No Stone Unturned
Basic Instinct 2 photography
The majority of movie poster artwork is created using elements from two sources: unit photography and special shoots. (And the third source would be various incarnations of stock photography, often combined with the first two sources.) We’ve covered the topic of special shoots before — photography shot especially for advertising and promotional campaigns.
Sometimes key art photo shoots can involve complete sets and props, often re-using the film’s actual sets for the special shoot. In some cases, the studio advertising department goes to the expense and trouble of creating sets exclusively for a film poster photo shoot.
For the Basic Instinct 2 Risk Addiction movie poster, the sequel’s star Sharon Stone is depicted in a (somewhat visually “busy”) scene sitting on a bedroom chair, surrounded by various elements of danger and mayhem: cracked mirrors, a mysterious hand, her signature crossed legs, etc. Looking at some of the Basic Instinct 2 photography, we’re going to assume this was taken on the film set.
What’s interesting is we can see the original photograph that became the basis of the Basic Instinct 2 one-sheet, and how that original image was changed to reach the final key art. The French Basic Instinct 2 teaser movie poster offers a stripped down version of the same photograph as it’s poster image.
This is essentially how some movie poster concepts begin — the entire design process might be set in motion by a film advertising art director being handed a CD full of special shoot and unit photography image files and asked to begin design work using those raw images. Ideally, the movie poster design process begins with a proper conceptual stage, starting with sketch concepts and research — but that isn’t always the case. One scenario that prevents a singular concept/design/execution process involves one ad agency beginning work on the ad campaign, only to lose the job months later to a different ad agency that starts work much later in the film campaign design process.