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Mohr, Hallocked

(02 August 1894–10 May 1974)
  • Dan Streible

Extract

Mohr, Hal (02 August 1894–10 May 1974), cinematographer, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of a prominent businessman. Raised in an upper-middle-class family, Mohr demonstrated his interest in motion picture technology from an early age. His childhood toys included a magic lantern slide projector. He was exposed to moving pictures at age eleven, when films depicting the devastation of the 1906 earthquake were screened widely in his hometown. “That was a miracle,” he recalled to an American Film Institute seminar in 1973, “I had no idea how it was done. So that became the aim of my life, to find out how that picture was made to move. It’s been the aim of my life ever since.” In 1909 he began working for the Miles Brothers film company, inspecting movie prints. There he got his hands on a projector and with some inventive tinkering turned it into a camera. He shot news events and sold his short, amateurish films to local theaters, dropping out of high school to pursue filmmaking....

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