Book of DAYSBy Posted: Nov 16, 2010
Greg Meng, Senior Vice President, Corday Productions, Inc. and Executive in Charge of Production for DAYS OF OUR LIVES discusses the new book he co-authored with Eddie Campbell, Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos.
How did the book come about? "Several years ago, I did a cookbook but I always wanted to do something behind the scenes, so when we did this incredible unprecedented deal with Source Books for multiple types of books, this was an idea that we pitched and they liked it. I thought, 'Well DAYS has been in everyone's living room for 45 years; let's bring them into our living room and show them how we live creating the show.' That's the overall concept."
Where did you get the material? "I have been collecting things for like 15 years. I went to NBC archives and found original photos showing behind the scenes cue cards, cameras and cables and things which were never used before, because that's not what people wanted out then. The double bed photo of the Hortons? I saw that and thought, 'How perfect; I have to use that.' I would see a box and go through it quickly, like, 'Who knew?' So it was fun to be able to utilize some of this stuff. I wanted to really lay out making it a 'day in the life' concept, like, 'How do we go through the day, the week?' We needed to storyboard it. I didn't want a photographer just going over and shooting a bunch of photos. So I brought in an art director, Eddie Campbell, who I eventually made the co-author because he worked so hard with me. Eddie was with the camera man for every shot, setting up and making sure we got the feel of the show as we laid the book out."
How did you get stars to appear without makeup? "Actually, when we got started, people were like, 'Well, I want to do that.' Everybody jumped in; it really caught on. And everybody is so beautiful physically and everywhere else, so they don't look bad when they're not in makeup. But people have a comfort zone and people were willing to break that comfort zone and they knew it was for the fans. It got to be fun."
How long did it take to put together? "Even the publisher told me that a book like his should take a year and we had three months. It was a lot of midnight oil. I remember one morning it was 4 a.m. and I had a meeting at 8 o'clock here in the office, so it was that kind of thing, but it was so enjoyable that it didn't even matter we were putting in long hours."
And plans for another book? "We literally went through thousands of photographs and we have a lot of artwork that we didn't use. It got down to we could really do another book and that's being discussed."
To purchase the book, go to www.amazon.com.