Preparing the Dykstraflex motion control camera crane for exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures: cleaning and lubricating the main track, servicing and lubricating the trojan helmet pan tilt head, cleaning the main track rack gear, pointing out the very high tech paper clips that are gaffers taped to the Trojan head as witness marks for positioning, testing and preparing the motion control computer ready, loading the Dykstraflex onto to truck.

Preparing for May the 4th: The Dykstraflex at the Academy Museum

As part of my involvement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences History and Technology Subcommittee, we have been hard at work getting the Dykstraflex cleaned up and ready to be exhibited at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. This was a long and tedious process, involving a fair amount of logistics, cleaning, […]

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Arriflex 16M 16mm motion picture film camera with 400’ magazine and Angenieux zoom lens


The Arriflex 16M “Magazine” camera was introduced in 1962 as a successor to the venerable ARRI 16 S. Like its predecessor the ARRI S, the ARRI M is a spinning mirror reflex 16mm motion picture camera with a bright viewfinder, a 3-lens divergent turret to work with a variety of lenses, and a small, compact

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An overview of 4 past projects: a Mitchell GC accessorized for motion control, a Bell & Howell 2709 with a Nikon hard front, an ARRI M with a Nikon hard front, and a nodal point compensating geared head.

A Few Projects from the Past

Before we took some time off for the holidays, I was going through blue prints and photographs of some of the projects I have done in the past. What I was really hoping to share were some of the accessories that added functionality of the various cameras without modifying the cameras themselves. These records are

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The Dykstraflex camera in the Vista Vision shooting position with Nikon lens mounted

Dykstraflex Camera, Revisited

This past week I had the privilege of doing preventative maintenance on the Dykstraflex camera for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I serve on the Academy’s Technology and History Subcommittee, and following the restoration of the Dykstraflex camera crane, subcommittee members were concerned that the camera may have developed problems after having

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Al and Charles Christie, "Exhibitors Herald" 1924

Some Help with a History of the Christie Film Co.

To go along with our ongoing restoration of Mitchell Standard #46, we are currently in the process of researching the history of the camera’s first owner, the Christie Film Company. Brothers Al and Charles Christie founded the Christie Film Company in Hollywood in 1916 and produced short and feature-length comedies through 1933. The Great Depression

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DSP Rear Process Projector

1983 has come back for a visit!

Around 1983 I built this single frame rear process projector for my friend and colleague David Stipes. This lovely piece of machinery was used to project background plates into matte paintings and tabletop miniatures. We used it on such projects as “Ice Pirates”, “Real Genius”, “V”, “Trancers”, an episode of “The Twilight Zone”, and many

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Cinerama Slate

Cinerama Slate

I wanted to share one more truly amazing item from John Hora’s collection before the end of the year. John was involved in a project in 2012, along with fellow cinematographer Douglas Knapp and director David Strohmaier, filming a three-panel Cinerama travelog about Los Angeles in the original Cinerama style. Additionally John was part of

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Twentieth Century Fox Cine Simplex Camera blueprint

Fox Cine Simplex Video

There are 2 things I thought would be interesting to share this week. Back in the mid-1980’s, I was buying equipment from a fellow who lived in Sacramento, and one of the things that was included in the pile of stuff was a set of the shop blueprints and handwritten notes from the Twentieth Century-Fox

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