GREGG TOLAND

Born: 29 May 1904, Charleston, Illinois, USA, as Gregg Wesley Toland, son of Jennie Turman and Frank Toland.

Died: 28 September 1948, West Hollywood, Calif., USA [coronary thrombosis; died in his sleep].

Career: After a failed attempt at farming outside Charleston, the family moved back to town, where his mother worked as a switchboard operator and enrolled Gregg in a free lab school devoted to training teachers. In 1910, his parents divorced acrimoniously, and, a few years later, his mother moved to Los Angeles, where she and Gregg lived with her brother, Warren, who became something of a father figure to his nephew. Entered the film industry as an office boy with Fox Films when he was 15. A year later he was made c.asst on Al St. John's two-reel comedies. In the mid-20s he was 2nd cameraman to Arthur Edeson on several films. In 1926 he became c.asst to George Barnes at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Goldwyn first became aware of Toland when Laura Hope Crews, a dialogue coach, observed him at work as the 2nd cameraman on the Gloria Swanson vehicle 'The Trespasser'. Crews told Goldwyn, "That young man should be a cameraman. He's got the makings of a great one." Barnes asked producer Goldwyn to give Toland equal billing as co-cinematographer on 'The Trespasser' and 8 subsequent productions. His first solo credit was for the Eddie Cantor musical 'Palmy Days'. Joined the US Naval Reserve with active duty as ph and camera designer for the Photographic Unit and the Office of Strategic Services [1941-45].

In 1934, Toland, who had already been married and divorced, met Helene Barclay at the Chateau Marmont, on Sunset Boulevard. Barclay was living at the hotel, having herself recently divorced and moved from the East Coast to pursue an acting career. In the early days of their romance, Barclay was reprimanded by one of her friends for bringing a mere 'technician' to a party of swells, and when the couple married they kept it secret for nearly a year, worried that news of the wedding would have a disastrous effect on Helene's career. Barclay persuaded Gregg to buy a large house in Benedict Canyon, and threw parties that were attended by Fay Wray, John Wayne, and Bette Davis. When the house caught fire, in the early 40s, Toland was so immersed in his work at the studio that he asked his assistant to go and rescue his stamp collection for him. He divorced Barclay in 1945 and married actress Virginia Thorpe on December 9th in Nogales, Mexico. His daughter Lothian was married [1973-97] to comedian Red Skelton.

Was a member of the ASC.

Appeared in the doc's 'Show Business at War' [1943, Louis De Rochemont; ep 'The March of Time'] & 'Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography' [1991; archive].

Awards: 'Oscar' AA nom [1935] for 'Les Misérables'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1937] for 'Dead End'; 'Oscar' AA [1939; b&w] for 'Wuthering Heights'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1940; b&w] for 'The Long Voyage Home'; 'Oscar' AA nom [1941; b&w] for 'Citizen Kane'.


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During the deeply entrenched days of the Hollywood studio system, cinematographer Gregg Toland's technical and visual innovations set him apart from the flock of doctrinaire technicians and engineers embedded in the formulaic studio factories. He was that rarity among technicians - a cinematographer eager to accept technological advances and apply them creatively to the narrative film form. Toland's talent was readily accepted by the Hollywood establishment, who graced him with a charmed life amid the workmanlike atmosphere pervading most studio productions. Contracted throughout his career to Samuel Goldwyn [although he was lent to other producers], Toland was permitted more freedom than most cinematographers of his time, from being allowed his choice of crew and story properties to converting studio cameras to his own specifications. Working with such outstanding directors as Howard Hawks, William Wyler, John Ford and Orson Welles, Toland was in the unique position of incorporating technological innovations into equally innovative narrative frameworks.

