Coming up with a book cover was interesting. It took time and some experimentation. Naturally, I wanted something that would relate to what was between the covers. Fortunately, as a photographer I have always liked to take photographs of movie theaters. I first began this project back in the 1970’s and still do it today when I travel. Whenever I come across an old classic theater, I photograph it.
I began to think back to some of those old photos, those first theater photos I shot back when I lived in New York. Theaters like Baronet/Coronet, the Loew’s Oriental and all those theaters on 42nd street. It was in many of those same theaters where I received my first lessons in the dark. It was at the Baronet theater, for example, where I saw M*A*S*H for the very first time. New York and its theaters were my celluloid classroom.
The photos were the raw ingredients. I then went on my PC and using software put a collage together. From there I began experimenting with other adjustments until I felt I had a few good working images I was satisfied with. I brought my wife into the decision making process at this point. I trust her judgement tremendously. While I liked some of the preliminary versions better than others I let her take a look without expressing my own choices. She selected two she liked and then came up with a couple of suggestions of her own that she felt may work. I went back to the drawing board to make the revisions. We went back and forth a bit until we both agreed on the one version we felt looked best. It was a collaborative effort and the end result you see here.
Below is a short except from my introduction to the book that kind of explains it all.
“A few years ago I did a series of articles for Halo-17, a now defunct Australian music and arts website. One of the editors discovered my blog, I assume liked it, and asked if I would be interested in writing a column about classic films. The only caveat was that I had to make the films I wrote about connect to what was happening in today’s world. I needed to show readers how these old films were still relevant. Illustrate how history repeats itself and there are lessons to be learned even from a film that is seventy years old.”