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Old March 12th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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Who Really Invented Video Assist?

Will be visiting the BSC equipment show at Elstree studios tomorrow and no doubt the great Joe Dunton wil be there. I read in Ossie Morriss' BSC ASC, autobiography that Joe came up with the first video assist system on 'Oliver' in 1968 that Morris photographed. However, I remember an interview with Jerry Lewis on the Actors Studio in which he claimed that he rigged up the first video assist in the early 60's, on one of his films and thus lays claim to the title?
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Old March 12th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #2
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I believe it was Jerry Lewis who was there first. Kubrick had a version as well, I seem to recall a video camera being mounted so that he could view the action in the artificial gravity wheel set on 2001 from outside.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #3
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My google-fu is strong. From Wickepia entry on 'video assist'

Comedian and director Jerry Lewis is widely credited with inventing this system,[1] although some similar systems existed before Lewis first used a video camera to simultaneously film scenes with the cinematic cameras during production of The Bellboy in 1960.



I've generally heard it ascribed to Lewis.

The distinction might lie in the difference between mounting a parrallel camera, OR actually using some sort of prism/split to take the image TTL for the assist.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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Though wasn't Lewis just using video cameras to simultaneously record/view the scene alongside the film camera which isn't quite the same thing. I understood that Dunton actually came up with a method of taking a live feed from the movie camera to a monitor which is what is now considered true video assist? But if I see him there I'll ask him!
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Old March 12th, 2009, 04:24 PM   #5
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Ahh, according to Morris, Dunton was working on what he described as a " primitive prototype" of what we now call video assist, but not quite sure whether it wasn't just a video camera lashed to the top of the Mitchell or something more akin to what we know today?
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