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Looney Lens: Tenth Avenue, NYC (1924)

Director:

Al Brick
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Country:

USA

Release Date:

1924 (USA) See more »

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Fox News See more »
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Silent
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Anamorphic Lens
25 November 2014 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Al Brick was a Fox cameraman, who liked to play with the equipment. In the middle of the 1920s, he went around Manhattan playing with beam splitters and oddly-shaped lenses for one-minute pieces that were cut into Fox newsreels.

In this one he shot a section of 10th Avenue with an anamorphic lens, one that distorted the image like a funhouse mirror. Although this is clearly a novelty segment, if you pay attention you can see that he moves his camera about very nicely as he focuses on trucks, wagons and the occasional human.

Anamorphic lenses were later used to greater effect with various wide-screen movie processes. An anamorphic lens would "squeeze" a wider image than usual onto a film frame of standard proportions. A movie projector would be equipped with a complementary lens to restore the image to its original proportions on the screen.


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