Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Birth of Home Movies

Magazine article American Cinematographer

The Birth of Home Movies

Article excerpt

This photo was snapped in 1948 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer during the making of the hit musical Words and Music. The gentleman setting up Technicolor camera #10 is Charles Rosher, one of the founders of the American Society of Cinematographers and co-winner of the first Academy Award for cinematography in 1927-8. The gentleman at the right with the 16mm Cine Kodak Special is Words and Music star Mickey Rooney.

By that time, more than a million families in the United States had taken up the home-movie hobby since the introduction of 16mm film some 25 years earlier, in July of 1923. Manufactured by Kodak, the film was a safety stock, unlike the highly flammable 35mm nitrate negative used by professionals. It was a black-and-white reversal film, in which the image was reversed from negative to positive during processing. Bell and Howell beat Kodak to the market with their 16mm Filmo camera, but Kodak offered a complete package of camera, film and projector. The hobby was embraced by actors, directors and even cinematographers, including Rosher, James Wong Howe, ASC and Daniel B. …

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