In Toland's early work, in films such as 'Les Misérables', 'Dead End', 'Wuthering Heights', 'Intermezzo', 'The Grapes of Wrath', and 'The Long Voyage Home', he consciously rejected the soft focus, one-plane depth of the established Hollywood house style and strove for a more jarring, razor-sharp black-and-white, employing recent advances in photography that included the use of high-powered Technicolor arc lamps for black-and-white productions, Super XX film stock [a 1938 Kodak stock four times faster than its previous stock without any increase in graininess], lens coating [to cut down on glare] and self-blimped cameras [permitting filming in confined spaces]. 'The Long Voyage Home' is a milestone in the evolution of Toland's technical experimentation, enlisting high contrast black-and-white film, deep focus [with foreground, middle-ground, and background all in sharp focus], the self-blimped camera, ceilinged sets, low-angle lighting, shots composed into light sources and Germanic expressionism.

Toland once said, "I want to work with someone who's never made a movie. That's the only way to learn anything - from someone who doesn't know anything." In Orson Welles, Toland found a fresh perspective and vision outside of the Hollywood mainstream and in 'Citizen Kane', he consolidated his bone-crisp look into a personal style, upsetting Hollywood cinematographic conventions in its wake. 'Citizen Kane' synthesized Toland's deep focus experiments with Welles' directorial flourishes of fluid, moving camera shots and long takes, rejecting the standard Hollywood technique of intercutting. Welles and Toland achieved a heightened reality of space and time that exposed the artifice of the Hollywood house style, revitalizing Hollywood narrative forms and shaking up complacent technical and creative personnel.

At first Toland's deep-focus technique was considered too radical a departure from Hollywood norms. Moreover, Toland's fellow cinematographers found the films that succeeded 'Citizen Kane', 'The Little Foxes' and 'Ball of Fire', too visually dense and confusing, and they complained that Toland's exaggerated depth-of-field sacrificed compositional roundness and rendered the image cartoonish.

Toland was in the process of toning down his bravura technique into a more adaptable style, when, at 44, he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1948.

Where Toland rebelled in the 1930s against the prevalent style, by the end of the 1940s, Toland's technique had become the 'new' Hollywood style, a transformation that invigorated a moribund classical cinema through the late 1940s and into the 1950s, until the advent of television and cheap cinematic gimmicks marked the fragmentation of the Hollywood system. [From the TCM website.]

Poses with Loyola High School junior during Boys Week activities, Goldwyn Studios [1948]

 

Earlier this year the American Film Institute conducted a poll to determine the 100 best movies of all time. 'Citizen Kane' won by a wide margin. An obvious reason for the astonishing audience response to this film is its look, the most remarkable aspect of which is the extraordinary sharpness of every element in every scene. This visual style, achieved in defiance of what was considered possible with the technology available, reflected the skill and taste of three men: producer/director/co-writer Orson Welles, director of photography Gregg Toland and unit art director Perry Ferguson.

Shallow focus, in which one part of the screen is in focus and the rest blurred, thus directing the viewer's attention to the key element of the action, had been the mainstay of cinematography since the coming of sound. The deep-focus technique perfected by Toland in 'Citizen Kane' rendered all the elements – background, middle ground and foreground – in sharp focus. Take the scenes in 'Citizen Kane' where Kane and his wife are sitting at either end of a long dining table in his huge dream home Xanadu, the overbearing Kane looming monstrous and distorted in the foreground, his bored wife listless and diminishing in the distance, but both presented in sharp detail.

Technical and artistic innovations by cameramen have always been a major factor in the development of the movies, and their requirements have been met at every turn by the manufacturers of cameras, film stocks, lighting equipment and other necessities of the trade. Toland was always in the forefront of those anxious to try the new and adapt it to their needs, and he introduced lens and lighting modifications that strongly influenced his colleagues.

Toland was also heavily influenced by art director William Cameron Menzies, who had designed 'The Bat'. The several deep-focus scenes in 'Bulldog Drummond', on which Toland and George Barnes collaborated, are clearly shown in Menzies' continuity sketches. Deep-focus photography demands highly sensitive film and a heavy increase in lighting, but the film stocks available 70 years ago were extremely slow. Somehow the shots were achieved, however, and both cinematographers used the technique to a limited extent in future pictures. The deep-focus photography of these and other pictures received enthusiastic comment, but none stirred the furore that would attend 'Citizen Kane'. [...]

