The Miles Davis Movie: What should the movie poster look like?

I know I’m jumping the gun, but it’s still fun to think about what the movie posters might look like for the Miles Davis biopic.

In most cases a teaser one-sheet will circulate to start the hype machine, which is then followed by a variety of movie poster styles that provides more meaning to the story, characters, etc…

An early one-sheet I’ve thought about for the biopic is a black poster with the words “Miles Davis” in white lettering positioned in the middle. When I close my eyes I just think it looks cool. Yes, at times, I’m a minimalist.

Even a picture of a trumpet (illustrated, perhaps) over a single-colored background might be nice.

I guess the popular movie poster for “Ray” somewhat takes this simple, yet effective style.

For me, Saul Bass was a genius of design, and his motion picture title sequences and movie poster artwork is simply brilliant, providing some of Hollywood’s most unforgettable cinematic images.

I’m a big (big) fan of Bass’ work, and his style would definitely serve the Miles Davis film right. Two of my favorite Bass designs are for the films “Anatomy of A Murder” and “Love in the Afternoon.”

I doubt the marketing team will opt for the style Spike Lee chose for his jazz-themed film, “Mo Better Blues” (a film I love, and a movie poster I have framed, which has been with me since college). I still submit that “Mo Better Blues” is one of Spike Lee’s better films, and the music is great.

Without knowing a darn thing, I just have a feeling the Miles Davis one-sheet will have a more serious ‘feel.’

In keeping with the theme of jazz-related movies and their posters, I can’t say I love the one-sheet for “Round Midnight.”

But I do like “Bird.” It’s not perfect, but almost. Actually, that bird in the upper left (is that a dove?) is driving me crazy. I’d lose it. Still, it’s a nice poster.

And then there’s “Kansas City.” I love Altman, but this is not one of my favorites. The music is really good, however. Jennifer Jason Leigh looks so funny (to me) in the poster. I know she’s supposed to be tough, but it looks awkward.

Now that I’m looking at the “Bird” one-sheet, I’m thinking one version of a movie poster for the Davis project could be to incorporate the classic Miles pose seen on the cover of The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions.

That wouldn’t be too shabby. I wonder if Don Cheadle has been working on that pose?

So, for my original question – What should the movie poster look like? – I’d be interested to hear what, not only a Miles Davis fan has to say, but also from people in movie marketing, ad folks, people who read BrandWeek, design enthusiasts and so on.

I bet we could come up with a great collection of ideas for a Miles Davis movie poster. All I know is, I can’t wait to get my hands on one….

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