Wednesday, 16 January 2019

What is a "One Sheet"?

What is a "One Sheet"? And who needs one? A One Sheet is a movie poster, and you need to make one if you've got a movie or short film to sell.

A "One Sheet" is a single image that encapsulates what your film is about and - hopefully - will make people understand the film and also want to go and see it.

Think of the posters you see on the wall as you leave the movie theatre. You walk down a hallway, past a wall of posters, and you think: "that movie looks cool, I might just go and see that".

Marketing folks spend a lot of time thinking about One Sheets, because people will decide whether or not to go and see a movie based on how good the poster looks.

And they will make that decision very quickly, generally in just a few seconds.

Key elements of a great One Sheet
A good One Sheet has two key elements: a simple, clear image that encapsulates the essence of the film, and a clever strapline.

Take a look at the Scooby-Doo poster above - one of my favourite One Sheets. Not a brilliant movie (arguably), but a great poster.  The image tells you everything you need to know about the movie. It also has a beautifully simple and funny strapline: "Be afraid, be kind of afraid".

Pixar, as you'd expect, are very good at one sheets. The poster for Inside Out shows the idea of the movie very clearly, and has a great strapline: "meet the little voices inside your head".

How big should a One Sheet be?
The answer, according to Wikipedia, is this: "a one sheet is a specific size (typically 27 by 41 inches (69 cm × 104 cm) before 1985; 27 by 40 inches (69 cm × 102 cm) after 1985) of film poster advertising."

Of course, if you're doing a poster for your own film, you're unlikely to want to print it this big. The key thing is to have a single image you can upload to websites such as, to help promote your film.

After all, people want to know what they are going to get, before they invest time and energy in watching your film. A one sheet is your chance to sell them your idea.

To see more, read this useful article at Wikipedia.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.

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