'During recent years a great deal has been said and written about the new technical and artistic possibilities offered by such developments as coated lenses, super-fast films and the use of lower-proportioned and partially ceiled sets,' Toland wrote in American Cinematographer in February 1941. 'Some cinematographers have had, as I did in one or two productions filmed during the past year, opportunities to make a few cautious, tentative experiments with utilizing these technical innovations to produce improved photo-dramatic results. Those of us who have, as I did, have felt that they were on the track of something significant, and wished that instead of using them conservatively for a scene here or there, they could experiment with them throughout an entire production.' Such an opportunity came to Toland when he teamed up with Orson Welles later that year for 'Citizen Kane'.

But first he was to explore most of the photographic ideas that would distinguish 'Citizen Kane' in John Ford's The Long Voyage Home, a somber story about merchant seamen caught up in the opening days of World War II. Toland told Ford of his desire to achieve a quality of realism that was lacking in the prevailing styles of cinematography; very deep, sharply limned images, he believed, would more nearly approximate what the eye sees in real life than the shallower, shifting focus normally used. And he explained that the lighting of interiors would be more realistic if it were done mostly from the floor instead of from the rafters high above where ceilings should be. The sets therefore should have full ceilings. It was customary at the time to use matte paintings when it was necessary to show ceilings, with the lighting coming with seeming impossibility from higher up. Toland's ceilings were made of muslin so they wouldn't interfere with sound recording and the microphones were boomed above the ceilings, which allowed them to be placed closer to the actors for better dialogue reproduction and avoided the danger of mike shadows getting into camera range. 'The Long Voyage Home' was too downbeat to be popular with the public, but lovers of photography were enchanted.

Toland sought out Welles after the 23-year-old 'boy wonder' arrived at RKO Radio. Welles' contributions to stage drama and radio were well known, but as he told Toland at their first meeting, 'I know nothing at all about film-making.' Toland replied, 'That's why I want to work with you. That's the only way to learn anything - from somebody who doesn't know anything.' So Welles persuaded RKO to let him borrow Toland, despite the fact that the studio had a full complement of excellent directors of photography under contract.

Toland would work only with his own equipment, which he had customized to his needs, and with his regular crew. So it was necessary for RKO also to borrow his operator Bert Shipman, assistant cameraman Eddie Garvin, gaffer W. J. McClellan and grip Ralph Hoge, and to rent his Mitchell BNC camera, Cooke and Astro lenses ranging from a 24mm wide angle to a six-inch tele, three camera motors, tripods, panheads, and a mass of mattes, filters and other accessories. Toland used the 24mm lens throughout much of the picture to impart a greater depth of field than was obtainable with the more common longer lenses. The field could be further deepened by using a smaller aperture. To this end he employed the fastest film available at the time, Kodak Super XX. His lenses were treated with Vard Opticoat to reduce glare and increase light transmission. Large arc lights which had been designed for Technicolor photography were installed because their penetrating power is greater than that of incandescent lighting. Arc broads and incandescent spots were used together to light some of the larger sets. Lens apertures employed on most productions were usually within the f:2.3 to f:3.5 range; Toland shot his scenes at between f:8 and f:16. The wider-angle lenses became "for all intents and purposes, universal-focus lenses," Toland reported.

It was fascinating to watch Toland at work. He was a veritable dynamo - the fastest, most energetic worker on any set. He conferred quietly with Welles, usually alone. Welles said later that Toland was advising him on camera placement and lighting effects secretly so the young director would not be embarrassed in front of the highly experienced crew. The strategy worked - as veteran optical-effects cinematographer Linwood G. Dunn noted, 'None of us who worked on that picture had the slightest doubt that Welles was in charge and that he knew exactly what he was doing.' So impressed was Welles that he followed Ford's example of having Toland share his directorial credit title. [...]

Toland found that extra means were needed to maintain sharpness in certain extremely deep shots. Split-focus lenses and carefully controlled double exposures sometimes turned the trick, but were difficult to set up. One example is in the sequence in which Kane's wife attempts suicide: a glass, spoon and medicine bottle in sharp focus dominate the foreground; the bed is in the middle ground; and figures enter the door in the background. Here the foreground was lighted and photographed first, with the rest of the scene in darkness. Then the foreground was silhouetted and the background was lighted and shot in focus on the same film.

