Big Heads Floating in the Sky
The Top Movie Poster Cliché
Stop us if you have seen this poster composition before: Large images of movie star faces (often of a couple), with a small scene (usually at the bottom of the poster one-sheet) depicting some sort of action or activity. Sound familiar?
In the film advertising industry, this is known as Big Heads Floating in the Sky. The “big headed stars” layout is so common it is often a point of criticism directed towards modern poster art. But this type of layout has been around since the beginning of movie advertising for one simple reason:
Movie stars sell movies.
In fact, another name for this type of movie poster is called a Star Sell. This star sell mantra was true back in the days of Casablanca, and it is even more true today. After all, if Paramount just paid Tom Cruise $20 million dollars to star in a Summer “tent-pole” motion picture for the studio, you can bet they aren’t going to keep his participation a secret from the film’s one-sheet art.