The Ghostbusters Polaroids

Four instant pieces of movie-making history

Ghostbusters logoAny interesting photograph is more interesting still–or at least far more evocative of a particular era–if it happens to be a Polaroid.

That’s my deeply-held belief, anyhow–which is why I’ve blogged in the past about Polaroid images of John F. Kennedy and the Apple-1 computer. (I also told the story of Polaroid’s SX-70 camera in the longest article I’ve ever written about anything.)

And now my Facebook friend Michael Gross–who made the world a much better place as the art director of National Lampoon in its golden age and then as a movie producer–has used his feed to share some vintage Polaroids taken on the set of Ghostbusters, on which he worked as an associate producer. (Among other things, he contributed the movie’s unforgettable logo.)

Michael was nice enough to let me borrow his Facebook photo of the Polaroid photos, which show stars Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson. Here they are:

Ghostbusters Polaroids

All four snapshots are great, but the one of Murray–well, it may be one of the best photos of Bill Murray I’ve ever seen. Which is saying a lot.

Ghostbusters was released thirty years ago last Sunday; back when it was made, a Polaroid camera was an utterly indispensable tool for moviemakers who needed to document their work as it was going on. (Michael says these particular pictures were continuity shots for the wardrobe department.) Even if many of them didn’t get saved, there must be an awful lot of Hollywood Polaroids which survive. Wouldn’t they make an incredible coffee-table book?

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