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Horatio F. Stoll
HE triumph of the moving pic ture is one of the most striking in the history of modern inven tions. In every city practically cf the civilized world moving pictures ere being shown to crowds of spec tators daily, and every one from the tiniest child to the oldest man seems to enjoy them thoroughly. The dramatic periodicals are begin ning- to recognize the serious value of the motion picture drama by printing eerious reviews and criticisms of the new playe. Some plays are favorably noticed while others are blamed for Jack of technique, faulty construction, poor acting- or stage management. The actors, too, have to come up to a much higher standard than formerly. The c*U Is for a degree of excellence which In one performance before the camera \u25a0will stand tho test of performance in all the countries of the world. Often copies of one film must do for the whole world. The motion picture drama is the universal drama; It speaks no Individual tongue but a universal lan ru&ffe. The uses to which these moving pictures are now being put are varied and novel. They are Intended not only to amuse but to instruct as well, for it has been found that even purely commercial and the most scientific top ics . can be treated in a popular and educational way. For example, in many of the large medical universities of Europe it is the custom now to sup plement lectures on the treatment of various diseases and difficult operations \u25a0with moving pictures, which show every detail minutely and permit not only the students of those universities to see an actual demonstration of the work but students in every part of the world, since these films can be multi plied indefinitely. - It is said that the United States navy department has been very successful in securing recruits by illustrating its lectures with moving pictures showing the favorable features of a life on the ocean wave. The United States department of ag riculture is using- moving pictures to bring home to the farmers of the coun try the necessity of modern methods in sericulture. It has always been hard to make them understand from mere descriptions how to handle their crops in this new era of agriculture. The average man on the farm doesn't take kindly to advice he hears or reads — he wants visual proof of the soundness of things. He sticks to the old ways un til he actually sees the advantage of the new. It Is for this reason that the United States department of agriculture is now • adopting the motion picture machine to educate the farmer. Films are being made at the different experiment sta tions throughout the. country showing the new order of things In the way of preparing the land, planting, cultivat ing, harvesting, handling of the crop, how to make roads, how to breed cat tle, horses, sheep and farm animals, and the thousand and one tasks that oc cupy farmers. By exhibiting these films at proper meetings of farmers all over the country, the department hopes to give them actual, visual con vincing proof that -, the old order < changeth, giving place to the new. and the new agriculture means better crops, better farms, better roads and better animals. Noting the Possibilities It is only recently that the com mercial bodies of California have be gun to realize the possibilities of mov ing pictures. -Through them it is easy to convince any one outside the state that California is the land of sunshine, fruit and flowers. The easterner, watch ing happy bathers enjoying a dip ;in ; the sea or sunning themselves on the sand at Corbnado, Long beach, Santa Monica "or Santa Barbara, on New Year's day can not but be convinced ''\u25a0 that the climate is mild." Glimpses of ; . the picking of oranges in the, citrus belt, the blossom festival In the Santa Clara valley or the vintage season; in Sonoma will give him a good idea of the fruit industry, and if he wants to '. Bee flowers his wonder can be aroused i by showing him pictures of the Golden i Gate park or the beautiful drive to < Smiley heights, Redlands, where multi- 1 colored flowers and/ shrubs bloom* the' year round. \u25a0 < The prospective colonist is getting, to i be a very wary person. He has been' . deluged with literature , from every--] portion of the south, southwest' andlj \u25a0 i Showing the State to the World through Moving Picture Machines the Pacific slope, each section claiming to have a perfect climate and offering unusual opportunities for acquiring: wealth. So glowing are these • ac counts and so different the realization in many cases that those who have had their eyes opened have advjsed their relatives and friends at home to go slowly and remain where they are until they can secure unprejudiced ad ' vice and information. Seeing is believing, it is said, and when the various scenes of California are flashed upon the screen, showing conditions exactly as they exist, there can be no doubt in the mind of the spectator. He_can see for himself just how the various Industries are con ducted, how the land - looks and how the people live, .for all this is graph ically snapped by the camera. I r never realized what a potent at traction these moving pictures were to the general public until I visited the' Seattle exposition last summer, and for 'three weeks was identified with the publicity work in the California build ing.^ The special lecture room, where talks on the resources and attractions of the different" counties of California were given every half hour during the day, was popular. Each morning a bul letin board at the entrance' announced the time at which the different lectures would take place and people would come Into the California building, scan the schedule' carefully, returning again at the stated: time to hear some -special section described. All day long people, would ask to be' directed': to the lecture room. - . • ' ~ ';.