Sarah Ford gives lecture on the art of creating movie posters

The latest Ask. Ponder. Educate. [X]. lecture on Thursday, Oct. 19, was called “The Process of Making a Movie Poster” and featured art designer, photographer and illustrator Sarah Ford. 

Ford has extensive Hollywood entertainment agency experience as an art director designing posters for film and television. Her previous work includes titles such as Hidden Figures, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Orange Is the New Black and American Horror Story.

A.P.E.X. Director Ryan Paul introduced Ford, saying, “[Ford’s] unique passion for spiritual care and art connects with all beings and storytelling from a compassionate perspective.”

During her lecture, Ford explained why posters are such an important art form. “We’re really reflecting cultures — getting glimpses of our world,” said Ford. “Posters are markers in time. It allows us to know what’s going on in pop culture during the time they were made. We’re also processing our own waves of experiences with movies.”

Ford also gave insight into the marketing aspect of poster design. 

“By creating a poster, we are making the story visible to others,” explained Ford. “A poster needs to be a quick read. It’s an invitation to come and watch the film. The entire story lives on this two-dimensional rectangle.”

When discussing different movie genres and how they can affect the artist’s creativity, Ford said that horror films are great for experimentation. 

“The creative freedom for horror is super expansive. When you’re creating something that has an element of fear, there is a huge imaginative component to it,” said Ford. “If we can play with fear and get closer to it, to learn about it, it helps us be with that emotion more and expands us a little bit. It gives you your individual power, even though it’s scary.”

When coming up with new ideas, Ford likes to integrate the practice of mindfulness into her creative process.

“Work with failing as part of the process,” Ford advised. “Focus on the process and less on the outcome.”

When unmotivated, Ford suggested asking the question, “What can I be interested in?” According to Ford, there is always something you can find to connect with. 

Ford’s lecture also stressed the importance of having an editing process. She compared writing a paper to creating a movie poster, saying, “Do some research and see what else is out there. You must revise and edit until you have to turn it in.” 

Ford concluded her lecture by speaking about the benefits of creating art.

“Art is an act of generosity,” said Ford. “When you’re doing art for yourself, it’s a way to play, to know yourself and to see what’s important to you. Sharing that art in the world is also an act of generosity. I encourage you all to look at your process, create your art, and put it out into the world.” 

The next A.P.E.X. event will take place on Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m. The event will be a ‘Live Court’ case, State v. Weaver, in the Great Hall of the Hunter Alumni Center.

Author: Christina Schweiss
Photographer: Joseph Roberts
Editor: Nick Stein