This is a growing collection of sightings of film leaders ‘in the wild’. Even though countdowns are/were supposed to be hidden from theatre audiences, that hasn’t stopped them being endlessly quoted in pop culture. If you have something you’d like to add, please email me at mattsoar AT gmail.com or tweet me at @MattSoar or add it to my Google Doc. Thanks!
About half an hour into The Artist (2011), there’s a jumbled, partial version of the Society film leader (above) just before a sound test. Unfortunately, it’s 1929 in the movie, and the Society leader is from 1951. The first (ie Academy) leader standard didn’t appear until 1930. Thanks to Dick May for the tip.
During Paddington (2015), the entire family settles in at Mr. Gruber’s antique store to watch an old ‘anthropological’ film featuring an explorer ‘discovering’ Paddington’s parents in the forest. The first few frames (‘Head’ and ‘Picture’) are from the Universal (1965) leader; the sound cues are from the Society (1951) leader. (It’s unlikely that a film of this sort would have, or need, standardized leader on it.)
Alex Gibney’s Going Clear (2014), a riveting doc about Scientology, uses no less than three different leader standards (Universal, Academy, Society, in that order) to herald sequences of archival footage (see below).
3. Music Videos
4. Album Covers
Both of these graphics reference the Universal (1965) leader.
5. Other Appearances – Book covers, etc
All these graphics reference the Universal (1965) leader.