Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Disney Film Recording Corp. Roy Disney with trucks, 1929

The photograph in this post is currently being offered on eBay right now. While I have read about the Disney Film Recording Corporation and how the brothers had a fleet of mobile sound trucks, until yesterday I had never seen an image of one.

The following great image shows two converted trucks and another vehicle - the sum of the rolling stock of the Disney's Film Recording Corp. Walt's brother Roy is pictured in the center of the image, which appears to have been taken on a Studio back lot. I'm not sure who the fellows on each side of Roy are.

Walt Disney signed a contract with his distributor Pat Powers for the use of Power's sound recording system, known as Cinephone. In 1927 Powers had hired a former DeForest Phonofilm sound technician and had him create a clone of the DeForest system, which Powers promptly marketed as his own. The sound technician's name? None other than Bill Garity. 

 Detail from a 1929 trade magazine ad.

After inking an option deal in the spring of 1929 for the further use of Power's sound system, Bill Garity traveled to Hollywood to oversee the installation of Cinephone equipment at the Disney's new sound studio, which was located across the street from Paramount on Melrose Avenue. After the construction of the Animator's Building No. 1 and the sound stage in 1931, the sound studio was relocated to Disney's Hyperion Avenue Studio.

 March 7, 1929 The Film Daily article.

March 27, 1929 The Film Daily article.

Garity was later hired by Walt Disney and became the Studio's chief sound technician. He also helped design the Studio's version of a multiplane camera, (for which he holds the patent on), as well as several other pieces of equipment. My friend Hans Perk has written extensively about Garity on his own blog A. Film L.A.

UPDATE - I'm just wondering now if the person on the far right side of the photo might possibly be Bill Garity? Here's another image the person selling the image posted:

Click on any of the images to make them appear larger.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1924 Walt Disney and Virginia Davis photo

Stumbled across an interesting site tonight while conducting some research on the internet. Young Hollywood Hall of Fame showcases some of Hollywood's youngest stars going all the way back to 1908. They happen to have a nice page devoted to Disney star Virginia Davis.

The above image was taken at Santa Monica Beach during the filming of a 1924 Alice Comedies titled Alice's Day At Sea. Virginia Davis is seated second from the left, a young Walt Disney sits to her left, while Virginia's mom (seated) and dad (standing) appear on the far right side.

Click on the above image to see a larger version. If you look closely you'll see a dog on the left side of the fire pit standing on its hind legs. Walt Disney is smiling, while the dog seems to be the focus of everyone's attention.

Be sure to check out the Young Hollywood Hall of Fame for more great Virginia Davis images.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Walt at Harvard, June 23, 1938

This great image was sold on eBay last week. The photograph shows Walt Disney, walking on the left, at Harvard, where he received the Honorary Degree of Master of Arts on Commencement Day, June 23, 1938.

To read a great essay about this event, and the honorary degree Disney received from Yale the day before, visit my friend Michael Barrier's website by clicking on this link.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pinocchio photostat model sheets

Fellow collector and researcher Robert Cowan sent me an email after seeing yesterday's post about the very first Pinocchio model sheet. Robert thought readers would be interested in seeing the following pair of photostat model sheets from his own collection.

I have seen literally dozens and dozens of model sheets over the course of the many years I have been collecting vintage Disneyana. I must admit, however, I have never previously seen either of the above model sheets Robert sent along.

I'm curious to know when the above revised sheet was created. If you look closely at this sheet you'll see written above the second image of Pinocchio at the top right side of the paper the notation, "OK Joe Grant." That notation was the signal the model sheet was officially approved and ready for distribution to those working on the film. Later sheets were initialed simply "OK JG." It's also interesting to note the design of Pinocchio in the revised sheet has changed substantially from that first model sheet shown here yesterday.

I also think it's fascinating to see the one sheet of all of the poses for Pinocchio's head. I think this just indicates the lengths Walt Disney and his artists went to in order to assure continuity when making a feature.

My thanks to Robert for again sharing some great items from his collection...very much appreciated. To see more of his collection click on the link under the Friends heading to the right.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Albert Hurter Pinocchio model sheet

Continuing now with some more posts of material from the Disney Studio Model Department, I present this absolutely stunning model sheet of Pinocchio. This wonderful piece of original art comes from the collection of my very good friend Dennis Books.

Dennis reports, "This model sheet is composed of images created by legendary concept artist Albert Hurter, and is the first model sheet ever created of Pinocchio. These details were confirmed by both Joe Grant and Bob Jones."

This art depicts Pinocchio with paddle hands, which were later changed to fingered gloves. The style of shoes worn by Pinocchio in the finished film were also changed, and the length of his shirt sleeves were also elongated to cover the joints on his arms.

In this instance, you can see where the person who assembled this model sheet cut out images from other sheets of paper and glued them onto this one piece of heavy stock paper. The original model sheets where reproduced as photostats and distributed to those working on the film.

An outstanding piece created by a master artist!