Los Angeles. Wednesday, May 20, 1992. It was 75 degrees and balmy. Hollywood weighed heavily on the mind of the President of the United States — the previous day, his Vice President had turned a CBS sitcom into both a campaign issue and a running gag. Far and Away premiered, and Louis Gossett Jr.’s star was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Roseanne Arnold chatted with an increasingly melancholy Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show two days before his farewell.
Also on May 20, 75 top photographers from all over the world descended on L.A. to create A Day in the Life of Hollywood, to be published this month by Collins Publishers San Francisco (a division of HarperCollins Publishers) and sponsored by Eastman Kodak Co., the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and American Express Travel Related Services. They were to comb the Studio Zone — an area extending 30 miles in all directions from the corner of La Cienega and Beverly — which all major movie studios and hundreds of smaller entertainment companies call home. The photographers’ marching orders, said project director Lena Tabori, Collins’ president and publisher, were to ”chronicle the illusion and the everyday life of this unique and volatile place.”
They had extraordinary access with which to do it. Every studio backlot in town and every TV show and film in production was open to them — the result of two months of negotiations by Collins editors with the publicists, agents, business managers, and personal assistants who guard the stars and the moviemaking machinery. Collins gave the photographers about a half-dozen assignments each — enough to keep them occupied for 24 hours. By the end of the day, they had taken more than 150,000 pictures. Only 225 would make the final cut.
To view photos, please find A Day in the Life of Hollywood at your local bookstore.