I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for the return of a TV series than with True Detective. The first season had me on tenterhooks for the entire thing and I couldn’t wait to dive back into that world at the weekend.
In the lead-up to the first episode premiere, I’ve was pretty much all aboard the hype train, checking out every morsel of marketing material I can: set photos, trailers, posters, the whole shebang. But what caught my eye the most were these fantastic motion posters.
They give you a real sense of the universe True Detective is set in without showing very much at all. They’re subtle and elegant in all the right ways and, most crucially, make you want to sit down and watch the thing as soon as you can!
Motion posters present an interesting creative challenge. Rather than somewhere between a poster and a trailer, as many people think, they’re actually far more limited, and as the saying goes, restriction breeds creativity.
You see, motion posters have to be carefully constructed to be successful. They have to appear like a still image at first glance, so that even before they’ve loaded, they still advertise their subject movie or TV show well. That’s why, typically, they springboard off the regular poster key art, so that they always look good, even if you have a spluttering old laptop or an ancient Internet connection.
For me, the best ones always loop perfectly back to the beginning as well. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing a beautifully animated motion poster, only for it to jarringly stop and go back to the beginning with a completely different image!
I have been toying with motion posters myself with some really interesting results, and would love to do more commissioned work, as I think in this digital age the concept has real legs. Film advertising is so diverse these days, with trailers, teasers, TV spots, posters, press adverts and the like, and I think motion posters are just another string to that bow.