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Film-television hybrid production

Photo: American Cinematographer, 1955

The growing demand for quantity in television production leads to the development by DuMont and Al Simon of electronic viewfinder systems for incorporation in television cameras.
        Simon's Video-Film camera uses a beam-splitter behind the lens to feed images to a vidicon television pick-up tube. The viewfinder has outlets for connection to several remote monitors. The system is used by McCadden Productions (owned by comedian George Burns).
        Du Mont's Electronicam is similar, using an image orthicon tube in an adapted Mitchell 35mm studio camera. The version for television production uses a beam-splitter, the version for film production uses an angled mirrored shutter. It is designed in both 35mm and 16mm versions.
        Du Mont's Electronicam in seen use in a three-camera set-up to record an episode of The Honeymooners, in what looks perhaps more like live theatre—complete with proscenium and tabs— than recorded television.  The programme is recorded on Kodak Tri-X film. The video signals from the cameras are fed to the control booth, where the director can select angles and edits. A kinescope (telerecording) of the edited show is then used in editing to match the edit decisions to the three film versions to produce a final 35mm copy.
        A third format, proposed by Vidicam Pictures Corporation of New York, and a later fourth, from CameraVision of Hollywood, mount a television camera alongside the film camera and use mechanical linkage to reduce parallax problems.  It is not know whether either of these is ever built and marketed.


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Page updated 26 July 2008