shooting movies in the 1920s

Roy Tash and Friend
Late 1920s – William James
City of Toronto Archives

Toronto. I visited my youngest grandson the other day. The eleven year old showed me his new iPad, bought with his own hard earned money. The past few weeks he has been busy creating animations. He has his own YouTube channel for his stop motion videos. The stop motion work began a few months before he bought his new iPad. He uses a cheap ($6.99CDN, $4.99USD) program called Rough Animator which has the necessary tools to create animated videos.  For a few years now he has created movies and movie trailers on his iPod Touch using iMovie.

Imagine how he would have done such work nearly a century ago using an expensive mechanical camera and reels of film! Those reels had to be developed and then edited to combine short bits into a cohesive movie. Hardly a job for an amateur let alone a child … The time delay between shooting and editing would turn off all but serious professionals.

In the 1920s, Roy Tash made his name creating such shorts with a heavy electrical-mechanical camera, reels of film, and a heavy old editing machine. This photograph taken by William James in the late 1920s is in the City of Toronto Archives as fonds 1244, item 8192. It shows Roy Tash proudly standing next to his massive tripod mounted movie camera.

Thanks to Goldie who emailed me about this image of Tash. He also posted it a few years ago (March 19, 2010) on the UrbanToronto website

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