Music Monday – The Alloy Six

Today we have an original tune be a band called The Alloy Six from Stockholm. These guys take you back to that great sound of the 60s with all it garage fuzz. Check it out. And check out their Facebook page. It is a song called Impossible Dream from an album they plan on putting out next year.

It is important to support independent artists, like The Alloy Six, Seriously, doesn’t Lady Gaga and Jay-Z have enough of you money.

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Bela Lugosi is Dr. Alex Zorka

Jeff KelleyDo you ever hope for rain so you don’t have to cut the grass? I do. Even though my lawn is in desperate need of a good trimming, I would still rather not. And with all the rain we have been getting in Chicagoland, we really don’t need any more for a long while.

I got the first bad comment (I think) of my podcast. Someone named “Josh Donoho” wrote on the Coffee With Jeff Facebook page, “Moving on.” I assume he was letting me know that he didn’t appreciate my show and was moving on to something else…I guess. You know, you cannot please everyone.

ON FILM NIOR

So I was watching the wonderful Noir Alley on Turner Classic Movies, which in hosted by the fantastic Eddie Muller. Last Sunday they showed a 1946 film called Deadline at Dawn. A delightful, nonsensical movie starting the gorgeous Susan Hayward! Anyway this was a line from the film I couldn’t help laugh at. The character of Val Bartelli, played by Joseph Calleia, in talking about his dead sister, said, “She was no lullaby but she had the brains like a man.” How times have changed.

ON DEPRESSION

I think everyone gets depressed now a then. I know I do, sometimes for no reason. I am sure what I go through is nothing compared to those that have real problems with depression. There is something I do to get myself out one of these funks. Whether I’ve done something to bring me down, or if it is work, family or nothing at all, I just keep moving forward. I wake without the usual excitement of the new day like I usually do, and instead feel like just sitting on the sofa and rot. Nothing seems worth doing. It is at these moments it is, at least to me, important to do something that will give me a sense of accomplishment.

It might be something like cleaning the basement, or writing a few pages of my latest script. Once I get something done, I begin to feel better about myself.

Hey, why don’t you ever seem to find a depressed farmer? It’s because farmers don’t have time to be depressed. I could be wrong, but depression is a result of having too much time on one’s hands.

Of course, I am not an expert; I can only say what works for me. If you have a serious problem with depression, you should think about getting professional help. PLEASE DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE!

SOMETHING TO WATCH

Can a make a suggestion for something to watch, something that you can view for FREE! Everyone likes free, right? The Phantom Creeps from 1939 starring Bela Lugosi as Dr. Alex Zorka, This was original 12 episode serial that as been edited into a film. It’s fantastic! It has one of the best robots! Check it out. It’s that one film that Lugosi plays a made scientist! Ha.

The Phantom Creeps

ON FILM

My wonderful wife bought be the deluxe Blu-Ray addition of The Big Lebowski. I never get tired of watching this film. And there is a lot of bonus material as well, and I love bonus material. No commentary track, and that’s a bit of a bummer, but you can’t have everything.

ON MONSANTO

Do I dare say it? I’ve got no problem with Monsanto. I’ve got no problem with genetically modified food. GMOs are going to save the work. People who think Monsanto is evil don’t understand the science. And if you use the term Frankenfood around me, I will get the urge to punch you in the face. I won’t, because I am not a person who resorts to violence, but just know that deep inside that is the way I feel.

Got to go. I got better things to do than talk to you!

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Mystery Science Theater Season 12

I quick note just to say that I that I am hoping for a 12th season of MST3K. Really enjoyed the season 11 on Netflix. Come on Netflix, you have put so much crap on your streaming service, this is you chance to put something of quality.

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Tostitos and Cheez-Its are fantastic

Coffee with JeffIt has not been a good week. I can’t explain it. It is one of those weeks that a strange feeling of depression sits in my soul like the sludge in a car’s oil pan. I just keep moving forward. It will pass. By the end of the week, I started felling a little better about myself.

