Gender-Bent “17 Again” Movie Poster

For this project, I needed to create or re-create a movie poster featuring me as the main character. I decided to create a gender-bent (meaning that all the gender roles are reversed in a story or movie) version of “17 Again,” a comedy originally staring Zac Efron.



You can buy the original movie poster that I used at reference here.

I really like this poster because the design is so clean and the image tells a story. It uses bright, bold colors and contrasting fonts. I also like the repeating colors in the book bag and the red lettering.


The poster really alludes to the plot of the movie with a lot of symbolism. In the movie overview available on Fandango it says: 

Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) was a high-school basketball star with a bright future, but he threw it all away to marry his girlfriend and raise their child. Almost 20 years later, Mike’s marriage has failed, his kids think he’s a loser, and his job is going nowhere. He gets a chance to correct themistakes of his past and change his life when he is miraculously transformed into a teenager (Zac Efron), but in trying to fix his past, Mike may be jeopardizing his present and future. 

The leather jacket and the aviator glasses, while classics that are still cool today, were definitely at their height when the character Mike O’Donnell was in high school. The books and other school items are synonymous with youth and school whereas, a tie, briefcase, and dress clothes are very adult in nature. Because of how the image is set up, it elude to the fact that the character has shed off the adult version of themselves and is embracing their youth again


I had to do a lot of prep and forethought for this shot. I wanted it to look close to the original while still having elements of it that were more feminine and symbolic of what it would be like if I went back to high school the way Zac Efron’s character did.


I used a women’s leather jacket, pink aviator sunglasses, and a purple folder. Instead of a tie, I used a string of pearls that my sister was holding up with a fishing line and I wore my cross country running spikes in place of converse sneakers.

Since I didn’t have a white backdrop, I used white mattress covers. For lighting, I used two Rouge Flash Benders with speed lights. As I was editing later, I wish I had done more to light up the backdrop more because it would have been easier to crop myself out or blow out the background, especially around the pearl necklace.

I set up my camera on a tripod and then had my mom press the button. My sister offered suggestions on how I needed to adjust to look more like the original poster. This is the first time I have tried photographing myself and it was quite an adventure.



In Photoshop, I did my basic edits before cropping myself out. I used the quick select tool and then fixed then edges where it wasn’t able to differentiate between the background and the subject. Once I had cropped myself out, I pulled the image into Illustrator for the typography.


I created outlines on the “17” so that I could fatten it up more like the one on the original poster. For the credits, I shrunk the titles to a little less than half and stretched the names so that I could stack the longer titles on top of each other. It was interesting for me to look closer at how they put together the credits section since I don’t normally but that much thought into it.





If you like this concept of role switching in movies for fun, check out this awesome illustrated, gender-bent “Frozen” poster.

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