Head Shots

Posterwire explains the arcane picture approval process for movie posters, which can lead to an actor’s approved head-shot being grafted onto several different bodies.

B0006b2a2o01_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v109967533Using the same head on different bodies isn’t uncommon (and sometimes a necessary evil).

[…] Most well-known movie stars have approval (either contractually or as a
professional courtesy) over ALL photography of themselves available to
a film’s marketing campaign. For example, when images from a film (in
unit shots, special shoots, etc.) become available, the images are first given to the actor for approval. Contact sheets (also known as proof sheets)
of all the photography are sent to the actor, which are then sent back
with a lot of red Xs — known as "kills" — marked through photos that
the star (or more likely, their manager) don’t want used. This can be
frustrating for designers working on the project if some/most/all of
the best shots are "killed". This power to "kill" can be taken a step
further when a star (or producer, director, etc.) has approval over the
movie poster design of the final one-sheet. This is why one of the
first questions asked by many art directors on many key art projects
is: "Who has approval over this movie poster?"

What I don’t get is why they sometimes airbrush the actor’s face to the point that they barely resemble themselves. Take, for instance, the picture on the left of Tony Shalhoub (click on the picture for a larger image) from one of the Monk DVD sets.  What have they done to his face??

UPDATE 7-7-06: Here’s the original version of the photo used on the DVD box.Monktape_1

7 thoughts on “Head Shots”

  1. It’s a photo — it’s one of many stock shots they use all the time (like the photo on the cover of my current book, which is also used on the 4th season DVD boxed set).

  2. They made one of those “What would baby look like” photos for the offspring of Tony Shalhoub and Joan Rivers and then aged it 40 years before pasting it on the cover.
    Poor guy. They airbrushed the attractiveness right out of him.

  3. Yeah, but is THIS version a photo? It looks like they didn’t just airbrush a photo, but used it as the basis of an illustration. If the artist’s no good with faces, that’s what happens.
    Hard to tell at this size and resolution, but this particular piece of art doesn’t look like a photo to me.

  4. Tony was amused by it.
    It was shown it to him at a Rocket Video appearance.
    He hadn’t seeen it before then.
    All he could do was shake his head 🙂


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