers will actually witness.
Tyler Perry's films are well represented among this year's nominees. These designs were by the agency Ignition.
Poster designs for "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" center on the film's themes of abuse and awakening.
Two examples of faces used to sell horror: "The Final Destination" and "Terminator: Salvation."
A haunting image for the sci-fi animated "9."
No fancy illustrations, no cloying copy lines. Just a very basic graphic that tells you everything you need to know about this comedy (and, when you think of it, about most movie comedies).
We're not talking Anton Chekhov here so a certain amount of grossness for this Canadian comedy is allowable, and probably well-suited.
And the Winners Are . . .
Winners for the Key Art Awards were announced June 11, 2010.
Best In Show and Theatrical Print - Action/Adventure Posters (Rated PG-13 and Below) went to BLT & Associates, for Paramount Pictures' "Star Trek."