Wanted: Mitchell NC Matte Box Bracket Holder / Lens

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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 2:47 pm

Wanted: Mitchell NC Matte Box Bracket Holder / Lens

Postby milletfilms » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:40 pm


Like most new/old Mitchell camera owners, I'd like to complete a Mitchell NC 35mm camera package serial #199 with matching parts numbers. New to this forum, I'm a bit ashamed to say that this fine camera will initially be used as prop in a documentary film on how John Wayne and Happy Shahan made "The Alamo" movie in 1958-1959 at Shahan's ranch in South Texas (now called Alamo Village, the world's largest outdoor movie set where Wayne's The Alamo movie was shot with Mitchell and modified Mitchell cameras - Todd AOs). From all available photos taken during production, it appears that Mitchell BNCR cameras were used, modified by Todd AO. Seven of these beasts were used to film the final battle of The Alamo scenes..! However, for some of the B-Unit scenes, production photos indicate that Wayne and cinematographer Bill Clothier utilized Mitchell NC 35mm cameras, again modified by Todd AO, as the Todd AO name was stenciled in white lettering on the outside of the motor, which like the NC #199 I just acquired, was not utilizing a peanut motor, but a larger rounded, blimp styled motor made by Mitchell. Data I got with the camera indicates it was an "S" motor and that camera NC #199 was an NCS 35mm camera..? Any info on that would be much appreciated. We are not filming yet another version of The Alamo movie though, just the backstory on how the movie was made with participation/approval from the Shahan family and production at Alamo Village and locations in San Antonio. This will allow us to also feature closeups of the Mitchell NC #199 35mm camera "in action" in the documentary film, with Wayne directing and Clothier shooting B-Unit scenes.

So back to the present state of the NC #199 camera: The rackover camera body, motor, etc. all appear to be working although it is currently wired for 208v. So not able to test the motor at the moment. It has 400' and 1000' Mitchell film magazines, the Matte Box and Bellows, and the original equipment trunk/case and misc. parts. It's currently mounted on a vintage Miller wooden tripod with Miller fluid head. Paint and coating patina all appear 100% original and there seems to be US Navy markings on the trunk. This has the vibe of a WWII camera, although the seller said it was later used in Hollywood productions. Mechanics look good too.

So here are the current needs for the Mitchell NC 35mm camera serial #199 in scenes to be filmed October 2017:

- Lens (or lenses): obviously Baltar or older Cooke etc with Mitchell NC mount(s) and housing. However, as indicated on this forum many times, these are very hard to find and the few listed on the Bay are all north of 1k. COULD SOMEONE PLEASE INDICATE IF THERE IS A METHOD TO ADAPT OTHER TYPES OF OLDER MANUAL FOCUS LENSES TO A MITCHELL NC 35MM CAMERA? OR AN ADAPTER, ETC? This info would be very much appreciated.

- Mitchell Matte Box Bracket Holder (the bracket that attaches to the camera body with rail rod holes) I have the Matte Box, Bracket and Bellows.

- Sidefinder for the Mitchell NC 35mm camera

Please contact me if anyone has these pieces for sale.

FYI ... I have already contacted the usual retailers for the above listed accessories (Bennett, Stone, etc.).

We are shooting the John Wayne / Happy Shahan Doc Film on Canon Cinema and Canon DSLR cameras with Canon Prime lenses.

As a final note, the definite intention is to get Mitchell NC #199 up and running and to actually shoot on it for the Wayne/Shahan Doc and other projects in the future.

Thank you.

William E. Millet
Millet Films LLC


Re: Wanted: Mitchell NC Matte Box Bracket Holder / Lens

Postby lilybettina1 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:45 am

Hello Sir, you mustn't be 'ashamed' of using your Mitchell as a movie prop. This is why I have mine, so that others can see it in it's natural environment. In fact my Standard #146 was used recently in a scene recreating 'Way Our West with 'Laurel and Hardy' in a movie 'Stan & Ollie' to be released next year. I acted the part of 'cameraman' in the scene (being the only provision,' no me no camera'). Pictures of the actors posing against my Mitchell are not available yet but as soon as, I'll post. Also, I have no spare matte box stuff, side finder or lenses. These will be expensive if found. However, Ebay is a wonderful source and I've found several bits there (including my Mitchell #146!)

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