Okay, so I’m getting ready (finally) to screen HORRORS OF WAR and IN THE TRENCHES OF AN INDIE FILM at Cowtown on November 13th. Part of what I am doing, and what I have asked the other filmmakers to do, was make and print posters. I decided I wanted a special edition poster for HORRORS OF WAR exclusive to this last and hopefully final exhibition. Since the film fits the “Grindhouse” style, we went with some grungy midnight movie style posters of yesteryear. 

I wanted to give some tips on printing, as I’ve been doing posters for movies and screenings for 8 years. Now, some basic information people need to be aware of are as follows:

1. Movie Theater posters (called “one sheets”, not to be confused with the 8.5″x11″ ONE SHEETS used in selling a film) are 27″x40″ (length by height).
2. Real Movie Theater one sheets also have a reverse image on the back because they are usually illuminated from behind in poster cases outside and inside the theater.
3. An early, pre-release poster is called a “TEASER” or “TEASER ONE SHEET” with a simple design or concept style.
4. Smaller posters, especially reprints, are 23″x35″ in size. These are what most posters you buy rolled up in bins (Spencer’s gifts anyone?).
5. 11″x17″ legal sized posters are most often used to plaster walls and phone poles.

Getting your own poster printed can be a very pricey. I prefer to work with local printing companies. I feel like people give giant corporations enough money and there isn’t enough cash heading into the pockets of smaller, personal companies. So I am definitely willing to pay 10%-20% more for local work to the mom & pop shops. So in the past, when buying 27″x40″ posters, they cost between $35-$45 each. Yikes, kind pricey. Today I was pricing those and shops were also trying to stiff me with a $25 one time “file” fee for having to deal with any kind of digital file from me. That means $60 for the first poster.

I have been using CAFEPRESS.COM for a while and without a doubt most of their products are greatly overpriced, and the quality of merchandise tends to be mediocre to poor. But they do offer a 23″x35″ for only $17.99 and that’s a deal. The quality of the product looks amazing. I did a SONNYBOO poster, some earlier HORRORS OF WAR posters, etc. and the look pretty top notch. Paper quality, detail, and text all have very sharp properties. Their shipping is pricey, but they also tend to be fairly quick on turnaround too. I am going with them almost exclusively. I give them **********, the whole ten stars.

So lately, I’ve been collecting up posters for my own movies or movies I worked on. I’ve got the cool GOODNIGHT CLEVELAND poster because I like the color scheme and very simple design. I never dreamed when I was a kid, with the many STAR WARS one sheets on my walls that I’d ever own a movie poster with my name on it, especially a movie I either worked on, and even more unbelievably a movie I MADE. I frame my posters and it inspires me to keep working harder and get better as I make more movies.

Now, I’m struggling with the design for IN THE TRENCHES. I want simple and elegant, but my ideas keep getting too complex to quickly. I saw a CRITERION DVD cover art that might be a great inspiration for the aesthetic I have in mind. I’m also really into the BLUE NOTE RECORDS jazz LP designs from the 1950’s, and I like those color palettes and styles.

I do NOT consider myself a designer or particularly good with Photoshop or anything with print. This is not my forté so thankfully Phil Garrett stepped up to do the main designs for HORRORS OF WAR, but I’m stuck on the IN THE TRENCHES poster.

My Sexy Fiancé Veronica and I went with my father to see “W.” and it was okay. I agree 100% with most reviews that I don’t know who he made the movie for. It wasn’t scathing enough for liberals and it wasn’t flattering or sincere enough for conservatives. At the same time, it is a good film, but I’ll bet it suffered from the highly compressed shoot to post production schedule. As is usually the case with Ollie Stone, we can expect to see a “director’s cut” or special edition on DVD later when he has more time to comb through and make more informed decisions on the cut. Someone asked me why this film was put out at all if it won’t affect the election. My response was that it’s really meant for the opposite; the film benefits from the election, not the other way around. If they released this in January as George W. Bush left office, less people would care, and it will be less potent. It’s all about timing and they wanted to cash in on the box office of being the first film to take on a sitting president in 100 years.

Peace out my friends,
– Ross

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer


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