Linwood Dunn was another important contributor to the pictorial virtuosity. 'Once I showed Welles what could be done on the optical-effects printer, he used the printer the way an artist uses a brush,' Dunn said. Toland was opposed to Dunn's suggestion of using opticals, stating coldly, 'I don't want dupes in my picture.' This feeling was shared by most cinematographers because the duping stocks of that time tended to produce markedly inferior images to those on the camera negative. Nevertheless, Toland had to capitulate to Welles in many instances because the director had ideas that couldn't have been realized without opticals. Camera-effects chief Vernon L. Walker's back-projection technique was also used for a picnic in the everglades where the background throughout is a miniature jungle vista by Willis O'Brien from 'The Son of Kong', with animated model birds flying among weirdly shaped trees. [...]

Strange as it may seem today, 'Citizen Kane' required a lot of getting used to. If those greatest-film polls had been conducted in 1941 it would have ranked well below the top 100. Audiences in general hated it at the time because it looked and sounded 'freakish'. Many cinematographers found it offensive too, not for its innovations but because it resurrected techniques that had long been considered outmoded.

Gregg Toland achieved enviable goals in a life that was much too short. He had changed the prevailing image of film for all time, had become the most famous and controversial cinematographer in the world and was a source of inspiration to countless colleagues. [From article by George Turner on the Sight and Sound/British Film Institute website.]

·····

'I worked with Gregg Toland for 20 years, and when he went on 'Citizen Kane', I continued with him as head grip. So I was close to the filming and I recognized the contribution made by Gregg. Orson would rehearse a scene as he would do it for the stage. Then Gregg would explain to him why it could not be done for the screen in the same way. Gregg was careful to take Orson aside and explain these things in private. Orson was easily convinced on matters he was unfamiliar with – but not in public; you couldn't convince him of anything in front of other people.

Perry Ferguson, the art director, deserved a lot of credit for the success of 'Citizen Kane'. It was he who devised important scenes merely by using a hunk of cornice, a fireplace in the background and a foreground chair. By using such props and Gregg's depth-of-focus lens, Orson could create the illusion of a huge set. Obviously we couldn't afford to duplicate the grandeur of San Simeon. So it was done by suggestion. The suggestion was very effective. Some of those who saw that sequence will swear that they remember a side wall. There was none.

The same was true of the opera house scene. It was Gregg's idea to shoot from backstage, showing the lights in the theater, but not the audience. There are still people who are convinced they saw the audience in the opera house. But they never did.

The shooting of 'Citizen Kane' was slow at the start because we had to prove certain new techniques. But then the picture moved along. There was a great feeling about 'Citizen Kane'. It was Orson's first picture, as it was for many of those connected with it, and everyone was eager to succeed. Everyone was trying to make a good picture. But we didn't realize how good it would be.' [Ralph Hoge, head grip]



 FILMS

1927

Johann the Coffinmaker [Robert Florey] b&w; short/?m; cph: Slavko Vorkapich

1928

The Life and Death of 9413 - A Hollywood Extra/Hollywood Rhapsody/Suicide of a Hollywood Extra [conceived and realized by Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapich] b&w; exp short/13m24s; cred as Gregg; uncred other ph: Paul Ivano & Slavko Vorkapich

1928

Queen Kelly [Erich von Stroheim; Richard Boleslawski, Edmund Goulding, Irving Thalberg & (uncred) Sam Wood] b&w; co-uncred cph; cph: Paul Ivano & Gordon Pollock

1929

The Trespasser [Edmund Goulding] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1929

Bulldog Drummond [F. Richard Jones & (assoc dir) A. Leslie Pearce] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1929

This Is Heaven [Alfred Santell] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1929

Condemned [to Devil's Island] [Wesley Ruggles] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1930

Raffles [George Fitzmaurice (replaced Harry d'Arrast)] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1930

Whoopee! [Thornton Freeland] c; cph: Lee Garmes & Ray Rennahan

1930

One Heavenly Night [George Fitzmaurice] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1930

