Magazine article American Cinematographer

Ray Rennahan, Asc Honored by Star in Hollywood's "Walk of Fame"

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Ray Rennahan, Asc Honored by Star in Hollywood's "Walk of Fame"

Article excerpt

On the boulevard which epitomizes the motion picture industry one of Hollywood's greatest cinematographers is immortalized

Just in time to help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Hollywood (and, incidentally, the 50th Birthday of Mickey Mouse), Ray Rennahan, ASC, became the 1,699th entertainment luminary to be honored by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce when his star was dedicated in the "Walk of Fame" at noon, Wednesday, October 11, 1978.

Rennahan's star is located at 6916 Hollywood Boulevard, directly in front of the Max Factor building between the stars previously dedicated to Peter Lawford and Sunny Burke.

According to the American Society of Cinematographers and Apollo Eleven Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, an Honorary Member of the A.S.C., if all of the motion picture film exposed by Ray Rennahan during his career as a movie cameraman, spanning nearly seven decades, was laid end-to-end, it would make a 35 millimeter path to within walking distance of the moon.

Born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, May 1,1894, Ray Rennahan launched one of the most successful cinematography careers in the motion picture industry when, in 1914, he started as an assistant cameraman with National Film Corporation at Santa Monica Boulevard and Gower Street in Hollywood.

"In those days," the still spry and active octogenarian recalls, "you could learn any of the crafts of the budding film industry."

Between camera assignments, Ray Rennahan learned how to develop the film he shot, edit and splice his own movies, and found time to learn about lighting, props and special effectsnewly developed talents which would prove invaluable as his reputation grew.

He served his apprenticeship and paid his dues as a black and white cameraman for Mack Sennett and Christie Comedies shorts, as well as early feature-length pictures.

Rennahan's career and reputation moved into high gear when he reluctantly agreed to photograph and develop the film of a revolutionary new color process perfected by a group of Bostonians under the name of Technicolor in 1921.

Entrusted with developing an outdoor as well as indoor color filming technique, including extreme closeups, Rennahan was asked to make a two-reel version of Madam Butterfly to be entitled, "TOLL OF THE SEA". …

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