Article written

  • on 25.11.2010
  • at 11:40 PM
  • by The Editor

Five Things about the Legendary Newspaper Prop 2


It seems that everyone is reading the same newspaper. In case you missed the news, a couple months ago people started discovering the fact that actors in movies actually read the same thing. They woke up every morning, grab themselves a newspaper, and read “She’s 3rd Brightest But Hard Gal To See.”

The recurring newspaper prop can be spotted on movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) and No Country for Old Men (2007). The High Definite was the first one to realize that the dark haired girl on the newspaper seemed to appear … everywhere.

These are Five Things about the famous newspaper prop:

1. History

The newspaper The High Definite identified was first printed in 1960s. It was offered as a “period paper” but somehow, the newspaper prop circulate around TV and movie screens for decades. The newspaper prop came from a small newspaper prop company called The Earl Hays Press. Beside the ‘Gal’ article, we can also see another headline titled, “Compromised Housing Bill Sent to President for OK.” Ah, OK.

2. Price

The newspaper prop costs $15 each. That seems expensive for a newspaper. But, the articles have been cleared of its rights, there haven’t been any problem arising from that newspaper prop in the last few decades, and to work with the legendary prop must have been an interesting experience. Also, production companies made millions of dollars every year, so, we think it’s cheap for them.

3. Legal Problems

Production companies use these newspaper props, mostly because of legal issues. It’s a lot easier to use stock newspapers that will not cost you any problems in the future. To use real newspapers, movie makers may have to request a permission from the news company, which may involve potential fees and bureaucracy. Beside, real newspapers might contain libelous content. If problems arise later from the use of these newspapers, it will cost the production house some money to issue a statement of apology, or even a re-shoot of the scenes involved.

If the movie they’re producing uses a product placement, the production company must screen the articles too. You can’t have companies like Coca Cola or Pepsi sponsoring you, while the lead actor reads his newspaper in the movie and, voila, there’s an article about the danger of consuming too much soda. Epic fail.

4. Is It Still Sold?

It’s probably still sold. The production companies might have bought a large supply of the newspaper prop in the past, and they are still available ’till today. But, we do know that newspapers usually didn’t last very long. When aged, their color will turn yellowish, that’s why we think they’re still printing fresh supplies of the prop.

5. The Earl Hays Press

The company was established in 1915, making it one of the oldest newspaper prop companies. The company’s office is in Sun Valley, California. The Earl Hays Press still exists now. It is currently owned by Ralph Hernandez, Jr. Apparently they still make stock newspapers, with various templates, and customizable content. You can pick from a number of templates, like The City Herald, The Wall Street Financial, or Sunday News. Their products varied, from newspapers stocks, to comic books, taxi signs, to champagne labels.

That’s it from Five Things. Stick around for more fun facts about the movie industry. Meanwhile, we’ll try to figure out what “She’s 3rd Brightest But Hard Gal To See” was supposed to be about. That’s a hard one to guess.


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There are 2 comments for this post

  1. indobrad says:

    very interesting. i wonder if television screenings often seen at the background of rooms are props as well. maybe you could find out ;)

  2. The Editor says:

    That one I seriously don’t know. ;) ) But if they use materials from other audio visual production, you’ll definitely see the credit at the end. So, I think there may not be a prop. But I haven’t researched on it yet, so I can’t really tell. :D

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