Created By: surgoshan on July 13, 2012 Last Edited By: surgoshan on February 21, 2013

Vanity Framing

Make sure you get my good side.

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Trope
Related to the Hitler Cam, Vanity Framing is the act of photographing or filming someone from an angle intended to highlight his good qualities or hide what he considers defects. This could be as simple as photographing only one side of the face to avoid scars or as complex as managing camera blocking and marks to avoid an actor's bald spot.

This is occasionally noted in-universe, usually in parody as a Dead Horse Trope with something like "Be sure you get my good side." People are far less likely to end up with serious scars than they used to, and medical techniques minimize them when they do happen and, with a liberal application of money and lasers, can nearly erase them.

However, this can still happen as a trivia trope. Perhaps producers demand perfection, or an actor doesn't want the world to focus on his missing finger. In that case, this would go on the trivia page.

May be preceded by Finger Framing.

In-Universe Examples

  • In a Mad TV sketch, Oprah uses a special "thinning camera" after gaining 180 pounds over the weekend. The footage switches back and forth between Debra Wilson with and without a fat suit on, depending on which camera is being used.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Charlie's uncle Jack alway has to find a way to keep his hands hidden when having his picture taken or being filmed, because he thinks they're unusually tiny.
  • During the walking introduction in Batman: Arkham Asylum, Joker points out that "Sharpie loves his cameras!" before asking, "Hey, Sharpie, you gettin' my good side? Aw, heck, they're all good sides!"
  • M*A*S*H: When Hawkeye tries to set the record for the most people stuffed into a jeep he talks Margret into participating. She insists that he get her good side in the photo he's taking as proof; he assures her he will, followed by a pat on her shapely ass.
  • Broadcast News: When Tom (William Hurt) is coaching Aaron (Albert Brooks) before Aaron's anchor debut, one throwaway piece of advice is, "And your right side is your good side." Aaron preens for a moment, checking himself out in the monitor.
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3: said in Hawkeye's win quote against Frank West.
  • At the end of Accepted, Bartleby objects to an unexpected photograph, jokingly, saying "Hey! Be sure you get my good side!"

Trivia Examples

  • Joe Morton's character on Eureka, Henry Deacon, almost always wears hats, and the camera tries to avoid the back of his head otherwise to keep the focus away from his bald spot.
  • James Doohan, who played Scotty on Star Trek, lost the middle finger of his right hand to a nervous sentry in WWII, which he concealed throughout his acting career. It was rarely apparent on camera.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt went to a great deal of effort not to be photographed in his wheelchair.
  • Al Capone -- he was very emphatic that people not photograph the left side of his face (where the knife scars were).
  • Get Smart: Both Don Adams (Max) and Barbara Feldon (99) had a preference as to which profile to use; fortunately, they were compatible (the left side of one and the right of the other). At one point Adams' nose got broken; Feldon was apprehensive that he might feel this would change his profile such that he'd decide his other profile was better, and she knew that as the star he'd get "dibs" (as it were) on profile preference. But it turned out that he didn't make a change.
  • On M*A*S*H Gary Burghoff (Radar) had a deformed hand which he kept off camera as much as possible.
  • During filming of the first season of Mad Men, actor John Hamm (Don Draper) broke his hand filming backstory set in Korea. For the duration of that episode, he kept that hand in his pocket or off camera as much as possible to keep people from noticing how swollen it was.
  • In the fifth season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Body, Xander at one point punches a wall. Actress Alyson Hannigan suffered an allergic reaction to the plaster dust that made half her face swell up. They let her recover until the swelling was mostly gone then filmed as much as possible the other side of her face.
  • Bet you didn't know that Hugh Laurie, aka House, was balding, did you. It's apparent here.

Community Feedback Replies: 13
  • July 13, 2012
    abk0100
    A couple in-universe examples:

    • In a Mad TV sketch, Oprah uses a special "thinning camera" after gaining 180 pounds over the weekend. The footage switches back and forth between Debra Wilson with and without a fat suit on, depending on which camera is being used.
    • Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Charlie's uncle Jack alway has to find a way to keep his hands hidden when having his picture taken or being filmed, because he thinks they're unusually tiny.

    see also Scully Box
  • July 13, 2012
    randomsurfer
    On MASH Gary Burghoff (Radar) had a deformed hand which he keeps off camera as much as possible.
  • July 15, 2012
    abk0100
    bump?
  • July 15, 2012
    NateTheGreat
    May be preceded by Finger Framing.
  • July 15, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Get Smart: Both Don Adams (Max) and Barbara Feldon (99) had a preference as to which profile to use; fortunately, they were compatible (the left side of one and the right of the other). At one point Adams' nose got broken; Feldon was apprehensive that he might feel this would change his profile such that he'd decide his other profile was better, and she knew that as the star he'd get "dibs" (as it were) on profile preference. But it turned out that he didn't make a change.
  • July 16, 2012
    Antigone3
    A Real Life example would be Al Capone -- he was very emphatic that people not photograph the left side of his face (where the knife scars were).
  • July 16, 2012
    elwoz
    Does the famous line from Sunset Boulevard count?

    All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.
  • July 16, 2012
    PaulA
    The M*A*S*H and Get Smart examples are both about the actors, not the characters, so don't belong in the "in-universe" section.
  • July 16, 2012
    surgoshan
    ^ Thanks

    ^^ Nah, that was a delusional Grande Dame hoping to make a comeback, in a hallucinatory state after murdering someone.
  • July 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    An In Universe example from MASH: When Hawkeye tries to set the record for the most people stuffed into a jeep he talks Margret into participating. She insists that he get her good side in the photo he's taking as proof; he assures her he will, followed by a pat on her shapely ass.
  • August 21, 2012
    catrionak
    In Universe from Broadcast News: When Tom (William Hurt) is coaching Aaron (Albert Brooks) before Aaron's anchor debut, one throwaway piece of advice is, "And your right side is your good side." Aaron preens for a moment, checking himself out in the monitor.
  • August 22, 2012
    KZN02
  • February 21, 2013
    TwoGunAngel
    Super Macho Man enjoys mugging for the cameras in Punch Out. And he's vain enough to consider all his sides "good sides."
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