Dave Collier Interview Part One: Rose Parades and Magic Castles

I think we can all agree that Dave Collier’s photos over the last four weeks have been truly memorable. So, if they say a picture speaks a thousand words, why don’t we go to the man who was responsible for them all in this multi-part interview? Take it away Dave Collier!

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY?

AT 14 YEARS OLD, I GOT A JOB AS A PROJECTIONIST AT A LOCAL MOVIE THEATER AT $1/HOUR.  AT THE TIME, I HAD A KODAK CAMERA THAT TOOK LOUSY PICTURES.  MY BROTHER HAD A LEICA MODEL IIIC CAMERA WHICH TOOK INCREDIBLE PICTURES, SO I ALSO BOUGHT ONE.  IT’S AMAZING THE REQUESTS YOU GET WHEN YOU TAKE PICTURES TO PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS, CLASS-MATES, ETC.  I ALSO WENT TO THE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES EVERY YEAR TO PHOTOGRAPH THE FLOATS AND THEIR OCCUPANTS…

WHEN I JOINED THE MAGIC CASTLE, I ASKED IRENE LARSEN IF  SHE WOULD WRITE A LETTER TO THE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES HEADQUARTERS SAYING I WAS THE PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER FOR GENII MAGAZINE, AND I WAS GIVEN PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER CREDENTIALS BY THE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES FROM THEN ON! 

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Tournament of Roses Parade @Dave Collier

I SUPPLIED COPIES OF ALL MY PICTURES TO THE TOURNAMENT OF ROSES, AND A PRICE SHEET FOR COPIES WHICH THE TOURNAMENT SENT TO ALL THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE PICTURES. BUT, THE RESULTS WEREN’T SPECTACULAR AS MANY PICTURES OF THE PRETTY GIRLS WERE AVAILABLE TO THEM.  I DID GET REQUESTS FROM FRANK SINATRA, DONNY AND MARIE OSMOND, ETC. BUT IT WASN’T A BONANZA…

BACK TO THE MAGIC CASTLE.  I WAS ALLOWED TO TAKE PICTURES IN THE CASTLE, THE MAYFAIR MUSIC HALL, THE VARIETY ARTS CENTER, AND THE MAGIC ACADEMY AWARD DINNERS AS THE “STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER”. 

THE PICTURE I TOOK OF INGRID BERGMAN AT THE DOWNSTAIRS BAR AT THE MAGIC CASTLE WAS BEAUTIFUL. SHE SENT A THANK YOU NOTE TO ME FROM THE BEVERLY WILSHIRE HOTEL DATED THE DAY SHE WON THE OSCAR FOR BEST ACTRESS!  I ALSO PHOTOGRAPHED CARY GRANT, MAY WEST, RICHARD SHERMAN, NICK LUCAS, AND EVEN RUDY VALEE CROONING AT THE VARIETY ARTS CENTER BY MICROPHONE (INSTEAD OF MEGAPHONE)…

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Ingrid Bergman at the Magic Castle @Dave Collier

HOW DID I END UP TAKING PICTURES FOR DOUG’S SPECIALS?

PHOTOGRAPHING AT THE MAYFAIR MUSIC HALL, I REALIZED I NEEDED A LARGE TELEPHOTO LENS SO I COULD PHOTOGRAPH THE STAGE IN THE DARK WITHOUT FLASH, SO I PURCHASED SEVERAL SUCH LENSES. I CONTINUED TAKING PICTURES WITH THESE LENSES, AND PROVIDING PICTURES TO BILL AND IRENE FOR GENII MAGAZINE. SO, WHEN THE DOUG HENNING SPECIALS CAME UP I WAS ASKED IF I WOULD PHOTOGRAPH THEM!  YOU BET!!!  I WAS GIVEN GREAT SEATS TOO!

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Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part of my interview with Dave Collier

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