Roads are sill closed here in the northern part of Illinois after the rains of last week. So many people lost so much. The important part is no one, as far as I know, was hurt or killed. I do know a few people who lost so much because of flooding.

JEFF ON SCIENCE

You know, I wish I would stop hearing about what Dark Matter might be, and just tell me what it actually is once you figure it out. In fact, that goes for a cure for cancer and new battery technology. Stop saying, “we might be onto the answer, but it is five to ten years away” and just tell me what you’ve actually got it.

Sunday’s podcast will be on the famous Flatwoods monster. For the record, I don’t believe in this mythical beast, but there are many who do.

JEFF ON FOOD

Is there any better snack food that Tostitos? I hope they are healthy because I eat a crap load of them. The best is when you get a real salty one, you know. What is also excellent is Cheez-It! Cheez-It’s are fantastic when you are driving and having trouble staying awake. I once drove from the Black Hills in South Dakota all night to get home to northern Illinois. Cheez-It kept me awake. I hope Cheez-It are healthy as well. And no, I am not going to research these amazing foods. AS long as I think they are healthy, they are.

JEFF ON LIFE

The other day I went out with a group of people from work and had lunch. My boss picked up the bill. I had a FREE lunch. Yeah, genius, don’t tell me there is no such thing as a free lunch; I had one.

JEFF ON HISTORY

The smell of the old west

Think of the smell!

I’m thinking about the old west. It seems every film about the old west I see has a dirty saloon. You know, a long wooden bar, usually with a mirror behind it, little wooden tables with poker being played, and maybe a player piano. These saloons are a staple of films about the old west. My first thought was, did these places really exist? I wonder! But more importantly, if they were a real part of every western town, how bad did they smell? Really! It must have been awful. Think about it, cowboys, fur trappers, lumberjacks, miners, gamblers, and others, men who probably haven’t showered in weeks or months crowded in a little wooden structure with no real ventilation, drinking cheap booze.

And that is another thing, what did they drink? In the westerns, it was beer of whiskey. Whiskey maybe, but beer, with a beautiful golden color and thick frosty head, I don’t think so! First of all, they had no refrigeration. So, if they had beer, it was warm. Second, beer making was not what it is today. The might golden beer that Bud and Miller sell didn’t happen to after prohibition. I read somewhere that they made beer from anything they could find and hopes were not something they heard of.

Well, I’ve got to go. Can’t sit here all day typing the day away,

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Too Late for Coffee – Too Early for Beer!

The Ramblings of Old Man Kelley – Jeff to my friends!

OK first of all, I’ve got the cure for depression! Duck Soup. Yes, the Marx Brother’s Duck Soup! If Duck Soup doesn’t cheer you up, well then, seek professional help!

“I’d be unworthy of the high trust that’s been placed in me if I didn’t do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I’d be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn’t. A fine thing that’ll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That’ll add a lot to my prestige, won’t it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it – I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he’ll never get away with it I tell you, he’ll never get away with it.” – Rufus T. Firefly

I am writing about Duck Soup because my wonderful wife bought me the first five Marx Brother’s films On Blu-ray! NICE! Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup! That was the Golden age of the brothers!

And I don’t care what you say; they were never the same without Zeppo!

The problem with the later MGM films was that Irving Thalberg wanted a plot. To hell with that! They didn’t need a plot. OF course, they left Paramount because they were not getting paid, but you can’t have everything.

Enough about The Marx Brothers!

Did you ever want to know about Gerald Bull & the Supergun? Find out all you need to know on last week’s podcast – CLICK HERE!

Margaret Dumont was awesome as well! Opps, talking about those guys again!

So, I’ve been doing a bit of gardening lately. Oh, you are saying, big deal! Well it is. Old Man Kelley doesn’t do gardening…until now. I am doing a video on my gardening adventure and will be posting it soon in the video section

You know that time of the day that is too late for coffee but too early for beer?

We’ve had a lot of rain here in Chicagoland. My home is OK, but I’ve got some friends who are not so lucky!

