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The Ron Howard film EDtv stars Matthew McConaughey as the subject of a 24 hour a day reality show. When the film was released in the late 1990s, reality TV shows like Survivor and Big Brother had not even yet debuted. The only comparable reality series on air at the time was Cops.

The client did not want the poster to look like an ad for a television show, yet somehow explain the film is about a television show. This contradiction in direction is common in film advertising. This concern about being mistaken as a TV show ad led to the copyline: “His Life is Coming to Television… At a Movie Theatre Near You.” One early mandate was to not show any TV cameras in poster concepts. To that end, I designed a “Big Head Star Sell” featuring McConaughey literally coming out of a TV. The remote and hand belonged to a co-worker, who posed for a quick shot with a digital camera.

This idea was rejected, and the final poster (by another designer) reversed course completely on the previous creative direction, showing just a camera lens coming out of the film’s title treatment.


Client: Universal Pictures

Unused movie poster concept