Special Shoots

Kill Bill Volume 2 movie poster

Kill Bill Volume 2 movie poster

Photography used in Movie Posters

Movie posters are often designed using photography shot especially for the film’s one-sheet campaign and other film advertising key art. These photo shoot set-ups are known as special shoots. The shoots usually involve photographing the actor(s) to be featured from the film in various poses and situations conceived by film ad agencies working on the ad campaign. Sometimes special shoots are acquired by the unit photographer working with actors on the set during a film’s production. But more often than not the special shoots are executed by a commercial photographer shooting the actors against neutral backgrounds during a film’s post production.

Kill Bill photo shoot

Kill Bill photo shoot movie poster comparison

For example, while Uma Thurman was trying to Kill Bill, she offered two films worth of character poses when being photographed for the film’s key art campaign.

Kill Bill photo shoot

Kill Bill 2 photo shoot movie poster comparison

While most of the Uma Thurman costume looks came straight from the film, there were a few concepts that never actually appeared in the Tarantino series. (We don’t remember the scene where Thurman’s character “The Bride” wields her Hanzo sword while wearing her wedding dress, but it still looks good for a photo shoot.)

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  2. Michael AthertonApril 17, 2005 at 7:14 AMReply

    Interesting that there seems to be some head replacement going on there.

    I’d love it if you’d do a feature covering the photo-montaging required to assemble posters – particularly when body-doubles etc. are used (a la ‘Pretty Woman’ etc.)

  3. adminApril 17, 2005 at 9:31 AMReply

    Well, probably not a head replacement, just a slightly different pose in the same series of photographs. It’s hard to get the exact same pose/image as used in a poster, since they’re usually not released. Publicity departments (which usually get the first pick of photography ahead of marketing, etc.) are usually the guility party in releasing photo special shoot images out in the wild.

    We’ll be covering all stages/aspects of creating a movie poster, so we’ll be getting to body doubles and “Pretty Woman” soon enough. ;)

  4. Simrit BrarJuly 9, 2006 at 1:51 AMReply

    How do you have access to the raw photos shot for the campaigns?
    Also, love your site.

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