My script for my latest film, The Elgin Dead, has finally been sent to the actors. I still don’t have a lead actor, but hopefully get someone soon. It’s a sweet part. The film should be about 20 minutes long. I guess the kids these days call that a short. And should I really call it a film? There will be no celluloid used in the making of this video. More on this later,

Well, I’ve got to go. Can’t sit here all day typing away.

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Otto Gross and the L-8 Ghost Blimp

I was doing my podcast on the mystery of the L-8 Ghost Bimp of 1942. During my research, I discovered the name of Otto Gross who had done extensive research in the subject. I wrote Otto and he was nice enough to write back. This is his letter.

Hi Jeff,
The L-8 story ends with the crash in Daly City,Ca. and the disappearance of the two crew members. The trail I’ve pieced together that leads to starts in New Jersey.

As the Axis threat grew the United States started developing technology that would be used in what many considered an inevitable war. A government agency called the NDRC, National Defence Research Committee, was formed from private industry, government and military bodies, and universities.

All the important technology developed for the war came through this group. The NDRC would be reorganised in 1942 under the name, OSRD, Office of Scientific Research Development. The change was necessary for reporting purposes. In the NDRC military personal sometimes reported to university professors. In the OSRD the military took a more joint lead and civilians were given a honorary military rank for purposes of reporting hierarchy and travel, for example. The NDRC model had a general reporting to the 19 year old head of the radar division.

Clearly an odd, unmanageable arrangement when someone commanding thousands of men has to work around things because it’s a school night. And radar becomes and important bit in the L-8 story.

The story of radar starts with the Tizzard Mission – British diplomatic group that came to the US to get Lend-Lease going. The British had made a major improvement in radar by developing the 3 centimetre magnetron. Older 10 cm magnetron were unable to “paint” finer detail. If you think of radar like painting a portrait, a 3 cm magnetron would be like having a 0001 fine brush while the 10 cm is something you’d find in the house paint aisle. Given that the original radar scopes came in two sizes – 2.5 inches and 3 inches, radar in then early forms were not very useful. And radar was heavy – too heavy and big to put in a plane. The average up time for radar units was measured in minutes as vacuum tubes and magnetrons failed regularly.

Radar development was farmed out to a number of companies given that it was as big a secret as the atomic bomb. Philco was the primary contractor,who along with Westinghouse made most of the components. Western Electric and Bell Labs made the British magnetron into something more reliable and the size of radar units a fraction of the size and power they had been. A lot of the research and development happened in New Jersey. Bell Labs in Whippany NJ was responsible for the 3 cm magnetron. Westinghouse in Newark and Harrison made some of the components that would go to Philco in Phillie and Pittsburgh for final assembly.

Research- that’s where the L-8 story starts – happened at the Naval Air Station at Lakehurst and surrounding area. While famous for the Hindenburg disaster, Lakehurst was home to one of the most active blimp squadrons. Blimps were used to patrol the ocean for enemy activity. And most important to our story, they could hold a number of people and support large weight for extended periods of time making them perfect flying laboratories.

Radar was developed into many things – detecting enemy planes and ships was one of many. It was also used as a signalling mechanism we call IFF, Identification Friend or Foe – a Morse code like usage of the microwave signals generated from magnetron. LORAN, still in use today, was developed and tested at Lakehurst. Blimps with blacked out windows were used to fly along the coast, out to the tip of Long Island and as far as the Bahamas. Sidebar: Division 14 of the OSRD was for radar developement, Division 15 developed anti-radar devices; jamming etc. Donald Trump’s uncle, Dr. John Trump was a scientist in charge of projects for Division 15 as well as holding what we now call the Chief of Staff position for the 14 and 15 divisions. No matter how one views his nephew

Lakehurst had the secret Radar School.

