Canadian Christopher Moloney has come up with a cool way to combine everyday life with Hollywood movies.
Moloney works in New York, where he writes for CNN's 'Erin Burnett OutFront'. As he was walking to work one day, he noticed he had "virtually the same commute as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" from the 1984 hit, 'Ghostbusters.'
So, he got an idea...
Using his black-and-white printer, he took a still from the film, held up the printout at the exact spot where the image lines up with the location today, and snapped a photo using his BlackBerry.
At first, Moloney just thought it would be a fun post on Facebook. But his friends and family encouraged him to do more. And now, Moloney says he's taken about 200 photos.
He opened a Tumblr account and started posting more shots of him holding black-and-white movie stills, set against the backdrop of the exact same location today. Next thing you know, his blog - called FILMography - took off.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Moloney says he now gets anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 views a day from up to 70 different countries.
Moloney told us "in the past couple of weeks, I've seen my name pop up in magazines and newspapers around the world."
Now, he's fielding offers to expand from publishers, app developers, and more people who enjoy his look at pieces of film history. Not bad, considering it started as "something for me to do on my walk to work," Moloney said.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The blog is so new (just four months old), that Moloney really hasn't yet expanded much beyond that daily walk. But with so many films shot in Manhattan over the years, the options are seemingly endless.
He did experiment with international locations on a recent trip to Asia, using spots from the 'The Hangover: Part II' and 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,' among others.
The Hangover Part II (2011)
At one time, Moloney worked at the CBC (on the Gemini Awards, Best Recipes Ever, and the Canadian Country Music Awards, among others). He isn't a devoted movie watcher or a professional photographer. And as far as his technique or influences, he says, "I don't have either."
Moloney's work has been criticized by some of his followers, who don't like his choice of black-and-white ("colour printing is expensive"), the white borders around the still, and the fact he leaves his fingers in the shot.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Moloney takes it in stride: "In a world where people seem to be afraid to show any sort of enthusiasm, you gotta love that level of anger, particularly about a blog."
Taxi Driver (1976)
ON SELECTING LOCATIONS
"So far, I've really only explored the sites along my walk to work. That's why so many of them are in Central Park. Usually I'll think of a New York movie, print off a pic, and look for the spot. But sometimes I'll walk past a spot and think, 'I know this place,' and go back with a screen grab later."
WHAT'S THE MOST SURPRISING REACTION YOU'VE HAD TO THE BLOG?
"The best reactions are the ones I get while I'm shooting the photos. This morning, while I was recreating a scene from 'Superman,' where the Man of Steel delivers a criminal to a cop, a security guard came out and threatened to throw me off the property and call the police. I tried to explain the photo was a celebration of both law enforcement and the building, but apparently, Manhattan security guards aren't big on irony."
Buster Keaton in The Cameraman (1928)
ON BECOMING A TUMBLR "CELEBRITY"
"I get recognized more now. That is, when I pull out a movie photo and start to line it up, I do. I realize it's my blog (and maybe my left hand) that's famous, not me. While I was figuring out a shot in Central Park last week, a guy came running over and asked, 'Is this FILMography?' Apparently, he had read about my blog earlier in the week. He was a very dedicated fan. A few minutes later, when an elderly woman asked if she could help hold the photo for me, the guy shouts, 'HE HAS TO DO IT HIMSELF!'"
North By Northwest (1959)