••'\u25a0 Once I asked several ladies from Idaho which lecture interested them. "Los Angeles," one replied. "Have you any friends or special in-." terest there?" "No," she replied, "but we were told that the young lady who talks about Los Angeles, supplements -her talk, with a very interesting moving" picture showing :an ostrich ' farm, and !we • are -f anxious /to see how they raise ' the birds." Another time a .white haired lady came -in and" breathlessly "asked,' "Am* I :. too late for the Santa Barbara talk?" , ; And • when assured . that the speaker v had only, begun she answered/. "I am' so . . glad, because! want" to see 'the battle : •-' . , ' •'-. '\u25a0'.'\u25a0' \u25a0\u25a0*.. '\u25a0 \u25a0 ' ; - '\u25a0'\u25a0•'. ..; ' - .. . \u25a0 of flowers.' This winter ' I am going to visit my son, who lias recently be come a resident of Santa Barbara. I believe you, can see him plainly In the picture, riding a spirited horse." Following the success at Seattle the grape growers of California began to exploit California's viticultural indus try by, means of a series of moving pictures showing the vintage season, the laborers 'at work and at play, the homes and hospitality of the prosperous grape growers. 'The scenes were taken in Sonoma county, in San: Bernardino county, in Fresno county and a bottling plant at Livermore. ' Value of Moving Pictures That these : pictures have a tremen dous interest for prospective tourists and colonists is proven by the experi ence of Dr. Clarence :E. Ed words of the California Promotion committee, who recently delivered -a , series of 15 lec tures, at \ the United States land and irrigation <\u25a0 exposition held in the; Chi-" cago auditorium. He stated that the viticultural pictures had proven a reve \u25a0 latlon to easterners. One scene in par ticular delighted them. It showed the novel .harvesting, of grapes at Cuca monga. The whole .3,600 acre • vineyard is covered with a network " of -.tracks . and -the grapes 1 are -dumped by the pickers into -small .cars, "which are hau'ed . Into the yard of the- winery by a tiny "engine. -All this is vividly shown, in the moving pictures, the cli max being reachedwhen a half dozen carloads of grapes— tons \of luscious berries— are one' by 'one dumped on a concrete: platform^ to.be shoveled; on an endless auger ' conveyor . that . rushes the - grapes iupl to/ the^ crusher. These quantities of : Juicy "grapes . made „-. the." mouths of the spectators water and'im \u25a0 . \u25a0 pressed upon them the vastness of the industry. As a result of the, illustrated talks over 500 people made specific inquiries regarding our grape land and the wines produced in 'this state. Five times as many more registered and asked for information concerning other indus tries and opportunities offered in Cali fornia." In preparing pictures f or ' the grape growers the photographer studied a' Bynopsis carefully, stating- what was practical ; and what was * not, and how the matter should be treated in. order to -coyer it in 1.000 feet of film. His rejection of scenes suggested blue penciling of superfluous material from a- manuscript. He also' gave the tempo, so to speak, for, in, the moving picture scenes it is often necessary to condense in a : minute what it ordi narily takes five minutes to perform. V 'Much has been written about the me chanical side of the picture production; how the' camera takes, the little pos tage stamp pictures tat the rate of 16 to the second; how the films are de veloped, the scenes fastened together and finally .made up Into a 1,000 foot reel.; which twill take about. 20 minutes tobe'shownrhow/the different scenes are taken at different times "and dif ferent places.'and welded. together into >a • complete whole ; how the end of each topic ..is manifested \u25a0\u25a0; not > by; the 'drop ping of a curtain, but by, the" flashing of a printed announcement of . the new scene upon the ;t screen. >;.Iri\ assisting: vin: the staking :of the viticultural pictures -I. had a good chance ito I study, the care^ necessary : to achieve goodjresults. ;, Everything must be worked out inadvance, so that there Is :a^solutely v no I possibility; of any thing going .wrong., In ; industrial pictures it is;easy/ : enough;toiget' suitable-back grounds and;light;effects,lbut it is often difficult r~to -Tget i laborers, .who vdo not realize the ,workings;ofa-moving = pic ture/camera;: to. be; merely themselves and act naturally.; .They usually work a: little . and ..then stop . and ': await ,' in structions.^;;lf fc you::shouti ; at them to keep -- going .; they; s often • act .as -if j they had ;been struck', with = a;,bullet, and be- : gin to work furiously. i One stupid per son ..will, of ten spoil the whole excellent ; effect; achieved by* a dozen intelligent employes who know what is expected of them. ' W« were very anxious to get some pictures at Asti. showing the Italians picking grapes, but we happened to arrive. there when they were scattered in small numbers throughout the large vineyard, and it was necessary, there fore, to be content with Japanese, who were working near at hand. It was explained to the Jap foreman that at a given signal the pickers were to carry their boxes to the end of each row of vines and pile them one on top of an other. The foreman, who had spent many a leisure hour in nickelodeons, was intuitive and quick, and grasped the" idea in a moment. All the men and women seemed delighted to have pic tures taken and after stationing each one In his proper place so as to be within range of " the camera he an nounced that we could proceed. The machine was properly adjusted and focused, and when the signal was given the Japanese went about their picking, working hurriedly, but acting naturally, as if no pictures were being