If you’re a filmmaker struggling to express to your audience that something important just happened in your movie, why not try putting it in the newspaper? Nothing says, “This exposition is a big damn deal,” like a 72-point newspaper headline. It may seem like a cop-out, but it’s a technique that’s been used in countless films, for both dramatic and comedic purposes. Using the new novelty Twitter account Movie Heds, Cuteness writer and fake newspaper aficionado Travis Greenwood has begun curating screenshots of headlines that appear prominently on film.
Some headlines, like “YOUTH JAILED” from Back To The Future II or “TOON KILLS MAN” from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? punctuate major plot developments as if to remind the viewers what’s going on right now in the film. Others, like the clippings that chronicle the antics of Project Mayhem in Fight Club or “Ron Burgundy Finishes Second In Hotdog Eating Contest” from Anchorman, simply flesh out the world a little bit and make the characters’ actions feel more real.
However you use it, the newspaper prop is a quick and easy way to give your audience some information that it would seem unnatural for a character to say in dialogue. Of course, if you don’t have anything important to say at the moment, your characters can just read that same old newspaper everybody else has been reading for 30 years.
[via Laughing Squid]