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douglas barnett

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About douglas barnett

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    Los Angeles
  1. I worked there for two years in the early 1970's, and since i knew my stuff (i had just left the US Army as an eye ear nose & throat Specialist) they stuck me at a bench to carefully assemble and tune their latest 16mm camera; 1,000 still-frames-a-second with four registration pins and eight pulldown claws. After building four cameras in 18 months of 10 hour days (Bud F├╝hrer owned the place) I was moved to the one-man lens department and made the mistake of siding with the new union. Oh well, grabbed a job off the wall of the unemployment office 'building NASA type models' for $5 an hour in a big empty warehouse at 6842 Valjean Av. in Van Nuys... but never built a model there.
  2. Cunningham built a field camera for WWII with this movement. The frame you see is magnesium i think, a very stable and well understood method of casting camera parts. The green coating seams fairly hard, the steel inserts help lessen wear. Most field equipment is not built for a long life, go figure. Registration pins are big on one side, tall on the other side. The cams allow for 120degree shutter at best. But, war is conducted in natural light for the most part. Gandhi (NOT a war flick) was shot in natural light. Shutter timing was so small that the strobeng made me nauseous. My father said the 35mm Cunningham were not well liked because of the rifle stock design, nice cameraman would get shot at. I built this moment into a couple of small "motion controlled" boxes for special uses, one was taking 100,000 frames of the ass end of a model KC135. The result was transferred to two huge magnetic disk, alternating the read heads for a flight simulator of Air Force refueling. I also built an overhead 20foot x 5foot motor controlled track with this movement at the end of a 3 inch tube for tabletop photography, competing with Kenworthy's AO optical system.
  3. Actually, i'm a bit of a Luddite, having a computer in my home only every other year. But, noting the question of matte paintings, Kodak's new 100asa 5247 was so sensitive to green that Joe Johnston had to stay up nights for weeks re-painting Harrison Ellenshaw's 3'x5' glass-work, way over into the pinks to get a useful element to composite many of the painted matts. Tatooine and the top of the sand crawler were very reddish anyway. ILM traded Disney a "engineering walk-through", in exchange they fixedreplaced our live worm brigade under the same Landspeeder driving in town. By 1979 Disney had THEIR motion control track system, "ACES?". Built into a concrete trench, massive and grey like a Navy shell loader, they had used the godawful Nazi "Askania" eight perf film movement; sprocket pulldown plus registration pins.... with a 13 frame registration error cycle. HaHa. George put their fix, and a completely new audio & ADR soundtrack into that summers 35mm release. Anyway, for a larger dose than i have, see
  4. The opening of 1977 Star Wars is a 15 inch model lifeboat pod dropped toward camera from atop a forklift. Stars are mica bits, cross lit. Darth's Empire Ship spinning away is a cut out Polaroid taped to a 16'x6' curved back-lit plexiglass sheet, painted black and scrached with "stars". Camera was rolled as it dollyed back. The Landspeeder has a long plastic mirror at 45degrees under it, reflecting the desert. The jungle lookout nest is a rubber trash can, the boys got to go to Guatemala for that one. The PG-R rating is 20 frames of a severed plastic arm laying on a plastic palet. R2D2 uses an offtheshelf airplane RC unit & servos, rebuilt in my home garage for the public "openings". The real trick was to precisely mimic WWII stock footage AND shoot against black backgrounds with effective shutter open times of 90%. In 2001, Kubrik never crosses the limb of a planet with another object....Breaking the rule, when the rabble(SIC) blockade runner is tractored into Darth's docking bay, we lost the optical mat for a few frames in the original 70 and 35 prints:( We spent months designing an auto-focus with paper tape programing on a PDP09. Never could use it, the PNP transistors were not fast enough. CGI? Connect-the-dots Evens& Southerland vector machine couldn't even block transparency (hidden lines). We Fooled Ya.
  5. Technovision, George Lucas shot his second THX film, and Tucker, 1988. such a box exist. I would mask the normal 35mm frame at centerline, an original B&H 2709 has built in mat box ahead of the gate, and rewind for a second inverted pass so you don't waiste half your stock. The 2709 also has film notch-er to mark the loaders matching starting frame, and a automatic cross desolve feature built in. I owned a machine shop for eight years and did crazy things like converting from 6 perf pull down to 8 perf, bandsawing up Mitchells, B&H's and theater projectors for $Hollywood and building special film gates. Not worth it for a single film. I have a 35mm 24-30fps Kinescope camera with two registration pins and a 300degree shutter open time. You could start there:)
  6. Kodak sold a still photo imbibition color set as late as 1980, never found a source. I owned a pair of blue 3 strip coaxial 35mm Technicolor 100foot? magazines for years, lost them to a forest fire in 1999. Most of the original "blue box"'s were converted to Disney "green screen" proses cameras, Paramount's VistaVison or whatever, I owned a Tecnnicolor door dolly for a while. Apex on SanFernado Road in Sun Valley may be a start.
  7. I may be late on this Mark Armisted was John Ford's XO in the Field Photo Branch of the WWII OSS. Mitchell and the Bell&Howell (2709 shuttle) were in the US Army's competition for a metric high speed 35mm camera pre-war, both qualified for the Army contract by redesigning their Hollywood standards. Almost all of the studios except Republic went "off line" during the war, Armisted ended 1945 with more Michells under his command than any one on earth. Armisted offered my father a pair of Kodak prism 16mm HS, but never delivered, setting up his rental biz instead. He did show up at my mother's funeral in 1981. Doug "1 inch" Freis started the pelical reflex modifications, he had been an engineer at Photosonics in the 1960's & i saw blueprints of his with one inch errors when i was building 16mm 1000fps pin reregistration cameras there. When BobAble was on the StarTrec Film in 1979, we were getting parts from Doug Freis, one inch out of print. Go Figure.
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