A Quick Guide to Authenticity: The Concept of Originals
Given the vastness of the market, there truly is something for everyone when it comes to collecting movie posters. As such, it’s easy to find a cinematic treasure no matter where your interests lie (or how small your budget may be).
The only difficulty is knowing where to start, and the concept of what actually constitutes an ‘original’ can throw a lot of new collectors.
In a nutshell, it simply means that the poster was issued for use in promoting or advertising a film – usually in theaters – and not for general sale to the public.
Confusingly however, while nearly all original posters were at one time issued by the National Screen Service, there are a handful movie posters which have been issued by another party (such as by the studio, directly studio or a third-party promo company) and they are still considered to be original. In fact, an even smaller portion of these were never meant to be seen by the public and were intended for industry-insider eyes only. Given their very limited release and circulation, these can be highly desirable and crop up from time to time in forgotten collections and on display in LA film schools.
To further complicate matters, most NSS-issued posters have their own NSS number, usually stamped or printed near the bottom. But a word of warning: a poster can be an original without an NSS number, and just because a movie poster has one doesn’t mean it’s genuine (since the tag is easily faked).
Re-issues, Re-releases and Re-strikes
In terms of originality, it mainly boils down to how ‘authorized’ the poster is; as such, the term ‘reprint’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘fake’ if the print run was conducted by the NSS in an official capacity, and would therefore be an original. Of course, there are plenty of unauthorized reprints out there which are not to be considered originals. These are generally made by fraudsters looking to sell them as the real deal, and are generally easy to identify if you know what you’re looking for.
What aren’t easy to identify are NSS re-strikes, which are authorized but in this case not considered to be original. These were intentionally printed for sales purposes by the NSS or the studio behind a movie, and since they come from the same source, look virtually identical. But as they were mass-produced and not intended for theater display reasons, these are not ‘original’ in any sense and are unfit for investment purposes.
Re-releases are another matter altogether. In the event of a movie’s cinematic re-release (usually a massively popular film), a new poster will be issued to go with it. It can vary massively from the original or not at all, but either way it’s still an ‘original’ in its own right albeit slightly less desirable (in a collectibility sense, at least).
One telling mark is that a re-release poster generally has an ‘R’ prefixing the NSS number.
A Quick Word on Fakes
Avoiding shady or unverifiable sellers is essential if you’re serious about steering clear of fakes. Without naming names, as a general rule online auction sites can act as the primary hunting grounds for scammers. As mentioned, for the most part they’re easy to spot but as technology (and determination) progresses some fraudsters even fool seasoned experts from time to time. Some notable examples:
- Kerry Haggard was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison in 2012 following a string of high-quality poster frauds over the course of seven years. Along with an alleged accomplice (who protested innocence and was never charged), Haggard sold numerous desirable poster replicas convincing enough to pass at auction, nine of which sold for $93k.
- Thomas Rega very nearly got away with a sale of three ultra-rare posters at auction – including a Dracula style B one-sheet – before the elaborate fake was uncovered at the last moment. The Dracula poster alone, if sold, was estimated to fetch around $225,000.
- If you think it’s a skill faking existing posters to indistinguishable standards, consider the work of Pascal Witaszek. In a light-hearted example of poster fakery, Witaszek’s imagining of a non-existent Walt Disney biopic was so credible it started a viral buzz in which scores of people believed it to be a real upcoming movie. Sadly, it’s not.
Don’t Be Put Off – Start Building a Collection Today
Whether you’re looking for something to simply hang on the wall or for a serious memorabilia investment, we take the hard work of authentication out of the equation. Allmoviereplicas.com offer a great range of guaranteed original posters, all of which are in mint condition in a variety of styles and prices.
Movie posters make for superb talking points in a home and with prices as low as $30, they can also serve as thoughtful gifts. In addition, not only can movie posters serve as a fairly solid alternative investment, they provide immediate gratification upon receipt; unlike buying a bottle of 1959 Chateau d’Yquem and keeping it locked in a hermetically sealed box for years, movie posters don’t require any special storage (for the most part) and can be displayed without fear of damaging your investment.
