Wes Craven, Stephen King, Clive Barker.
In the world of horror, there are certain names that send a chill of excitement through your bones. In a genre that is known for hits, misses, and little in between, we relied on these masters to give a solid sense of excitement when a new project was announced.
John Carpenter is, inarguably, such a master and Titan Books has offered a unique glimpse into his genius with the release of On Set With John Carpenter The Photographs Of Kim Gottlieb-Walker.
Though her name is not as easily recognized, Kim is also a master of her craft. Her intimate portraits, movie stills, and casual candids create a nostalgic ambiance worthy of Carpenter’s films. Kim’s memories blend with quotes from cast and crew to retell life on the sets of Halloween, The Fog, Escape from New York, Halloween II, and Christine.
What really stands out in the progression of Kim’s photos is the ability to watch time pass as Carpenter’s team moves between projects. Like Kim, many people migrated from one film to the next with Carpenter. Jaime Lee Curtis literally grew up on Carpenter’s sets and the tone of her candids help demonstrate her process of maturing.
Many cast members were friends outside of work, lending credence to the respectful reflection many seem to apply to their memories of working with Carpenter. It truly feels like you are thumbing through a scrapbook of memories (that happens to have been shot by a highly talented photographer).
This book is absolutely gorgeous and is an excellent visual memoir of Carpenter’s films. Horror fans looking for film trivia will not find this particularly enlightening (many quotes come from commentary and con panel records), but those interested in the reality of relationships on the set will be more than happy. With the holidays around the corner, this would definitely be a smart choice of any horror or photography fans on your gift-giving list.