Some people say that the golden age of Hollywood was during the 1940s and 50s, while others like to go back even earlier and others still place it in the 70s. The truth is that Hollywood cranks out golden ages each decade with new innovations and new stars. The only constant within Hollywood comes in the form of celebrity and the public desire to know that celebrity.
The 30s faced the Talkies and the growth of the studio system; the 40s saw the beginnings of Film Noir; in the 50s epic films came into fashion while Hollywood met the competition of television. The Hollywood studio system as it had been known ended in the 60s and the era of underground, independent cinema was born. Some have called the 70s "the last golden age" with the American "new wave," but it was also the decision given credit for the "blockbuster" film. Teen-oriented films were king (and queen) during the 80s which also saw the birth of the sequel.
Finally the 90s watched as computer-generated films took the stage at the same time "indie" cinema became a household word. The 90s also witnessed the increase of remakes, re-releases and even more sequels as Hollywood fought for its piece of the newly created digital pie.
Throughout all these decades the constant was the image, those movie star photos that we know and love. And just as film styles changed over the decades, the movie still also evolved. The perfect poses of the 30s, 40s and 50s faced the turbulent 60s, 70s and 80s and the birth of the hated and loved; paparazzi.
The "buzzing insects" or paparazzi were introduced to the American public by Time magazine during an article about the film "La Vita Dolce" by Fellini in 1960. These flash firing freelancers were stalking incriminating movie star photos and have only grown in numbers since then .
One of the favorite gathering spots for paparazzi are the many red carpet events in and around the world with Hollywood being ground zero. But your favorite movie star photos are not limited to the static studio poses nor the often unexpressing angles brought home by the paparazzi. There is another option.
Out there on the red carpet are a few photographers that would throw their camera at you if you called them paparazzi . These photographers combine the best of both worlds, the live "in the moment" feel of the red carpet with the soul searching intimacy of the best studio photograph.
These photographers actually look through the viewfinder of their cameras, searching and waiting for those perfect moments that create the best movie star photos. The average red carpet event may bring to mind the shock and awe of flashes going off all around at digital speed, but deep inside the pack of buzzing insects wait the artists.
In the world of the red carpet, great movie star photos are created not simply snapped. It is in these moments that the movie star fan glimpses the truth, a small truth about their favorite star or a new angle they had never seen before. The stars are people too, something the true fan never hopes and always wants to see.
The moments are fleeting, like life itself and each moment tells a story. The digital camera has made the point and shoot the order of the day. Take lots of photos and sort them out later. But to truly capture the essence of an actor on the red carpet requires an artists eye and a hunters patience.
Celebrity photos continue to dominate the media. The current aim of celebrity photography unfortunately leans more and more towards the exploitive, paparazzi style that flatters few and gives little insight to the actors person. Movie star photos that show us the person behind the star are few, but do exist and will continue to as long as there are fans that want to know a little more about their favorite stars.