Archive
Movies
Rest Chair for Movie Stars (Feb, 1933)

Nothing like a nice dress you can’t sit down in.

Rest Chair for Movie Stars

Movie stars must rest between scenes despite tight gowns that can’t be sat down in without disaster. This ingenious rest chair is the solution of the problem.

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Dolls Replace Drawings in Film Cartoon (Jun, 1938)

It’s amazing how much those pictures look like frames from early computer rendered 3D movies.

Dolls Replace Drawings in Film Cartoon

THOUSANDS of carved wooden dolls give a three-dimensional effect to a new type of animated-cartoon film developed by George Pal, Hungarian photographic expert. Instead of using pictures drawn and photographed in sequence to provide movement, the new cartoon-film technique employs numerous doll figures carved and painted to represent the various movements and facial expressions of a single cartoon character. As many as thirty different carvings of one figure may be photographed in sequence for one simple change in a facial expression.

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The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Jan, 1938)

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A Famous Fairy Tale Is Brought to the Screen as the Pioneer Feature-Length Cartoon in Color

By ANDREW R. BOONE

BEHIND the black walls of an air-conditioned Hollywood studio laboratory, the shutter on a strange eight-deck camera flicked open and shut the other day, exposing the last of 362,919 frames of color film. At that instant was completed the first feature-length motion-picture cartoon ever created, one requiring more than 1,500,000 individual pen-and-ink drawings and water-color paintings. Also, at that moment, depth, a sense of perspective and distance hitherto seen only in “live action” pictures, sprang into being for cartoons.

Both the giant camera and the picture had their beginnings in a decision made four years ago by Walt Disney, famed creator of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, to produce a feature based on a well-known folk tale. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” a movie version of Grimm’s famous fairy tale filmed by the multiplane camera, is the result.

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Movies Travel to Town in a Trailer Theater (Aug, 1938)

Movies Travel to Town in a Trailer Theater

Traveling from town to town throughout the northwest, a trailer theater is bringing talking movies to communities lacking theaters of their own. This mobile movie house is fifty-five feet long and comfortably seats sixty persons in bus-style chairs, which are permanently fixed. A small stage over the front wheels permits vaudeville or lectures, and two projectors in a fireproof booth show up-to-date movies against a rolling screen. If power lines are not handy, the plant can furnish its own 110-volt current. Electric fans have been installed.

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Freak Movies Easy with New Amateur Camera (Jun, 1933)

Freak Movies Easy with New Amateur Camera

A NEW sixteen-millimeter movie camera now places the professional’s bag of tricks in the hands of the amateur. Fade-outs, double exposures, animations, and enlarged close-ups are only a few of the unusual shots that can be obtained merely by pressing buttons.

Besides lens turret and slow-motion shutter, this new product of the Eastman Kodak laboratories in Rochester, N. Y., has a number of other improvements not found on the ordinary high-grade home movie camera. A crank that runs the film through the camera backwards, an accurate, geared film footage indicator, a unique focusing device, and a shutter that can be opened or closed while the camera is operating are important features.

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Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight (Apr, 1924)

Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight

Problems in Mechanics that Make the “Movie” Engineer’s Profession Recall the Magician’s Miracles

BUILD me a magic carpet on which I can ride; a flying horse like Pegasus and arrange a set so that I can disappear in a whirlwind.”

The “boss” of the moving-picture lot, without more ado, walked out of his chief engineer’s office, leaving that hard-working individual the three problems which he mentally added to the score or more of similar commands he had executed since the actual “shooting” of the scenes in the huge spectacle had begun months ago. For the engineering staff of the larger moving-picture producers is used to facing and conquering problems that for sheer unusual-ness are perhaps unrivaled.

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Panorama an a Giant Screen (Sep, 1949)

Panorama an a Giant Screen

SIGHTSEEING “trips” to America’s beauty spots have been conducted right on the Chicago Railroad Fairground with a projection system that makes color pictures of Niagara Falls seem so real that you wonder why you can’t feel the mist on your face. Kodachrome transparencies are projected on the screen five at a time and, so perfectly aligned are the individual pictures, that the effect is of a giant, natural panorama.

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Odd Designs on Film Turn to Music (Mar, 1933)

Odd Designs on Film Turn to Music

SYNTHETIC music is being produced in a German film studio by reversing a familiar process. When artists sing and orchestras play “before the talkie microphone, their music is recorded, in one standard method, as a wavy black line upon the sound track of the film. What would happen if an artist were to draw arbitrary shapes, imprint them on sound film, and run it through a reproducer? A German technician, Oscar Fischinger, recently tried the experiment with startling results. A series of concentric circles, drawn in a strip and photographed upon sound film, imitated an electric bell. Eye-like spots reproduced a bassoon, and a pattern of dots sounded like a xylophone.

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Drawing Animated Cartoons for the Movies (Oct, 1924)

Drawing Animated Cartoons for the Movies

MAKING laugh-creating animated cartoons for the movie screen in which grotesque clowns, misshapen animals, and caricatured people with funny faces and funnier habits go through their pen-and-ink performances requires not only skilled drawing by artists who “cast” the parts but careful work by the camera operator as well, to insure each scene its proper sequence on the reel. Unlike the studios where the dramatic plays are acted out, the animated cartoon is made up on an ordinary drawing board amid the familiar implements of the ink craftsman. And at times the creator of the characters is called upon to take
part in the play, performing with a group of the queer figures that seem to be balancing on pencils or bobbing about on top of a desk or table. When such human characters are combined in an animated cartoon with “sketched” characters, the exposures are made in two sections.

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Prehistoric Monsters Roar and Hiss for Sound Film (Apr, 1933)

Prehistoric Monsters Roar and Hiss for Sound Film

THIS remarkable article tells you how the ingenuity and skill of motion picture directors solve the hard emblem of putting on the screen the forms and noises of animals that have been extinct thousands of centuries

by Andrew R. Boone

FROM the slime of tropical mud flats, the ghost voices of prehistoric monsters have reached the screen. Hisses and grunts of the pterodactyl and brontosaurus; roars from a tyrranosaurus, largest of the dinosaur family; groans and roars of an imaginary giant ape are reproduced by mechanical contrivances.

Kong, the ape, crashed through the heavy growth of an unknown forest, uttering fierce growls and beating his breast in rage. As the scene unfolded in silence before a small group of us in a tiny projection room, the studio sound experts discussed ways and means of re-creating his awful voice and the solid thumps of clenched hands against the massive chest.

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