The Art of the Movie Poster: Jen Ditchik on Apocalypse Now and Proud Mary

Eclipse's creative chief picks her favorites

Movie posters are art. Their stories, images and taglines have been intriguing and inspiring audiences dating back to screenings of the Lumière brothers' films. If you could look at movie posters through the years like a flipbook, they would tell you the tales of our cultural times. 

For a new series of articles, Muse is asking the makers of key art to pick their favorite posters from the past. We begin today with Jen Ditchik, svp of creative advertising at Eclipse and a former Clio Entertainment juror. 

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Muse: Why this poster?
Jen Ditchik: If I had to pick an inspiring piece, it would be one the original Apocalypse Now, designed by Bob Peak. I was always intrigued by the art and design of his work. The concept, the simplicity—so impactful. 

What about it stands out most?
The emotion emotions captured of both [Marlon] Brando and [Martin] Sheen's expression separated by the glow of the moon. The second subtle read of scene emoting action, then the brilliant design of the title treatment. All creating a piece of art. 

Proud Mary (2018)

Why these posters?
A more current favorite would be the campaign Screen Gems [and agency LA] created for Proud Mary—very reminiscent of creative from the '70s with a modern approach. 

What about them stands out most?
The callback to the '70s with the teaser executing with a modern eye. The courageous and bold use of colors. The payoff so delicately designed using the star (title of film) as a holding device and beautifully showing her world—all contained. Amazing.

How did the Apocalypse Now and Proud Mary posters move the needle for entertainment marketing?
Great art begets great art. Any time creative is released that inspires the creative community, it keeps the bar high. Both of these works of art were tasteful, impactful and told a story. One image—one story. 

Generally speaking, what makes a great piece of key art?
Distilling an entire story down to one single frame. Creating an image that feels iconic, expressive and intriguing. Type design is also super important. The right font and placement can make or break a piece regardless of how impactful or beautiful and image is. 

What elements of key art inspire your work today?
The creative process. Reading the script, collaborating with filmmakers then tasking a range of creatives to explore.

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