The turning point in the story from the East Coast to the West Coast occurs on the evening of June 8th, 1942. Lakehurst was also the test site for many other projects. The one being tested that night was a photoflash bomb that was developed in the hope it could light up a submarine from underneath. Subs were hard to detect. Something called MAD, Magnetic Anomaly Detector, a flaying version of a metal detector was used with no real success. The blimp had see a periscope or conning tower, fly towards the descending enemy sub at a blinding 7 mph, then circle the sub sitting at the bottom where it thought it might be but not see. In controlled tests MAD had less than a 4% success rate.

That would be a clue into the story later.

The L-2 and G-1 blimps went out that night with 13 crew members, planning on using a Coast Guard cutter as a standing in for the outline of the enemy sub. The plan was to have the G-1 circle the CG ship dropping the underwater flash bombs while the L-2 filmed the flash and ship outline to see what formulas and colors worked best.

While they circled above the cutter, the L-2 crashed into the G-1. Both blips deflated and fell into the water. Only one man, the pilot of the L-2, survived by jumping through the window into the water. The balloon envelopes covered both gondolas as helium leaked into any air pockets. Those that didn’t drown in then water died from anoxia as the helium displaced the air.

The gondola of the G-1 detached as the crew of the cutter tried to uncover the wreck and free any trapped men. It appears from my research that it still sits on the ocean floor – or what’s left. The L-2 gondola was dragged onto Point Pleasant Beach – near where the show about New Yorkers acting badly,The Jersey Shore, was filmed.The L-2 was cut up on the beach and everything cleaned up within a couple of hours. Bodies would be found for months to come. Only one man, Dr Franklin Gilbert. Originally from Newark, Dr Gilbert eventually would be head electrician for Paramount Pictures developing sound before volunteering to transfer to war work in Groton CT involving acoustics. NDRC/OSRD civilians were paid the rate their normal job paid. He never had a memorial service and they never paid the same insurance policy Congress granted other civilians killed in action.

The next morning the papers had the story of the crash on the front page, letting every spy in the area that “work of secret nature” was being done at Lakehurst.
Salt Water Taffy, The Boardwalk, and State Secrets! Hazzah!

Well the government moved everything including teh radar school to California. Moffet Field and Treasure Island, San Francisco.

Your listeners may or may not have heard of Treasure Island. It was part of the Moffet Field NAS and the main building at the entrance was used in “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” for the airport scene involving the blimp flight.

The L-8 was shipped to Treasure Island, Moffett as a replacement for the L-2.

For those unfamiliar with the L-8 it took off on August 16th from Treasure Island. originally three men would have been aboard but as it floated down the runway to takeoff, the mechanic was told the blimp was heavier than usual and he would have to stay. Cody and Adams took off for the sub chasing flight patrol from San Francisco to the islands off the cost, up to Point Reyes and back to base.The blimp was armed with two 250 pound bombs, a machine gun, and contained a raft. It contained secret orders. The pilots wore standard May West vests.

About an hour into their flight they spotted an oil slick on the water, a sign a potential target lay underneath. They radioed back that they were investigating. It would be the last time anyone heard from them. A few hours later the deflated blimp glided into the beach across the Pacific Highway onto a golf course. Two men on the beach saw the L-8 come in and attempted to grab hold of the guide ropes but failed. They were observed by a librarian driving by. This would let to some confusion about the pilots later.

One of the bombs detached as the air bag acted as a sail, dragging the gondola. The authorities wee called and the Navy and Army sped to the golf course. Unfortunately, when the blimp – minus 250 pounds – became lighter and and the wind picked up, the L-8 lifted into the air again.
In the mean time a call was received back at Treasure Island saying the pilots were at the golf course. A short while later a second call reported tha tthe pilots were not there in fact and the blimp had gone airborn and heading towards the hills around Daly City.

A short while later the L-8 was spotted drifted towards Belvedere Ave in Daly City, it’s final resting place.

Firemen on then scene cut the envelope and ballonettes so it would not take off again. The door hung open with the gondola on end and they found no sign of anyone. and the first military people were on site.

And the Ghost Blimp Mystery was born as well as lots of the confusion.

