Victor Cristales / Reporter-News

Director and photographer Chuck Bowman's photo exhibit, "Behind the Scenes on the Hollywood Set: An Insider's Look at the Film Industry," will run through July 31.

Exhibit Provides New Look at Hollywood

By Brien Murphy / Reporter-News Staff Writer
June 6, 2004

Chuck Bowman sees life through camera lenses.

When the television and film director has spare moments on the job, he shoots photographs of his co-workers - some of them world-famous, some no longer with us, but nearly all recognizable to fans of Hollywood.

''If I get a gut-ache fighting with agents or the whole Hollywood thing, this is where I go,'' Bowman said during a break in hanging his work at the Center for Contemporary Arts. ''I have a real passion for photography. When I'm not behind a motion picture camera, I have this.''

Bowman's exhibit, ''Behind the Scenes on the Hollywood Set: An Insider's Look at the Film Industry,'' is open through July 31.

The exhibit collects photographs Bowman shot of Arsenio Hall, Matthew McConaughey, Jane Seymour and other famous actors. Some photographs were shot during rehearsals. Others capture candid moments during breaks in filming.

Bowman grew up in southeast Kansas, enthralled with motion pictures.

''Movies is all I ever wanted to do ... I lived in theaters as a kid,'' he said. ''I felt like I was destined to go into it.''

A TV journalism career derailed Bowman long enough to cover events like presidential candidate Robert Kennedy's 1968 assassination, and the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles. Bowman also began acting, playing newsmen or cops on ''Dragnet'' and ''Adam-12.''

In the mid-1970s, Bowman finally quit journalism, figuring if he didn't go into filmmaking then, he never would. He worked behind the scenes on the TV series ''Baa Baa Black Sheep'' and ''The Incredible Hulk'' before directing popular programs including ''In the Heat of the Night'' and ''Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.''

As he walked through Gallery II at CCA last weekend, Bowman's told stories about celebrities he has known.

Bowman also shot photos on sets run by his son, director Rob Bowman. Frequently at the helm for episodes of ''The X Files,'' the younger Bowman is seen chuckling with series star David Duchovny (wearing his trademark raincoat).

''You could see their mutual respect. Rob would ask for a lot of takes, and David just went with it,'' the elder Bowman said.

Rob Bowman is also seen in an unguarded moment on the set of the film ''Reign of Fire'' - sticking out his tongue.

Meet Chuck Bowman
Home: Pasadena, Calif.
Family: Wife, Lisa; sons, Rob and Stephen, daughter, Karen.
Occupation: Television/film director, writer and producer. Occasional actor. Formerly worked as ... a television reporter.
Television shows Bowman directed include ... ''Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,'' ''The Pretender,'' ''V.I.P.,'' ''In the Heat of the Night,'' ''MacGyver.''
He's working on ... writing two scripts, including one based on his mother's life.

If you go

What: ''Behind the Scenes on the Hollywood Set: An Insider's Look at the Film Industry,'' photography exhibit by film/television director Chuck Bowman.
Where: Center for Contemporary Arts, 220 Cypress St.
When: Through July 31.
Cost: Free. Donations accepted.

Contact arts/entertainment writer Brien Murphy at