IMDb’s daily links section today included a piece that kind of blew my mind. It’s from the website TheShiznit.co.uk and it’s called “How to Design a Hollywood Poster: Just Add Sparks.” Their gallery of more than twenty images shows how popular images of sparks have become on movie posters. Like:
It’s such an obvious and overused tic, but I’d never noticed it until I saw them laid out in this way. As you peruse the full gallery you’ll notice the sparks mostly appear on posters for action movies. Their function, I guess, is as a subliminal cue, insinuating that the movie features things that explode. So why not just show an explosion? Because you spent a lot of money on that explosion, and that would be like giving it away for free. You want to hint, without revealing. Hence sparks. Lots and lots of sparks.