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Media Coursework Superheroes Essay

In this essay, I will analyze two film posters. I will compare and contrast the codes and conventions used to establish the genre and market the film to its audience in the film posters for Daredevil and Gladiator. Genre is the French word for type, and we recognize it through the conventions (things we expect to see) of the genre, e.g. if it is a horror film, we expect blood, guts, monsters and death. Hybrid genres are a mixture of 2 or more genres, e.g. horror and Action or Action and Fantasy.

A sub-genre is a more specific genre within a genre. For example, martial arts, superheroes, boxing and sports are all sub-genres of Action. It is sometimes challenging to fit a particular film to a specific genre because a film could have many genres in it. Therefore, media producers are interested in making hybrid films so that they attract more than one type of audience. Film promotion is when film advertising companies try to attract a larger audience by selling merchandise related to the film, e.g. toys and videogames. Another type of film promotion is teaser trailers, film posters and internet freebies such as free wallpapers, screensavers and MSN emoticons.

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Film promotion intends to attract a larger audience to watch the movie. Film posters are an essential piece of film promotion because when people see the film posters, they are being persuaded by the pictures and colours to see the movie because they think if the posters are that good, then the movie must be better. Examples of movie posters that are memorable such as transformers. The people who created the poster made it so it gave away as little as possible so that people who see the poster are intrigued and want to know more. Another memorable film poster is the one for the monster house. The monster house film poster shows a house with three kids in front of it.

This makes the poster viewer curious about the house and what these three kids have to do with it. The viewer is also intrigued to know why the film is called monster house. The viewer may think, is the house a monster or not. Films are promoted by advertisers who think up ways to sell films, but most studios these days have their advertisers in the studio; this is known as vertical integration. Vertical integration saves money because the studio has access to all levels of production and distribution close to them. This saves money because the film producer can do all stages of production and distribution quickly and cheaply.

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The film Daredevil was released on the 14th February 2003. It made $178,780,000 (worldwide) (2003). A review of the film said this “in the pantheon world of marvel comic’s superheroes; Daredevil is more of a Demi-god than a full-blown deity. He’s a notch below Spider-man, The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, and The X-Men. 20th-century fox has acknowledged this when determining Daredevil’s release date. This particular Superhero is debuting in February, not in the middle of summer when competition from The X-Men and The Hulk would greatly diminish his chances of being noticed.

Fans of the comic book will probably have some nits to pick, but, overall Daredevil does about one would expect from a movie of that name – present about 90 minutes of disposable, action-oriented entertainment. It’s not as good as either of its recent marvel cinematic siblings (Spider-man and X-men), in large part because the proceedings lose far too much momentum in the last act and the last act and the desire to set up a sequel results in things ending with a whimper. It’s a good superhero yarn, but, hopefully, it’s not the best of the burgeoning genre that 2003 has to offer.” This film is a hybrid genre film its genres are Superheroes, Comic Book, (Romance), Fantasy, Action/Adventure and crime.

The conventions for Action are; flashing fight scenes, fighting in a bar, jumping off tall buildings. The conventions for Fantasy are; superheroes, super hearing, flashbacks and unrealistic accidents. The conventions for crime are; a dark city shows it harbours a dark secret, police sirens and weapons. Finally, the conventions for comics books/superhero’s are; pages from a comic book in the beginning, Daredevil holding on from the top of the church, how he got his powers and how he got his costume. Daredevil is a high concept film that appeals to a mainstream audience because it shows all the qualities of Superhero and comic book film.

I think this film was targeted for both genders, ages between 13 and 25. I think this is because it has a male superhero character and a female superhero character. The appeal of this genre is the violence of a superhero and villain doing battle, and seeing the superheroes make us think of our mortality and if we can be like them. Also, they were several production companies: Marvel Enterprises, New Regency Pictures, Horseshoe Bay Productions, 20th Century Fox, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Regency Enterprises. This suggests that the production values were high.

The poster for Daredevil shows Daredevil standing on top of a building. Behind him are a few buildings, and the sky is red. The tagline for the movie is when darkness falls on hell kitchen, justice is blind. This signifies that he is blind. In the poster, Daredevil is shown with the camera looking up at him. This signifies that he is powerful and that he is a hero. It also looks like he is looking down on the world like he wants to protect it. The colours in the poster are primarily red, and the sky is red. This signifies that blood has been spilt. We can tell the genre of the film from the poster that it is a superhero-type film. We know this because it has the conventions of a superhero film, e.g. Daredevil is wearing a costume, and he looks mighty like a superhero should look.

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The dynamic red font used of the word “Daredevil” signifies that the hero is a modern-day hero in the 21st century. The full moon suggests that something terrible will happen and acts as a warning to the audience that something terrible will happen. Daredevil is shown in a long angle shot this makes him look powerful. However, it also makes him look down on the world. His body language suggests that he is powerful while his facial expression suggests that he is stern. The poster targets the audience through the use of powerful-looking characters and scary-looking places.

The film gladiator was released on 14th May 2000 in the UK and on the 7th May 2000 in the USA. It made $258,264,745 at the box office. A review of it say’s “Gladiator is the kind of movie upon which Hollywood once built its reputation but rarely produces anymore: the spectacle. Filled with larger than life characters, gorgeous scenery. Impressive set design and epic storytelling, gladiator is designed not just to entertain, but to enthral. It draws the audience in and immerses them in a reality that is not their own.

A boisterous reaction is expected every time the protagonist defies the odds and wins a conflict, or changes the tide of battle in his favour. This is filmmaking on a grand scale.” Gladiator is also a hybrid genre film its genres are Action/Adventure and Historical Drama. We know this from the conventions. The conventions for Action/Adventure are; he is wearing armour and holding a sword, he looks heroic and strong. The conventions for Historical Drama are; his armour looks ancient, he is in a gladiator pit.

Gladiator is a high concept film because it shows the qualities of an Action/Adventure film and a Historical Drama. I think that the target audience for this film is over 15’s because it shows the qualities of a film that contains violence that should not be shown to those under the age of 18. I think this is a film for both genders. I think the appeal of this genre is that there is a lot of violence in this movie which appeals to an audience with a love of violence. The production companies of this film were Dream Works SKG (as Dream Works pictures), Universal Pictures,

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Scott Free Productions. The poster of Gladiator shows the Gladiator (Maximus) standing in front of the stadium in possibly the early morning. He is wearing the armour of a soldier and holding a sword. He looks strong because his muscles are rippling in the sunlight. When you look at him and see the sunlight standing behind him it looks like he is a hero and a saviour because of the light unnaturally behind him. The poster indicates the genre of the film is signified through what he is wearing and where he is standing. The light in the background signifies that something good will happen in the movie by use of the main character.

His body language signifies that he is ready and strong while his facial expression suggests that he is exhausted and could drop any minute. His facial expression could also suggest that he has been through a terrible ordeal. His costume could suggest that he is ready to fight and destroy evil. The tagline “what we do in life echoes in eternity” could suggest that he is about to do something that could change the future. The poster targets the audience of him looking strong and ready for a huge fight.

In conclusion, the main similarities between the 2 posters are that both are heroes and both are looking down on the world like they want to/are ready to save it from destruction. The posters share the conventions because they both have superheroes that are ready to save the world. The main differences between the posters are that they were set in different times and for different reasons and that the heroes are different because one looks stronger than the other. I think the film that enjoyed the greater box office was Gladiator because it’s much classier than Daredevil. Daredevil also had more competition while Gladiator had none.

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