How To Be You Po? Quick Tips From Justin Besana on How To Be an Effective Movie Poster Designer


Official Movie Poster of the digitally-restored Sana Maulit Muli by ABS-CBN Film Restoration

What makes you buy a movie ticket? Perhaps, one of the reasons would be, you’re a big fan of the film’s lead actors and actresses. Maybe a recommendation from a good friend? Or is it because you are in a movie house and suddenly a film poster captured your attention?


There are a lot of factors, but one thing is for sure-- a movie goer deserves satisfaction through visuals and the movie poster plays a pivotal role to achieve that goal.


Now, the question is: “How can you make an effective movie poster?”


Well, the The Film Dream is honored to talk to Justin Besana, the resident graphics designer of ABS CBN Film Restoration and the designer of many notable movie posters in the country, as he shares 10 impeccable tips.


Official Movie Poster of Likhang Silangan's Hustisya


1. Law of attraction

Watch movies and learn from people in front and behind the camera. In learning, there is no hierarchy so be open to listen to all voices. There are a lot of reference materials available online, as well as streaming platforms so take advantage of them.


2. Core

Every story provides a chunk of information and can sometimes be overwhelming -- it can lead you to different routes in terms of creative direction. It is imperative to dig deep down to its core than just scratching the surface to effectively communicate the story in a one-sheet visual.


3. Collaborate

Marketing team, director, writers, photographers and other key people from production -- their creative inputs matter so you can come up with a unified campaign.



Official Movie Poster of Regal Entertainment and Project 8's Cuddle Weather

A glimpse of the creative process behind the movie poster designed by Justin Besana

for Regal Entertainment and Project 8's Cuddle Weather. Click play button to watch the video.



4. The crooked path

Exhaust all creative possibilities and leave no stones unturned. You may trudge your way to a successful key art concept but it’s always the crooked path that is worth the blood, sweat, and tears.


5. Discern

Criticisms are part of the learning curve but learn to identify the criticisms that truly matter. Constructive criticism will help you improve and will enable you to keep track of your progress.


Official Movie Poster of Love the Way You Lie from Viva Films, CMB and Tin Can.

6. Be more

Designing is just part of a complex process of creating a poster. Having knowledge in Marketing (digital and traditional), Writing, Photography, & Art Direction among many other vital skills is beneficial in creating a key art. It doesn't mean that you have to do all the work alone but it will help you give a deeper understanding of the whole creative journey.


7. Create your own story

Live your life. Your personal experiences will help you understand intricate human emotions and thus will help you create more impactful visuals for posters.



Official Movie Poster of Culturtain Musicat Productions' Ang Larawan

Official Movie Poster of Die Beautiful by Octobertrain Films and The IdeaFirst Company

8. Nike!

As the famous tagline of Nike goes - just do it. Great ideas start with a doubt and it takes courage to turn an idea into a reality. When in doubt, sometimes a leap of faith is all you need. You will be surprised how far you can go— further than you imagined.


9. Kitkat

Take a break, another tagline you are surely familiar with. Take some time away from your computer and do things that will feed your creative soul like going to galleries or travelling. Breathers are part of your creative journey. Those allow you to focus more and get inspiration for your next masterpiece.



Official Movie Poster of Reality Entertainments Honor Thy Father

10. Projects for the soul

As an artist, you sometimes want to have the freedom to create your own art but it's not all the time that you are given such privilege. It is understandable that a film poster is one of the many marketing tools that should abide by certain rules. So, in order for you to nurture your creative skills, indulge in passion projects and have the liberty to express and be one with your art.


Justin Besana, the artist behind our favorite Filipino film posters.


Click play button to watch the video.



There you go! If you want to become just like Justin Besana, these wonderful tips from him will surely be of great help for you. How to be him? Ponder on these tips.







Get to know Justin Besana and how he started as movie poster designer.

Click here! JUSTIN BESANA : The Artist Behind Your Favorite Filipino Film Posters


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