taken. They were asked not to look at the machine, and they followed their Instructions to the letter. Down in Fresno county, at the "Wak toke vineyard. It was planned to snap a number of Chinese laborers, as they looked very picturesque with their large, flat, sun hats and their peculiar gourd water bottles slung over their shoulders. The foreman refused abso lutely to help. "My boys get paid by the box; they no want waste time tak ing pictures," he "remarked, and as his decision was final there was no use parleying with him longer. A close range view was needed -to show how heavily the vines bear, the dexterity of the pickers' hands and the peculiar little cutter used in separating the bunches . from the ,v!nes. "All right," the foreman was told, "we won't bother you about the other boys, but will you let us take a picture of yourself picking?" The Chinaman . agreed, and he cut away the leaves exposing to view the full bunches of grapes and knelt in position ready to pick as soon as the signal was given. The Wise Chinaman \u0084 When he was told to "pick like h—l"h — 1" he worked "as if his life depended upon it," and the grapes fell Into the basket with such, rapidity that It was soon filled to * the brim. One. of the oper ators bemoaned the fact that the China-, man's sun hat: covered -his face and suggested that he be asked to' push it back. But tho Chinaman intended that the picture; should be lifelike and showed his good • Judgment ' by remark- Ing. 'fTou ; heap - big fool. No can pick grapes quick and look at you. I no want to, cut my fingers oft. This knife plenty sharp." \u25a0'} V? ' "'.\V'. There are often little .Incidents that occur In > the taking of pictures that are purely^ accidental, but help out the atmosphere "v- wonderfully. Following the picking, we photographed the haul- In g and \u25a0 showed two sturdy men lifting the; boxes' from the ground .upon the wagon '.which was to carry the -grapes to, theiwinery. . "With the 'regularity of machines 'i they, grasped < the • boxes, gave themVa.goodvswlng and landed them on the wagon without the least ap parent effortl Theidrlver in turn piled ,them>;on"topt;Ofi one -another 'so as \u25a0to get as I many boxes, on the" wagon as possible: v^As he ,-lif ted . one >of these .boxes V the ;bottom: gave vway Vand ; there was ' a = perfect j showerjof white \u25a0 berries, which clun g \ to • tha .wagon r and i dropped Tlia San Francisco Sunday Call over the side on the ground. ThJs lit tle accident proved very effective when reproduced on the screen, for it gave the eye something to consider besides the boxes, which followed one another In rapid succession. In photographing a large cooperage plant at Fresno an amusing: bit of side business was also unconsciously^ intro duced. 'It was arranged to take a. panoramic view of the Immense yard showing about 5,000 barrels. In the foreground the various departments •were to be represented by workmen so that the spectator might get a good idea of the different stages in the'man ufacture of a barrel from the time it is a buoch of staves until it comes out a finished barrel. As the camera swung around from the warehouse across the railroad tracks to the manufacturing plant it was planned that several heads of the departments should come into the picture, instruct the various? employes, point to novel features and wind up in front of the steaming plant and engage in conversation. Inasmuch as they were not familiar with the working of the machine they walked too rapidly. The operator did not notice this until two- thirds of the amount of film allotted to the subject was exhausted. Then he called to one of the men to get into the picture. It so happened that he was at the farthest end of the yard with about 200 barrels between. him and the other men who had arrived at the steaming plant. Quick as a flash the anxious foreman Jumped on the nearest barrel and hastened to reach the others. But the barrels were wobbly and his prog- "^ ress reminded one of Eliza crossing the Jce In "Uncle Tom's Cabin." Pres ently as he neared his goal he lost hi* balance, and after a struggle 'to save himself went down- and out of sight between two barrels. The expression on his /ace and the oath he let loose as he gathered himself together and brushed oft his clothes, as well as the mirth of his amused friends, who. roared with laughter, are plainly dis cernible in the picture. This accident invariably . gets a laugh when It Is shown, for somehow people are always amused when a person slips awkward ly, even it the resultant fall end 3 seriously. A pathetic Incident, on the • other hand, was the photographing of Luther Burbank and his aged mother. Mrs. Olive Burbank, who only the other day died at Santa Rosa at the age of 93 years. In order to attract attention to Santa Rosa it was arranged to have a aeries -of moving pictures taken of the plant wizard, who kindly agreed to walk about hi 3 garden pointing out the unusual flowers and trees that grew ..there. Incidentally It was plan ned to -have his aged mother, assisted by her faithful nurse. Miss Swanson. come out Into the garden, seat herself In (a •, rocker and admire a bouquet of flowers "created by her gifted son. The kindly old lady was very gracious about posing for the photographer and en tered into the spirit of the thing with great enthusiasm. She followed the instructions carefully and upon being seated took the flowers from hsr nurse. handled them fondly, breathed in their fragrance and .then looking straight into the camera smiled sweetly. The little scene ended when she placed the j flowers on her lap and engaged In con- ~A versatlon with her nurse. " a Mrs.. Burbank expressed a keen de sire to see the picture, but unfortunate ly her r ; strength -failed rapidly after they "were taken and . sh» was unable to have har wish gratified.