Much that had been written was hearsay. Many speculation flew back and forth about Japanese subs, the possibility the sub flew too low and the crew washed away, murder/suicide plots, spies and lots more. There was little in the way of facts though.

The JAG inquest started a few days later and the witnesses called. I know this because it took me years to find the folder at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The file had gone missing at some point and it took many trips to discover it again. I kept getting pointed between the NARA site in DC and the one in College Park,MD and neither could find it. I ended up eventually talking to two older gentlemen about what I was looking for and one said “Remember that box Charlie had he didn’t know where it went?, too the other guy. Wait a minute”.
It was the box I’d been looking for. It contained then JAG folder but also had then blueprints for the original L-blimp, the L-1 – the Enterprise.

The inquest pointed out hat there were witnesses to the L-8’s decent. Two merchant ships heading into the Bay noted that it dropped a marker flare and circled the spot. It never got near to the surface before heading off.A sailor who was at a park near the Golden Gate took a fully inflated L-8 heading back to Treasure Island.

The significance concerns the poor hit success rate of the MAD device.

I came across some technical papers and letters describing that the T-R tube for early radar units leaked ( Microwaves).

The dish mounts were made of a polystyrene material that broke when the blimps bounced. This would make the dish not point correctly.

A letter from two NDRC scientists mentioned a device being worked on that would combine radar and MAD. If you know what side scan sonar; like that but for submarine target.
Radar research showed that using radar pointed at the sea with a near surface object would give results.

So the plan was to use radar to detect conning towers/periscopes and use the MAD/Radar combo to detect the large hull of the enemy below the surface. Most of the technical papers are located in the Boston NARA site and anyone who is looking for undiscovered treasure and surprises is bound to enjoy visiting and researching there. Technical papers are also found in the Library of Congress Adams building. .

Another clue was from a log book of a blimp out of Massachusetts looking for the wreckage and any survivors for a torpedoed ship from Europe. The Lt. wrote that the pace was artificial slow and he wished that he could tell people he had radar instead of making the normal serpentine path using search light to where he thought the wreckage would be. That confirmed the timing of radar use matched.

SO what happened Mostly I know the blimp deflated when it rose to high. There is an automatic valve that opens should the blimp go to high expanding the ballonets to near breaking point.

Why did it rise. Because it lost the weight of one of more men. This was confirmed by the sailors testimony who reported the ship pitched up and went into the cloud cover while heading towards the Golden Gate. It had been under level controlled flight before that.

The Pan Am Clipper, alerted to the missing blimp that failed to do an hourly report saw the L-8 under normal control and that they did not notice waving or distress. Oddly, the pass quickly and can’t confirm they saw pilots.

So my thought is that that something caused the L-8 to be one person to heavy. The weather report for that month showed almost no rain and the fog from one day is no heavier than the day before.

The behaviour of the L-8 trying to detect the oil slick is what was expected to do when using radar to detect underwater objects.

The blimp did not have pilots visible during part of the flight back.

Radar units had lots of problems that made them dangerous for people. A letter from the an Ohio air field commander said that his bombardiers and radio men were getting fevers from the radar. The letter back suggested wrapping his men in tin-foil. But it turned out he was right and microwaves are still causing something called AM radio fever. People near AM radio towers and microwave towers can get fevers of up to 106 and pass out.

Another base commander sent a note to his pilots threatening them to not turn of their radar units. It turns out that earlier units interfered with radio transmission and pilots were switching between radar on and off so they could communicate.

To me this sounded just like the circumstances surrounding what was described in the JAG report.

I believe the possibility that the men were disabled by radar units and they fell out while unconscious as they attempted to head back to base when radar leaked – preventing the radio from working and eventually heating them into insensibility.

In the military folder of the pilot of the L-8 I found a letter from his mother-in-law saying she was in Phoenix visiting and say we dazed and confused son-in-law. Both Cody and Adams were declared dead on the one year anniversary. People have survived falls from great heights but if you’re even seen the Myth Busters episode on whether that was true or not, survivors had similar symptoms caused by the effect of the impact on their brains.

