Slumdog Millionaire as a Movie Poster

One thing is sure: some movie posters I create are definitely not fit for marketing. If it comes close they could be used as teaser posters that spark thousands of questions in the mind of the viewers and therefore do their job. Most often, though, my posters are for those who already have seen the movie and hence understand the underlying meaning.

The movie poster I created for Slumdog Millionaire is such an example.

The best ideas come to mind when you least expect them, that is for sure. Three weeks ago I was literally doing nothing and thinking of nothing special; I only was reading some stuff I already don’t remember. Then I had it, an idea for a movie poster for Slumdog Millionaire. That’s basically the whole story.

In any way the result I came up with is something you need to take a close look at and think about what you see. Which is both good and bad at the same time (as I already stated above).

Now, before I continue, here’s the final movie poster:

Slumdog Millionair Custom Movie Poster Art

At first look, the poster is not that interesting because it is a simple (but very clichéd) photo mosaic, showing parts from a question and two empty answer boxes. Of course, the overall design is from “Who wants to be a Millionaire” and in that regard my take is very similar to the official poster.

As I mentioned above, my images are for teaser posters at best because the viewers need some background knowledge to fully understand its meaning. In this case, only the “initiated” – in other words, the people who already watched Slumdog Millionaire – know that the question shown here is the final question in the movie.

Although the movie obviously is about much more than the bare question itself, it is in many ways a culmination of the movie. Everything we witnessed from the life of Jamal directly or indirectly lead to this final moment.

And this is where the second, almost hidden layer of this movie poster comes to play.

I used the story setup of Slumdog Millionaire – a Mumbai teen knows the answers to the questions only because of his sad and tragic life – and created a visual representation of his journey by building the mosaic only of those moments (aka screenshots) of Jamal’s life that gave him the chance to come this far.

Overall, I am satisfied with the results, although I had no chance to influence the results directly as I normally could. It was a weird feeling to let the PC do the 2D stuff and most often the results were not that good, so several runs were necessary until I had something I could live with. At least I could indirectly influence everything with the original image I created in Illustrator and the settings in the mosaic creation tool.

Still I am not sure if this approach is perfect for a good movie poster, so what do you think? Is it acceptable when a movie poster has several layers of almost hidden meanings or is that a little bit too much? Should a movie poster stick to more obvious messages and visuals?

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