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Product Types --> Press books

Press books

A press book is a flyer, pamphlet, booklet or book that contains certain information about a particular film. The press book contains whatever info a studio chooses to release on a particular film. Most include background information about the film, the actors, the crew and other tidbits about the film's history. Some contain news articles about the stars' lives outside of the film. Some press books contain a breakdown of the advertising materials and merchandising tie-in products that are available to the theaters. Press books can contain ideas for promotions, radio and TV advertising, newspaper and magazine advertising, contests and games. It will also show every poster produced for a film, but of course, there are exceptions to this.

Press books began as early as the 1910's and in the beginning, they came in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms. They can be anywhere from a small one page flyer folded in two to an elaborate 50 page bound book. They were also known by a number of different terms, including "Advertising Manual", "Showman's Manual", "Merchandising Manual", etc.

Press books are still extensively used by movie studios as part of their advertising campaign; however, today's press book has become more standardized. They normally consist of 8" x 11" sheets, printed in black and white, which are either stapled or put in a booklet form. Some may contain small pictures throughout. Recently, some studios have included small color photos throughout their press books. They are also being released in electronic formats, such as CD's and videotape.

Because the press books can contain background information on the film and its stars (some information not being available through any other means), they are considered collectible. They are most valued when they are completely intact and nothing has been cut from them. They are also inexpensive, which makes them easy to acquire. Press books can also be used to help date other movie materials, particularly those prior to the 1940's which were not dated.

Here is a sample of a press book cover:

Press book cover

Here is a sample of the poster page in a press book:

press book poster page

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