I found the L-2/G-1 JAG folder – also misplaced in the folder of the commander of the G-1, Frank Trotter, and in the wrong year.

That helped solve what occurred with the L-2/G-2, and while not connected via radar showed how much we owe the men and women, civilians and enlisted alike and the technology that won the war and changed the world. It’s been a fascinating journey. I’m working on another,earlier part of the story related to spy activity in America that may or may not be part of the whole story.

After the war the L-8 eventually became the Good Year Blimp America from 1969 to 1984. After that it sat in a field rusting but was recovered and restored. The gondola now sits in the Pensicola NAS, a really great place to visit with a good research library.

Have a great Memorial Day and remember the crews of the L-8, L-2 and G-1!

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Robert Mitchum – Night of the Hunter 1955

Movies That Are Awesome

Is there a more creepy film that this? Is there a better bad guy that Robert Mitchum? The shot of Shelley Winters at the bottom of the lake! WOW! Why didn’t Charles Laughton direct anything else! And Lillian Gish! What a f**king great career that women had!

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Robert Osborne, Touch of Evil, and Life of an American Fireman.

OK, so, a bunch of people came to this site last week but no one clicked through to my YouTube page. That’s fine! I’ve got thick skin!

So, I’ve been watching Turner Classic Movies Tribute to the fantastic Robert Osborne. Oh, how I am going to miss him. He had not been on TCM for some time, so I figured something was up. I like Ben Mankiewicz! How could you not? His Grandfather wrote Citizen Kane. He does a great job but I feel bad that he had to live up to Osborne.

We also lost Chuck Berry last night! Damn it! Chuck is another one who has been away for so long, I figured it was coming. Chuck was Mr. Rock and Roll!

On the lighter side, things are starting to come together for The Elgin Dead, my latest short film for Nightmare on Chicago Street. I’ll need to start casting it soon. Hopefully, my friend Dave will get a script for his film.

Speaking of Turner Classic Film, Wednesday night, Touch of Evil by Orson Welles will be on. You have not watched that you, what is wrong with you! OK, so Charlton Heston plays a Mexican, I get it, but if you can get beyond that, it is a great film.

So, what follows in the dialogue for my short video on Life of an American Fireman I just posted on YouTube.

The Life of An American Fireman Part 1

It is common when discussing the history of the motion picture to attempt to find the person who was, “The First”, to say so and so came up with the concept of this or that before anyone else, but in reality, trying to pinpoint a definitive start of a new concept or idea is not so easy. The creation of the modern film was not created in a linear way, many ideas were being worked on and developed at the same time with a lot of overlap and whether this person was a month, day, or even an hour before this one, in my opinion is insignificant. When one hears of a significant discovery or invention, we tend to think of it as a light bulb going off over the head, but that it rarely the case. Most times one takes a lot of work by other people and puts it all together.

For years The 1902 Film by Edwin S. Porter called The Life of An American Fireman, made for the Edison Manufacturing Company, was considered a lost film, a legendary silent film that we could only read about, and never seen. Now a day the film is available for anyone to see in various versions all over the Internet. There are two points of interest of The Life of An American Fireman I would like to discuss, the film’s history and its significance in the development of the motion picture.

The Life of an American Fireman was the creation of Edwin S. Porters, a producer, director, studio manager and cinematographer with the Edison Manufacturing Company, who only began making films of his own a year before. What makes American Fireman important was it use of using multiple shots edited together to create a chronological sequence of events. The film uses nine shots to make seven scenes. It also may or may not be the first to use crosscutting, or parallel editing. You see, the idea that one could cut between two sets of action that are happening at the same time wasn’t immediately apparent to filmmakers in the early days. Most were still thinking in terms of the theater with the camera taking the place of an audience member. In this case, Porter had the action of the fireman outside a burning house, while at the same time, a mother in child inside the house. Until recently, this was thought to be the first example of cross cutting.

