With all the out-0f-work newspaper designers out there, you’d think Hollywood would update that ugly prop broadsheet that’s been circulating for years and years now.
In the old movies, when the lens closed in on a newspaper page, it always looked so authentic. Sometimes I freeze the image on my television and read everything that’s visible — and it’s expertly detailed and on-point. Headlines appear written by a pro; maybe they hired a legit newsroom type.
Today, the studios have gotten lazy, or just don’t know what a newspaper looks like. By some of the mock headlines you see on TV shows and films, often with dumb quotes (straight lines as opposed to proper quote marks that curve in and out) or bad breaks, you know some hack with a Mac just cranked it out. Even “Mad Men,” which makes sure the package of Lux Soap is right, gets newspapers wrong. They’re printed on stiff white paper that doesn’t crinkle like newsprint does, and the layouts are too small for the paper trim.
And then you see this, the mysterious newspaper edition that won’t go away.
Sometimes the layouts are different, but basically some print shop has been stamping out the same headlines and photos, in some 1972-era format, for years now.
Check out the stills. Actor Ed O’Neill as Al Bundy in 1997 is holding the same paper as his character in “Modern Family” is in 2010. The papers look right for “That Seventies Show” and “Everybody Hates Chris,” but not so much in “Charmed.”
Write your favorite studio executive now and let’s put a laid-off newspaper to work in a Hollywood backlot.