How hard is it to get a Movies Leads together for a Poster Photo?

Must be pretty difficult, as the vast majority of movie posters have horrendous, and I mean awful photoshop jobs done, where it is blatantly obvious that the photo was taken with other people and the actors heads just photoshopped in. What is the freakin point??? How hard is it, after a days shooting, to say, Ok guys, before you head to wardrobe, could I get evryone together for some promo shots? Take a half hour, tops. Christ.

Blatant examples are both Meet the Parents and Mett the Fockers, The Producers (2005), The Whole Ten Yards (A stretch, I know, but you should SEE the poster), even the posters for Superman. Is there a good reason for this?

Is it hard to grab the movie leads after a day’s shooting and make them pose for a photo?

Questionable–although it is entirely possible that the make-up and costumes used for that day’s shooting are appropriate for brief images in motion, but are (no longer) suitable for a lifesize still shot.

And asking tired and cranky stars to hold a pose and an appropriate expression may be harder that it’s worth.

More likely, the problem is the lead time involved in taking a photo of the leads and processing it and sending it out to the theaters. They may want the publicity photos taken and already in the process of being made into posters by the time shooting gets underway.

These are my opinions, based on little insider knowledge.

I know what you mean, bubastis. One that really struck me is the cover of Season 2 of Party of Five - it looks like the people in front were photoshopped in. And no more skillfully than the manips I do for fanfics. You think a pro’s manipulations would at least be more believable than someone who’s only goofing around with paint shop pro.

The other thing to consider is “Why?”

Has there been a great hue and cry over PhotoShopped posters? Have people refused to see a picture with a manipulated poster? Then the point becomes moot.

WAG: It’s difficult to get the right shot. They might take a hundred pictures of an actor to get the right shot for a poster. With two actors on a poster, you now need to have a good shot from two different people simultaneously. The more actors, the less likely you will get a good shot of all of them in the same picture.

It shows appears like they couldnt be bothered to do a good job. Seriously, some of the photoshop jobs look like they took five minutes. So yes, faced with a row of posters in a movie theatre, I would probably shun the one with a crappy poster that looks like its been knocked up in five minutes, as I would think that if they cant be bothered doing a good job on something as simple as a poster, then they definatley made a bad job of the movie. Do a job right or dont do it at all.

Then the producers will just have to live without your $10, because they don’t make movies for the likes of you. For the likes of me either, for that matter. :smiley:

In addition, most of the publicity photos, posters, etc. are knocked out by a specialized house, not by the production company itself. So sloppiness in one area doesn’t necessarily carry over to another.

I don’t think the question is “how hard is it,” but “how expensive is it.”

As important as posters are to a movie’s promotion, they cost oodles to print in any quantity or quality, they have to be physically sent all over the place, which costs even more, and most important of all, they have a very short useful life. As such, studios are probably loathe to spend much money on the photography or design for posters. As long as they look clean, bright, and easy to read (except for the supercompressed credits down at the bottom), that’s enough. The idea of sitting the actors down (even individually) for poster shots probably just makes dollar signs fly out the window in the minds of the publicity department accountants.

I think you’re right. As an aside, however, I’ve long maintained that smaller films with smaller marketing budgets should invest heavily into interesting and compelling posters. Since most of posters are just photoshopped and thrown together, and merely serve to remind moviegoers that the movie is coming out, it seems to me that if your poster is good/interesting, you can stand out and attract viewers.

You may be right, but given that:
a) the ultimate aim is to make money,
b) only money-making filmmakers are going to get in the position to give such advice or have it taken seriously, and
c) anyone who makes any consistent money eventually gets co-opted out of indie-dom to big studios,
how many film schools, workshops, etc. are ever going to take that position?

I’d also imagine that the movie stars themselves have a lot of riders in their contracts as to when/if they’ll pose for stills and publicity shots, who has to shoot it* whether or not they approve of this photo or that, retouching, what size each image has to be in comparison to their co-star** and a myriad other pain-in-the-ass factors. It’d be easier just to take a photo that they’ve already done and approved of for some other reason and splice it onto the poster.

As I’ve heard, the makeup used for close-ups is entirely different than what they use for long-shots during filming. Supposedly, some stars do makeup tricks which accentuate certain features that you can’t see from a distance, but would look weird up close. (Like drawing a white line under the eyelid to make the eyes look bigger.)

I’d imagine the lighting would be different, too, which would mean you would have to use different shades of makeup, right?

Lastly, I’d think you’d probably have to have your whole marketing campaign designed in advance. Marketing for a romance is different than it is for a comedy and you’d have to know how you’re going to present the film to the public. Sometimes movie studios slant the marketing to make the movie look more like a different genre in response to feedbacks from focus groups and the like. So, if they wanted to market the film as a romance, they would use romantic lighting, get the actor in a romantic pose, make the hair and makeup fit the genre. Then, the marketing company desides they want to market it more as a romantic comedy, which means a totally different change in look and another photo shoot. Instead, it’s easier just to grab an already-done photo that looks appropriate and slap it in place.

*For some reason, I think I remember a story about a celebrity who had a certain photographer she insisted was the only one who could photograph her.

**I emember seeing a contract rider on Smoking Gun in which the star demanded that her image be a certain percent larger than that of her co-stars.

The movie poster for Brassed Off was obviously taken long after the film was made. So, IIRC, was the one for Chasing Amy.