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Victor Duncan Production Equipment Catalog


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I have two (had? - I can only find one now) of these 1980 catalogs: photos attached.

 

There is no reference to the catalog on Google or E-Bay yet to me they are absolutely priceless compendiums of the film making industry at the height of its glory. They have information on virtually every bit of equipment that could have used professionally in a 16mm or 35mm film "workflow," except the last distribution duplication stages.

 

From filming to lighting, record and mixing sound, and editing, all the old and sometimes half-forgotten names are there. There was two pages on triangles (spreaders), which I was interested in, listing 10 manufacturers and descriptions of their various models with photos of many of them.

 

There is no real point to this post, except to bring some attention to the catalog and perhaps see if anyone else has an appreciation of it.

 

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  • 2 years later...

Thank you for posting these pics. They bring back great memories. 

I started my 25 year career in the Dallas film community in 1992. In the 90s, Victor Duncan was still the big dog in the film equipment rental business for the whole Midwest region of the US. 

I must have been there almost every week picking up or returning gear. I was privileged to have been able to speak to Victor on several occasions, mostly about his Model A Ford collection.  But, I would always try to get a story or two from him about his experiences working in the golden era of Hollywood film.

Up till the early 21st century, film gear had not changed much from when it was invented during the silent era.  It had been refined, but was still very similar to the original.  You have a treasure trove of information in that catalog of gear that has been all but forgotten now along with the last generation of technicians ( some are still working,  but most have retired) that knew how to use it. 

I'm sure someone at AFI or ASC would love to have it for their archives. 

 

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of an AFI or ASC donation, but that will probably now happen when the time is right. I went to Victor-Duncan once or twice just to gawk, as a side pilgrimage on infrequent trips to Dallas.

I'm attaching his obituary that I just read:

DUNCAN, ASC, VICTOR Son of Clark and Margaret Duncan, born October 5, 1924, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Frisco, TX on September 18, 2007. While attending Highland Park High School in December 1941 as a junior, he joined the U.S. Navy and honorably served his country during WWII. After the war and earning his diploma, he attended SMU for two years and finished college at the USC Film School in California. Following his dream, he became a cameraman achieving ASC status with numerous Charles Guggenheim documentaries, including "The Monument to a Dream" as well as the dramatic film "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery", starring Steve McQueen. Along with his wife, Lee A. Duncan, he built the largest motion picture equipment rental and sales company in the Midwest; Victor Duncan Inc., which he sold in the late 80's, and is now known as Panavision of Dallas. He also became well known in the Model A Restorers Club winning many State and National trophies with his restored vehicles. In later years, he shared his love of film making through teaching at both SMU and North Texas State University and taught many of his own Victor Duncan Film and Lighting Workshops which lead to numerous short student films, and a nine part series of documentaries on restoring Model A Fords. He spent his later years of retirement near his family in Frisco, Texas. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 22nd, at 3 PM at The Lakewood Theatre, 1825 Abrams Rd. Dallas, TX. In lieu of flowers, please find it in your heart to make a donation to The Alzheimer's Foundation, in the name of Lee A. Duncan. Always a true and consummate gentleman, a gracious host, and the life of every party, he was dearly loved by all who ever knew him, and will be dearly missed.

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I'm sort of an accidental pinball machine historian, so I have a ton of experience scanning old paperwork for stuff.  If you want a nice PDF copy of that catalog before sending it off to the ASC archives or wherever, I can do that for you. 

Random example, to prove my bona-fides:

http://www.backglass.org/williams/kordek_archives/united_grey_parts_catalog_100.pdf

Duncan

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On 1/13/2021 at 5:11 PM, Duncan Brown said:

I'm sort of an accidental pinball machine historian, so I have a ton of experience scanning old paperwork for stuff.  If you want a nice PDF copy of that catalog before sending it off to the ASC archives or wherever, I can do that for you. 

Random example, to prove my bona-fides:

http://www.backglass.org/williams/kordek_archives/united_grey_parts_catalog_100.pdf

Duncan

Thanks you, I will be in Chicago sometime in August, and will contact you beforehand, if that's ok.

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