Another myth about Porter’s film is commonly thought of as being influenced by a 1901 English short film called Fire, directed by James Williamson. This might be true to some extent but there is a bit more to it than that.

Before the age of film, there was something called The Magic Lantern. These were basically still drawings or photographs that were projected onto a screen or wall. A series of twelve images called Bob the Fireman was very popular in the late 1800s, and it was still around at the time Porter made his film. The story of Bob the Fireman was very similar to that of American Fireman. And, at the turn of the century, stories of the heroes of fire rescue part of the mainstream od popular culture, so making a film about a fireman rescuing people from a burning building would have been something one might expect around that time. In fact, there was quite a few other films already produced besides James Williamson film.

What was unusual about Life of an American Fireman wasn’t its subject matter, but its use of multiple shots to tell a story. While Porter may have been the first in American to do this, he definitely wasn’t the first. Georges Méliès 1902 film, A Trip to the Moon used multiple shots and special effects to tell a story. Porter had seen Méliès’s film and was heavily influenced by it. In fact, Porter may have helped the Edison Company bootleg A Trip to the Moon for their own profit, but that is another story for another day.

But even before Méliès, the idea was already around. Originally films were made by pointing the camera at a subject, cranking the handle on the film ran out, about 46 to 60 seconds, and that was it, the film was done. These little films, in many cases, would be ordinary people doing ordinary things, or to document events, like fire equipment rushing down the street.

It was common for people showing theses early one-minute silent films to group independently made films together to tell a story. Let’s say someone had a film of fireman getting the call about a fire, and someone had made a film of fire equipment going down the street, and there was another film of fireman putting out a fire, distributers would show them one after another as if they all belonged together and a narrator would talk while these films were being shown, telling the audience the story. So, the idea of multiple shots to tell a narrative was already there and it was only a matter of time before people began splicing scenes together clips into a longer form. If fact, in a way, that was what Porter did. He found stock footage of fireman in the Edison archive and used those, along with staged action to create his film.

While Edwin S. Porter was most likely the first to do anything he is sometimes given credit for, he did create a remarkable film for its time. When we watch the film, we can see how far filmmaking had become since its introduction less than seven years earlier and how far it had to go to become the art form we all know and love. In Part 2 of Life of an American Fireman, we will look at the film itself. Thanks for watching and don’t forget to leave a comment and like my page.

 

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You Should Watch because I’m a Genius

It is Sunday morning and I am watching a great movie, Bowfinger, and publishing my latest Vlog on YouTube. I was wondering why last weeks Vlog, which is probably one of the best Vlogs ever posted to the Internet, only received 9 views. For a moment I was a little down on myself. But then I began to thing, “What I am doing is just too good for the general public!”

When I think about it, Citizen Kane was a box office flop and now it is considered one of the best, if not one of the best movie, ever made. So it is only a matter of time before people realize how much of a genius I am. Funny thing here, I just spelled “Genius” wrong and didn’t realize it until I did a spell check. Maybe I am not the . . . No, screw it, don’t doubt myself, I am the man!

Let me ask you a question, are you one of those people who don’t see genius, one of the dirty, uneducated, unwashed, low lifes that live under a bridge in a card board box, or do understand that I am better than most and am making Vlogs that will change the world. If so, look to your left and you will see button than reads “THE VIDEO”. Click on that to see my latest vlog.

Or click on the small sign below and you will be magically transported to my YouTube channel were you will see some amazing things.

Visit my page

Anyway, whether you watch of not, I appreciate you reading this and . . . Oh, screw that, if you don’t watch my work you are no friend of mine. Do you want to be my friend? Watch my video.

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The Story of Alice Guy Blaché, Film Pioneer!

Alice Guy Blaché was there from almost the beginning, yet she has been slowly forgot about. What are others remembered from the early days of cinema and this wonderful lady has been forgotten. She had a career that lasted 24 years. Find out on this episode of Old Man Kelley on Film.

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