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Why Cars in Movies and TV Shows Often Lack Headrests: Two Main Reasons

Obviously, movies and TV shows aren’t always realistic. We all know this. Sometimes it’s more about the action and intensity that keep us glued to the screen, or the comedic moments that unfold beyond the boundaries of real-life rules and norms.

Then there’s the production side of things, where certain aspects of reality must be adjusted for filming. Distorting reality is quintessentially Hollywood, and we’ve come to accept it as a form of enjoyable escapism.

One standout example, as pointed out by Mental Floss, is how cars in these productions often lack headrests. Car scenes are generally fake-looking, but the missing headrests make this even more obvious.

So why don’t cars in movies or TV shows have headrests? Here are the two main reasons.

According to the Motor Trend website, film crews often remove the head restraints from the two front seats so viewers can see the faces of the actors in the back seat more clearly. Even with them removed, actors in the back can sometimes still appear squished.

The second reason is practical: headrests can literally obstruct the filming process and get in the way of equipment, whether or not there’s someone in the back seat. Rearview mirrors are often missing for the same reason.

If the scene involves only the actors in the back seat, as in the case of a cab ride, the camera crew frequently uses the top of the passenger seat or driver seat to stabilize their shots.

So, the next time you watch a movie or TV show, you might notice these small adjustments. While they may not reflect real-world conditions, they make for a better viewing experience by focusing on the characters and their interactions, free from unwanted obstructions.

It’s fascinating how such small details can have significant implications in film production. These tweaks, although subtle, can enhance the narrative and ensure the audience stays immersed in the story without being distracted by mundane, everyday elements.

In general, the world of movie-making is all about finding that perfect balance between believable storytelling and necessary practical adjustments. And, as viewers, appreciating these little behind-the-scenes choices can deepen our understanding of the craft and creativity that goes into our favorite films and TV shows.

Source: Mental Floss, Motor Trend