Part 2 of 2: Check out Part 1 “Movie Poster Creates JAWS-Dropping Visual Storytelling Lessons” on the Content Marketing Institute website
Movie Poster Creates JAWS-Dropping Visual Storytelling Lessons
CMI’s Jos Kalinowski on the History of the Jaws Movie Poster
Questions by Buddy Scalera. Answers by Joe Kalinowski,Creative Director at Content Marketing Institute
BUDDY: The iconic JAWS movie poster was not the first version, right? What were some of the other versions?
JOE K: The original hard cover was black and white painted by artist Paul Bacon for Bantam Books. It was a more simplistic version of the iconic image featuring a white translucent shark veering up towards a swimmer painted in the same style. The shark had no eyes or teeth, just the recognizable shape of the shark’s head and mouth. When Bantam released the book in paperback, they revisited Bacon’s image. They hired artist Roger Kastel to use Bacon’s hardcover image as a starting point, but they were suggesting Kastel to make the image a bit more realistic and of course menacing. Kastel did such an impressive job that Universal Studios chose to use that image for the iconic movie poster.
BUDDY: Why do you think they selected the iconic version? Why does it work?
JOE K: There are so many reasons that this image works! First, even if you were living under a rock and never heard of JAWS, you could tell just by the image what is happening: Very large shark about to prey on unsuspecting swimmer. The image is unbelievably simple, yet so captivating at the same time. The use of a basic color palette of red, white, blue and black (with minor shades of pink for the swimmer’s skin) keeps the visual noise down (notice there’s no sky above the surface?). The movement that is created by the simple brush strokes around the swimmer’s arms and legs to show splashing, and the bubble around the shark’s mouth to show it’s speed as it swims toward the surface is quite impressive considering it’s a two dimensional image. The use of black to accentuate the shark’s teeth and cavernous mouth was a win, not to mention the cropping of the image inside that thick black border to strengthen the focal point of the ferocity of the shark. Continue reading