Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stitched Portraits: Dan Curtis

In addition to being a devoted husband and father of three born in Bridgeport, CT, Aug 12, 1927, He was also a director and producer, most well known for his creation of Dark Shadows.

Some history: A number of years ago I spent every day working in a puppet lab alongside a really friendly, smiling, close to non-English speaking friend from the Dominican Republic. He didn't say much, but he was a brilliant sculptor who loved vampires - specifically Dark Shadows...

Dark Shadows was a soap opera from the mid-sixties that radically changed the meaning of soaps by including all forms of the supernatural. Most famous was a reluctant vampire named Barnabas Collins (quite possibly the first use of a reluctant vampire - a theme which is so prevalent today). On a lark (and also due to my sculptor friend), my wife and I took the first of the collected DVD series out of the library and we became hooked. We actually only watched up to Collection 22 (due to a lack of Barnabas in the storyline), but at 4 discs each collection, 10 episodes per disc, we watched a total of 880 Dark Shadows episodes over a 2 year period. (Wow. Just calculated that for the first time ever...) The show was a feat that may never be accomplished again in television. They filmed 5 days a week and the actors received their scripts the morning of shooting. The show's scenes were cut to tape only once and mistakes were tolerated, always ending with the phrase, "Dark Shadows is a Dan Curtis Production."

Dan Curtis (with trademark grin):

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