History

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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An Interview with Doug Fries

While hard at work on the new website, we have been assembling brief histories of camera manufacturers whose equipment we own. There are several major players in the movie equipment world whose histories are difficult to research. Among those, I was shocked to find that there was no information about Fries Engineering, a major innovator …

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