Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 05, 2021

Much like the much-reused Wilhelm Scream sound effect, movie and television productions seemingly pass around the very same for-show-only newspaper:

Someone on Reddit recently put together a compilation of photos from various television shows, commercials and movies, showing how one newspaper prop gets around and is reused, and reused again. I don’t know the story behind this prop newspaper, but I assume it was created as a royalty free prop for television shows. Somewhere along the line, the prop became a reoccurring gag between propmasters.

See a small sampling for yourself, below. The giveaway is that headshot photo of the woman, along with the surrounding headlines and blocktext:

I suppose this could be an elaborately Photoshopped bit of fakery, but I’m prepared to believe it’s truly the incestuous laziness of Hollywood on display. I will say that, based on my own indulgence of old TV shows, this much-copied broadsheet probably didn’t come into use until the mid-1980s. That’s the era of at least a couple of the screenshots below: “Married with Children” and “Doogie Howser, M.D.”. I’ve paid attention to the onscreen newspapers in older 1970s reruns, and noticed that some of the legible headlines were often relevant to the news of that time period, which hints that those shows might have used real daily editions.

The larger joke: That such video entertainment includes characters that still read newspapers, given that dwindling behavior in real life. Rather than update their bag of tricks, Hollywood’s propmasters can just wait until print newspapers die out altogether, and the problem will solve itself.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/05/2021 06:31pm
Category: Movies, Pop Culture, Publishing, TV
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1 Feedback »

    I suppose this is an inflection point in entertainment media: Hollywood’s favorite stock-sound effect, The Wilhelm Scream, is increasingly finding its way into today’s videogames. Next thing you know, the gaming studios will get even more c…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 08/19/2010 @ 11:01 PM

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