and how to make them
all movie photos on this page © 1974 by Harrie Verstappen
all rights reserved
Those stills used for movie publicity in newspaper and magazines are not just a punishment from the guys upstairs to make mankind sorry for its sinful errings. No sir, just like the books and magazines published by the P.G. Wodehouse character Lord Tilbury, they were manufactured on purpose. Those who have bothered to give it any thought at all, mostly have a vague idea that they were taken from the motion picture negative.
All this, like most things in life and especially in show-biz, is more complicated than it might seem judging from the mostly pretty silly results. I have taken pity and split it all up in different sections:
describing the means used: light, lens, camera, film
how to go about doing it
the psychology of the movie still
what makes a photograph look like a movie still
a few examples
these look like stills... feel like stills... but actually, they are no such things
matter of fact, I stole the book containing them from the set of Pastorale 1943
out of the bookcase of a supposed intellectual, but who can read those titles anyway?
Oxford University Press would be ashamed to publish a book like that these days—
full of per se suspiciousChinksand just so automatically disreputable South Americans
The Star of the Incas by Peter Blundell — illustrations by Alfred Sindall, 1936
There came a roar, a blinding flash
that seemed to split the sky
The boat's coming! Keep cool!
Geoff raised his revolver The surprise and the steam
How Not to Do It.
Not even the most stupid Ay-rab terrorist asshole will imagine
he has a chance with his knife at the Christian Unbeliever
safely behind the windscreen of a LandRover.
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