In 1993, before cell phone photographs, I had these photos taken by Naum Kasdan. Although they look like New York in the ’20s, this was a set for about 30 seconds of screen time in Woody Allen’s comedy Bullets Over Broadway.
As if by magic one morning his crew transformed West 43rd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in front of the entrance to the old New York Times building into the Great White Way of yore. It was filled with false storefronts, vintage automobiles, vintage posters and signs and Woody. He sat in his director’s chair as John Cusack (as playwright David Shayne), and Jack Warden (as Julian Marx, his agent) walked up and down the street, over and over and over. The numerous takes took hours. Woody would watch them stroll and talk. After saying “cut” in a low voice, he’d walk over to the actors and whisper something, then return to his chair.
The routine continued for two days. Then, as suddenly as the set appeared, it was knocked down and removed. The joyful old gave way to the squalid contemporary. However, without notice, two days later, when everything was back to normal, the set was back for a few more hours of exterior shots—all for a precious few seconds of film.
PRINT’s Summer 2015 Issue: Out Now!
The New Visual Artists are here! In this issue, meet our 2015 class of 15 brilliant creatives under 30. These carefully selected designers are on the scene making the most cutting-edge work today—and as many of our previous NVAs, they may go on to become tomorrow’s design leaders. Why not get to know them now? Check the full issue out here—which includes a manifesto on design education by the one and only James Victore.
About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →