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Pictures [Hardcover]

Jeff Bridges , Peter Bogdanovich

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Book Description

1 Nov 2003
For more than twenty years, on dozens of film sets, Bridges has perfected his own photography, shooting between takes and behind-the-scenes with a Widelux F8 camera. This fascinating, surprisingly candid body of work began as a personal project, as he recorded the arduous, emotionally intense, evanescent work of the film shoot in books that were privately printed and given as gifts to cast and crew. These are not traditional “Hollywood” pictures, but rather—despite the costumes and lighting, the crowds of extras, the stardom of the subjects—pictures of friends at work. Taken together, the pictures act as Bridges’ personal and professional diary, with actors, directors, and crew appearing as coworkers, all equal participants in the job at hand.

With a foreword by Peter Bogdanovich and Jeff Bridges’ hand-written commentary and captions throughout, Pictures promises to be a rare and exciting publishing event, offering a vision of Hollywood that is both intimately human and formally beautiful.

Jeff Bridges’ proceeds from Pictures will be donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund, a non-profit organization that offers charitable care and support to film-industry workers.

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Amazon Review

Photographs from movie sets have always been packed with the curious itch of glamour and Pictures, actor Jeff Bridges' book of photographs, is no exception. Bridges has been taking on-set photos since the 1980s with a Widelux, an oddity without a shutter or viewfinder. The camera's moving slit makes for panoramic images (about the same aspect as a widescreen film) and even allows quick moving subjects to appear twice on the same negative. Hence these photos are not always crystal clear but nevertheless capture magic, a verisimilitude of being on the inside of the movie-making process. The wide field can show an actor and director foreground while the crew spins their own story in another part of the print--multiple stories written in light. Bridges often catches his fellow actors with an amusing twinkle in their eye whether preparing for scene or appearing twice in the same shot mirroring the comedy/tragedy masks. Bridges adds memories about the photos including a very funny off-colour story from The Big Lebowski set.

In the past, Bridges would give out self-published collections of his photographs to cast and crew as gifts at the end of a shoot. One might have spied these images in promotional items or magazines, but with Pictures fans of the movies can now have their own wonderful keepsake. --Doug Thomas,

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neat book dude! 4 Nov 2003
By T. Tom - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm sure the fact that Jeff Bridges starred in 2 of my all time favorite films; The Last Picture Show and The Big Lebowski, doesn't have much to do with my high recommendation for this book. For it is a great book in it's own right.
I'm a bit of a sucker for photography books, especially ones with black and white photos, and needless to say, I've bought more than my fair share. Some I have regretted buying, having only looked at them once or twice. Pictures by Jeff Bridges is one of the few books I don't regret spending money on. In fact, my purchase was totally guilt-free because Jeff Bridges is donating all the proceeds to a non profit organization.
But maybe I like this book so much because I am a photographer myself and have worked in feature film production. In fact, one of the companies I have worked for did the special effects for Starman.
That aside, Jeff Bridges offers a unique window of opportunity to gain a glimpse of what it's like on movie sets, from the point of view of one of the members of the cast. Stars like Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfieffer and Gary Busey are featured. Although members of the production crew are also featured, I wish they would be featured even more (as a member of 'the crew' myself, I often feel like our contributions are overshadowed by the celebrities).
Jeff Bridges' special perspective is not only represented in the subject matter of the photos, but also in the panoramic format. There is something cinematic about these wide shots and the format suits the subject matter of moviemaking wonderfully. Further, Bridges has some stories and hand written notes throughout the book, a very nice touch, entertaining and appreciated.
The book is nearly 200 pages, seems sturdy and is put together quite well. Whether you are a fan of Jeff Bridges, filmmaking, black and white, panoramic photography, or all of the above, this is a comprehensive book you won't regret buying. Heck, I've bought photo books that cost way more yet only include a handful of photos. Pictures by Jeff Bridges is definitely a book in which you get your money's worth.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just another celebrity photo book! 11 Nov 2003
By Icarus - Published on
I'm a photographer and a couple of years ago I saw Jeff Bridges on some entertainment show and he was talking about photo books that he would make as gifts for cast and crew members on films that he worked on, and how he used special Widelux cameras. The Widelux models that Jeff uses are no longer made, which is a shame, because it was one of the very few panorama cameras that used 35mm film. (The bigger Widelux model which uses 120 and 220 film is still made, but it's much larger and heavier than the 35mm model.) After seeing the interview with Jeff I went out and bought one (I now own 3) and it's one of my favorite cameras to work with, and that's why I was so excited when I learned of Jeff's book.
This is a great book by a photographer with a good eye in an interesting format. The pictures are beautiful and the subjects interesting. The Widelux is not an easy camera to work with and I can appreciate the effort that went into making these pictures. There are a plethora of photo books from the famous that are published simply because the shooter is famous. Jeff Bridges is a photographer and this is a refreshing, interesting book.
And though the Widelux F series has been discontinued, you can still find them on eBay and at used camera stores.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the set 2 Oct 2003
By angela cohen - Published on
If you've ever fanaticized about being present on a movie set, this book will come as close as it gets to satisfying the fantasy. And if you're a fan of Bridges film work, you will find yourself in movie heaven. There are no set-up shots, no posing, and no actors being movie stars-just pictures of the sometimes grueling, sometimes effervescent work of making the movies we have loved. The real deal-both in terms of documenting the making of movies and unique photography.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 30 Jan 2010
By Outlaw03 - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because (1) Jeff Bridges is my favorite actor and (2) I love photography and used to have my own darkroom set up and had a part-time business with it. It is really a good book - there are so many personal notes in it which make you understand the photo and the movie industry. It is also a nice look into Jeff's personality. It is something you can pick up time after time and see new things that were not previously seen.
It is a joy to have this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "Behind the Scenes" photos 13 Nov 2009
By Sarah - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a great coffee table book if you love movies and admire Jeff Bridges.He is an actor,a musician,a photographer,and a writer and obviously a true gentleman.He started bringing a camera on movie sets,creating albums,and giving them to the crew when the movies were finished.His observations about the movie making process are well written and intriguing.
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