A love of film came at an early age for LIGHT-REEL© creator, Alan Strack.
In fact, in some ways, it was almost predetermined.
Alan’s grandparents owned and operated several movie theatres throughout their lives, including one of the
nation’s first drive-ins which first began showing movies in 1952.
Family holidays were spent visiting his grandparents in Oneonta, NY a small town upstate. They owned two
movie theatres there so almost every night Alan was at the movies, sometimes going twice a day.
“I basically grew up playing in the aisles of their theatre. Some days we would catch a matinee in the
afternoon, come home for dinner, then go right back for the evening feature. With all that access I saw
a lot of movies and probably some I shouldn’t have been allowed to see! Ultimately, though, this unique
childhood would cultivate a huge passion for film that remains with me to this day. I still get nostalgic
goosebumps when I walk into an old theatre and smell the popcorn!”
Alan’s film fascination began with collecting movie posters from his grandparents’ theatres. Soon, a simple
collection developed into more than just a hobby. Alan’s bedroom became a shrine to all kinds of films, with
everything from John Carpenter’s, The THING, to James Cameron’s Aliens. He was captivated by the power
of a movie poster to draw you in and set the stage and tone for the movie. This was all done in a simple,
backlit 27 by 41 frame outside the entrance to the theatre. The poster, along with the preview which summarized
the movie in two minutes or less, became the first points of connection for the moviegoer.
A movie, at the simplest level, is created by a beam of light passing through cellulose to form an image on
the giant screen.
As an adult, Alan began looking for a way to combine his graphic design background as an art director into
the artistic use of film. When his grandparents’ theatres closed, he inherited an extensive catalog of movie
trailers which had been destined for the trash. Many years, and layers of dust later, Alan conceived a concept
of how a series of small images could combine into a larger, abstract visual.
“I started by working with the idea of the large film poster lightboxes taking inspiration from the ones
I had seen outside of the theatres as a young boy.
At the most basic level, my boxes are just an abstracted version of the original movie poster.
All the elements from the film are there only transformed into an overall grid pattern of light and color.
These boxes to me are not only simple expressions of abstract forms and patterns but also as a visual cue
to a memory from one’s past. Most people have a favorite film from their youth. These frames are
built out of the passion for the films from my past. These are the films that inspired my growing up and
I hope in creating these frames that somehow they can inspire others as well"