Whether taken on or off the set during production, lifted from film after shooting, or snapped in other settings and unrelated to production, photographs of movie stars and studio shoots are produced for one united purpose: to promote and advertise. Before a movie’s release, stills may be incorporated into press kits and other promotional material. After a movie has circulated, stills may serve to frame memorable scenes, or showcase the skills of the cinematographer or production crew. If all copies of a film have been lost, stills provide a valuable clue to what the footage might have held.
The Fonoroff Collection contains 4,145 production stills and publicity photos, many of them autographed. It also includes 9,214 photographic negatives and slides.