Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

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Feel free to discuss any topic related to the Mitchell Camera. Both 35 mm and 16 mm models are welcomed here. Also consider posting topics of other major motion picture cameras that you feel are important to the development of the Mitchell Camera. Feel free to upload a photo from the option on each new post.
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Temporary custodian
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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Temporary custodian » Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:42 pm

Hi Mark,
thanks for offering to search for on set photos of my blimps. i have attached more photos showing magazine #10. I intend to put magazine blimp #10 on top of camera blimp #73

Kind regards. John
Attachments
Mitchell camera blimp MGM USA magazine blimp MGM UK.jpg
Magazine blimp 10.jpg
Magazine blimp #10 plate attached by JS to replace missing plate.jpg

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Temporary custodian » Fri Feb 12, 2021 4:51 pm

Hi Mark,

I will be removing the brass plate from the front of magazine blimp number #10 and will get a new plate with wording indicating that only the magazine blimp is #10. I originally added the brass plate to cover 4 holes which is where I assumed a plate once was. You'll notice the only provenance I could attach to the magazine blimp was that it had been used as a prop in a movie.

Kind regards. John

mediaed
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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by mediaed » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:36 pm

John,

Curious as to why you would switch the mag blimps?

#10 has some really great provenance. The 4 holes were probably from an Obie light mount.

Is #10 in really bad shape?

ED.

marop
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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by marop » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:51 pm

John,

I have not had a chance to look at my records yet to see what I had previously found on BNC 10. You could also search on eBay and the Internet. Use various search terms like “MGM behind the scenes”, MGM Director, MGM Candid, and so on. I have found lots of pics on eBay as well as the Internet. I have also personally searched photos at the Hedrick library. Whenever I run across any camera serial number, I make record of it. This is why I have some info of your BNC 10.

I couldn’t find a BNC on set with the lens box showing a camera number on it, as an example. We probably have one elsewhere in this thread. Ed May have one as well. He found a camera that Richard Bennett (dealer and historian) owns.

Mark

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Temporary custodian » Sat Feb 13, 2021 4:28 pm

Hi Mark,
Thanks for the advice regarding searching for camera provenance. I know Richard Bennett in LA. He is very knowledgeable and a thoroughly nice bloke. Kind regards.
John

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by marop » Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:30 am

John,

I did a quick search of my photos but could only find one photo, so far. However it is a cool picture because it has the actor, John Wayne, behind your blimp! I’ll try to upload it later...

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Temporary custodian » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:36 pm

Hi Mark,

Good morning from Brisbane. We are hearing a lot on our news down here about the cold and snow over there. I'll bet you guys are inside in front of fires drinking hot chocolate (or gluhwein)
Thank you very much for your researching the history of my magazine blimp. You don't get much more famous than John Wayne. I posed the question to Ed about registering a blimp and he advised that because the magazine blimps were interchangeable it's only possible to register the camera blimp with the camera inside. Both of my blimps are empty but magazine blimp number 10 on top of may camera blimp marked 73 looks fine and if I am able to print and frame a photo of John Wayne in front of the blimp it would make my day. Thanks again Mark.

Kind regards. John

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by marop » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:10 pm

John,

I'm not sure if my pm message went through or not. I love in California in the San Francisco Bay area and the weather is not as bad as in many parts of the US.

The pic I have shows it was a Warner Brothers production and has "10" painted on the side of the blimp. I can't tell, however your blimp may have been painted over and the number may not be visible. I have full confidence this is your blimp. It's cool that it came within inches of John Wayne! I used Photoshop to improve the pic a bit. I got it off ebay or the internet.

I hope this gives you some enjoyment. This is all cool stuff to me. I'll keep looking for other pics/info.

Mark
Attachments
BNC10.jpg

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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by Temporary custodian » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:18 pm

Hi Mark,
Many thanks indeed for finding the fabulous photo with John wayne and number 10. I have visited San Francisco several times. I was there in 2008 to film part of my documentary THE TRAGEDY OF THE MONTEVIDEO MARU. Here is a link to the trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un7S4vSzedU
My Boston mate Jay flew across to San Francisco and filmed for me at the USS PAMPANITO and as Producer/interviewer I had the honour of interviewing the American submarine veterans. I stayed in contact with a number of these wonderful men until their passing. I have a question for you. Did US studios paint numbers on their blimps corresponding to the number on the small metal Mitchell factory emblem?
Thanks again for searching for me. I had spent several hours searching behind the scenes shots to find the majority featured the actors with a small number including cameras. The shot you found of John Wayne is certainly an exception. Kind regards. John

marop
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Re: Mitchell Cameras; ownership history

Post by marop » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:47 pm

John, haha, I’ve spent many hundreds hours looking through photos and records over the years! I’ve been to the Herrick Library (which is actually the library of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences). I have spent days there looking through photos and records. Like I said, if I find ANY camera with serial number info I keep record of it.

I have not seen a lot of numbers painted on BNCs so to answer your questions, no, not as a rule. However some studios did. Part of what I try to do is verify what I think I see. As in your blimp, I thought it “could be” the serial number when I first found it. I was confident that it was when I looked up the sales records and saw that serial number did belong to Warner Bros.

I’ll check out your trailer. Thanks for sharing that. Years ago I did go to the USS PAMPANITO and check it out. Sounds like a cool documentary.

I’m glad you enjoy the history.

Mark

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