Affiche magazine on film posters

“Sandra Ruch, who handled the marketing for New Line Cinema before establishing her own company, explained that getting a film poster into print involves a series of stages. “There are a number of unwritten rules,” she says, “and a series of levels of approval.” Good ideas are often rejected because they are considered too daring or unusual, or don’t focus enough on the star, or look too much like a theater poster, or a book jacket, or a television ad.

To complicate matters, actors and agents have gained greater control. Before an art director even puts pencil to paper, certain contractual requirements must be taken into account. For example, the star’s face may have to be central. If there are two or three stars, their faces may have to be the same size. Their names may have to be on the same line as the title, or above the title, or one slightly larger than the other, or slightly higher.

It is not unusual for an art director to present up to 50 or even 100 sketches for a film. Criticism and input must be accepted from numerous people, including the director, the producer, the studio head, the marketing expert, and others.”

Affiche, 1993