CONTEST: Help Us Design The Worst Movie Poster Of 2015

Got Photoshop skills? Design a terrible poster and you could win a substantially cooler one.

(NOTE: Yes, there's a contest here. But give me a second to explain how this whole idea came about)

Because I'm Birth.Movies.Death's de facto "poster guy", people tend to show me a lot of posters. Commissioned screenprints, under-the-radar gallery releases, official one-sheets - if it's new and it's a piece of paper featuring an illustration meant to market and/or celebrate a movie, chances are somebody has sent me the image and asked what I think. As our own Phil Nobile Jr. has found out via his frequent posts concerning James Bond, having your own niche is both a blessing and a curse: you love the thing itself, but boy howdy is there a lot of filler out there.

One of the reasons I'm so into screenprints is that they are not, strictly-speaking, studio-issued advertisements. There's genuine artistry involved, both in the creation of the prints themselves (the artist interprets the film and filters that interpretation through their preferred style) and in the process that goes into silkscreening each poster (the careful separation of colors, the numerous trips a poster makes through the printer). That they're rare - and, thus, collectible - is just a bonus. 

Studio-sanctioned movie posters, on the other hand, have become increasingly reliant on the same bag of Photoshop tricks: an artless smattering of floating heads, the ol' "Blue VS Orange" trick, a swirling cloud of embers. Sometimes a marketing department will change things up by being terrible on a conceptual level (see: that series of "Everyone's got a mustache!" Mortdecai one sheets from earlier in the year), but for the most part it feels like marketing departments are simply coasting, and the studios seem all too happy to let them do so. For every great one-sheet that catches your eye, there are twenty others that seem entirely interchangeable...or just plain embarrassing.

And let's be frank: the problems don't end with studio-approved posters. Official marketing materials have also turned into a bit of a disaster, ranging from hilariously ill-conceived (see also: the Terminator: Genisys photos EW had the dubious honor of revealing this summer) to deeply off-putting (any photos of Jared Leto's Joker). Yes, these images are being shared, and yes, there's a case to be made that the sharing of those images constitutes a successful marketing campaign - after all, they are getting the word out - but that doesn't make 'em any easier on the eyes.

Anyway, I was snarking about this just last night over on Twitter, and it occurred to me that you could probably make a legendarily awful poster if you were to combine the worst elements of several studio-approved one-sheets (and, what the hell, maybe a few ill-advised magazine photo spreads, to boot) into a single poster. Why, with the proper Photoshop skills, one might feasibly create the Bad Poster Singularity. 

And that, my friends, is precisely what we'd like you to do.

Here's how this contest is going to work: we're asking Birth.Movies.Death. readers to create the worst poster of 2015, using elements from other bad posters and/or promo images. You'll have a week to put them together, and then the rest of the Birth.Movies.Death. staff is going to help me pick a winner. The prize: a screenprint pulled out of my flat file. No, I don't know which poster I'll give away, but go ahead and assume that whatever it is will be substantially cooler than whatever monstrosities you guys cook up on your own.

Sound good? Good, here are the rules:

  1. All entries, however grotesque, should still resemble a modern-day movie poster. Same basic dimensions, same basic concept: a title, a background, some names, some people, etc. 
  2. To facilitate maximum clusterfuckery, your poster should include elements from at least 5 different movies, as well as one reference to Jai Courtney
  3. We would prefer you use Photoshop (or some equivalent program) to get the job done. 
  4. Once your poster is completed, post it to the comments below. Readers are encouraged to upvote their favorites, but the BMD staff will have final say on the winner.

This contest is now live, and will remain open for the following week. All entries need to be posted below by end-of-day November 2nd, and a winner will be chosen on November 3rd (we'll run a post singling out the best entry, at which point the winner can contact me via their preferred social media platform to fork over their address). You are free to enter the contest even if you don't live within the continental U.S., but be aware that you'll have to pay whatever shipping fees are involved in order to collect your prize. Aaaand...I think that about covers the fine print! If you have any questions, leave 'em in the comments below and I'll answer 'em as I see 'em. 

We have an endlessly creative readership here at Birth.Movies.Death., and we think you guys are gonna do us proud. Get cracking, and check back in frequently to see the progress of your fellow competitors. Good luck to all!

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