Movie Backdrops

February 17, 2020

For most of my young personhood — that would be in the 1950s and 1960s — my father worked in the British film industry and I was fortunate enough to visit a lot of film sets and studios. I also worked in the business from the late 1960s and got an even closer look.  One of the most fascinating aspects of the business to me was the ability of set designers and artists to create whole worlds on a sound stage. And this was well before CGI.

CBS Sunday Morning recently had a piece on painted backdrops that revived that interest in me.  This 7 minute item is a grand reminder.

Image: Palm Beach Special #2

February 17, 2020

Grandview 17th February 1920

February 17, 2020


“Vancouver World”, 19200217, p.17

Poem: In These Days

February 17, 2020


in those days,

when we had nothing to lose,

when a shoestring would have

busted our budget,

you wouldn’t have been mawkish

if we’d lived in a belfry;

you wouldn’t have been angry

if it was ringing with bats.

you’d have loved it, and loved

life and loved me while doing it.


but these days,

when we have everything,

if it’s not designed by a consortium

of the better known architects

we don’t even look,

don’t even disturb our coiffeured

minds for a moment

unless it has the imprimatur

that others love it

and is, therefore, worth loving.