Well, here’s my first stab at authentication on the new site! This is information that I originally posted to my own site. If you wish, there you can find higher resolution pictures of what I have shown here.
“Someone on MPF posted a thread about authentication relating to the US onesheet for Donnie Darko. I just happened to have acquired the set of posters that used to be owned by Dan R. who ran the old MPA site. While the original question on MPF related to the size of the posters, it occurred to me that I should take it just a bit further. So, here we are.First, for the stock. I have for comparison one double-sided version, three single-sided original versions which Dan stated he acquired from three original sources (I have the record of the sellers), and one known single-sided reprint. All five measure exactly 27″ by 39.5″. Additionally, the paper stock used in all five appears identical in weight and glossiness (on the back of the single-sided versions). Thus, the only way I see to tell the difference between them is to compare them side by side. Once I did that, it is easy to pick the reprint out of the lot based on the tonal difference in blackness of the background and the brightness of the lettering in the reproduction. Note regarding the lettering that the brightness pictured holds true for the print throughout the poster.This is the only comparison that I’ve done. Once I saw the difference in tone and brightness, I did not labor any further. If anyone else has information that would help to distinguish the reproduction, that would be great. Also, if you have a known reproduction double-sided version (if one exists, I don’t know), I would appreciate it if you contact me.”
It’s important to note that unlike other reprints that often have smaller dimensions than the original, you’re not going to catch a reprint based on the size — size alone does not matter! In the case of the Donnie Darko onesheets, the reprints and the originals, both single sided and double sided, are truly identical. I have five copies in hand, and I measured them very carefully. The only way to tell the fake from the real is based on the printed color. The black on the reprint is simply not true black. If you access the hi-res images on my site, you will see that at the pixel level, the color begins breaking up and you no longer see black.
(click on thumbnails for full-sized photos, and again for zoom-in)
To my knowledge, there are no reprints of the double sided onesheet. The reprint that I own is single-sided. Now, here’s a few more:
This is the quad for the Director’s Cut. It’s double-sided. I have not heard of any reprints of this poster.
This is the regular quad single-sided. Again, though I have not heard of any reprints of this format, I suspect that they may be out there. If you are aware of any, please let me know so that we can work to update the information.
This is a special poster. It is a bus shelter-sized, double-sided poster issued for the Stella Artois film festival in the UK. It’s damned spectacular, and I have not heard of any other copies of this poster, let alone a reprint. Again, if I’m to be proven wrong, let me know.