Release date: Friday August 19, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy Runtime: 1 hr. 52 min. Director: Marcus Nispel Studio: Maple Pictures Producer(s): George Furla, John Baldecchi, Joe Gatta, Les Weldon, Fredrik Malmberg, Danny Lerner, Henry Winterstern, Boaz Davidson Screenplay: Thomas Dean Donnelly, Joshua Oppenheimer, Sean Hood Cast: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ron Perlman Official Site:conanthebarbarianin3d.com Rated:R for strong bloody violence, some sexuality and nudity Available film art:Conan the Barbarian movie posters
Synopsis: A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.
Release date: Friday August 5, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Comedy Director: David Dobkin Studio: Universal Pictures Producer(s): Neal H. Moritz, David Dobkin Screenplay: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin Official Site:thechangeupmovie.com Rated:R Available film art:The Change-Up movie posters
Synopsis: In director David Dobkin’s, The Change-Up best friends Mitch and Dave wake up in each other’s bodies following a drunken night out together.
Release date: Friday June 24, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Comedy Runtime: 1 hr. 29 min. Director: Jake Kasdan Studio: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Producer(s): David Householter, Jimmy Miller Screenplay: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky Cast: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Lucy Punch, John Michael Higgins, Jason Segel Official Site:areyouabadteacher.com Rated:R Available film art:Bad Teacher movie posters
Synopsis Some teachers just don’t give an F. For example, there’s Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). She’s foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can’t wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake) – competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague, Amy (Lucy Punch). When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher (Jason Segel), the consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, her coworkers, and even herself an education like no other.
Release date: Friday Friday June 10, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Drama Running time: 2 hr. 18 min. Director: Terrence Malick Studio: Entertainment One, Fox Searchlight Producer(s): Bill Pohlad, Sarah Green, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Grant Hill Screenplay: Terrence Malick Cast: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Joanna Going, Fiona Shaw, Kari Matchett Official Site:foxsearchlight.com/thetreeoflife Rated:PG-13 for some thematic material Available film art: Tree of Life movie posters
Synopsis From Terrence Malick, the acclaimed director of such classic films as Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, The Tree of Life is the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950′s. The film follows the life journey of the eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father (Brad Pitt). Jack (played as an adult by Sean Penn) finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith. Through Malick’s signature imagery, we see how both brute nature and spiritual grace shape not only our lives as individuals and families, but all life.
Release date: Friday September 30, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Drama Director: Roland Emmerich Studio: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Producer(s): Roland Emmerich, Robert Léger, Larry Franco Screenplay: John Orloff Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower, Derek Jacobi Official Site:anonymous-movie.com Rated:Not Yet Rated Available film art:Anonymous movie posters
Synopsis A political thriller about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare: Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her.
The long awaited fourth instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise opens in wide release (4,155 theaters) this Friday. In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Johnny Depp returns as the irrepressible Captain Jack Sparrow. This one looks like it will a lot fun!
Synopsis: Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds himself on an unexpected journey to the fabled Fountain of Youth when a woman from his past (Penelope Cruz) forces him aboard the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship of the formidable pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane).
Cast: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Jami Gertz; Directed by: Rob Marshall
Release date: Friday July 1, 2011 (Wide) Genre: Action Director: Michael Bay Studio: Paramount Pictures Producer(s): Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Ian Bryce, Tom DeSanto, Don Murphy Screenplay: Ehren Kruger Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Josh Duhamel, Patrick Dempsey, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Ken Jeong, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Official Site:transformersmovie.com Rated:Not Yet Rated Available film art: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Synopisis: Shia LaBeouf returns as Sam Witwicky in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. This time around the villain will be Shockwave.
This Friday you can save 25% off all of our movie poster titles and 25% off all film cells. Just enter coupon code MOVIEPOSTERSBF to get your 25% discount on all movie posters and FILMCELLSBF to get your 20% discount on all film cells.
The images above are just a very small sample of the movie posters and film cells in our catalogue.