The Devil to Pay! [George Fitzmaurice (replaced Irving Cummings)] b&w; cph: George Barnes

1931

Indiscreet [Leo McCarey] b&w; uncred cph; ph: Ray June

1931

Palmy Days [A. Edward Sutherland] b&w

1931

The Unholy Garden [George Fitzmaurice] b&w; uncred cph (add scenes); cph: George Barnes

1931

Street Scene [King Vidor] b&w; uncred cph; cph: George Barnes

1931

Tonight or Never [Mervyn LeRoy] b&w

1931

Play-Girl/Love on a Budget [Ray Enright] b&w; 61m

1932

Man Wanted [William Dieterle] b&w; 63m

1932

The Tenderfoot [Ray Enright] b&w

1932

Washington Masquerade/Mad Masquerade [Charles Brabin] b&w

1932

The Kid from Spain [Leo McCarey] b&w

1932

The Masquerader [Richard Wallace] b&w

1933

The Nuisance [Jack Conway] b&w

1933

Tugboat Annie [Mervyn LeRoy & (uncred retakes) Sam Wood] b&w

1933

Roman Scandals [Frank Tuttle & (prod numbers) Busby Berkeley] b&w; cph: Ray June; ph chariot seq (dir by Ralph Cedar): John W. Boyle

1933

Nana/Lady of the Boulevards [Dorothy Arzner (replaced George Fitzmaurice)] b&w

1934

Lazy River [George B. Seitz] b&w; backgrounds ph (with dir Tod Browning in June 1933): Clyde De Vinna

1934

We Live Again [Rouben Mamoulian] b&w

1934

Forsaking All Others [W.S. Van Dyke] b&w; cph: George Folsey

1934

The Wedding Night [King Vidor] b&w

1935

Les Misérables [Richard Boleslawski] b&w

1935

Public Hero No. 1 [J. Walter Ruben] b&w

1935

Mad Love/The Hands of Orlac [Karl Freund] b&w; cph: Chester Lyons

1935

The Dark Angel [Sidney Franklin] b&w

1935

Splendor/Splendour [Elliott Nugent] b&w

1935

Strike Me Pink [Norman Taurog] b&w; ph dances & ensembles; ph: Merritt B. Gerstad; sfx ph: Ray Binger & Paul Eagler

1935

These Three [William Wyler] b&w

1936

The Road to Glory [Howard Hawks] b&w

1936

Come and Get It/Roaring Timbers [Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson (logging seq) & William Wyler (completed film)] b&w; cph: Rudolph Maté; spec pfx: Ray Binger & (uncred) Paul Eagler

1936

Beloved Enemy [H.C. Potter] b&w

1936

History Is Made at Night [Frank Borzage] b&w; uncred cph (finished the film); cph: David Abel

1937

Woman Chases Man [John Blystone] b&w

1937

Dead End/Cradle of Crime [William Wyler] b&w

1937

The Goldwyn Follies [George Marshall] c

1938

Kidnapped [Alfred L. Werker (replaced Otto Preminger in 2nd week of filming)] b&w; uncred cph (?): Bert Glennon

1938

The Cowboy and the Lady [H.C. Potter] b&w; spec pfx: Paul Eagler; spec cam efx: Ray Binger

1938

Wuthering Heights [William Wyler] b&w

1939

They Shall Have Music/Ragged Angels/Melody of Youth [Archie Mayo] b&w

1939

Intermezzo: A Love Story/Escape to Happiness [Gregory Ratoff] b&w; replaced Harry Stradling Sr., who started the film; Producer David O. Selznick had gone to Europe and brought Ingrid Bergman over to the USA under contract and put her in 'Intermezzo'. They were two weeks into the picture, roughly, and he was going to call the picture off completely because she was so bad. So he called and talked to Gregg and, although we were on another picture then... we took the camera and went over to the Selznick studios. We had the assistant set up the camera on a big leather chair that was there on the stage. And Gregg just put up one light and we had a little light that we called 'Obie' over the camera. We called it 'Obie' because of Merle Oberon. Gregg went over and sat down on the arm of the overstuffed chair which Bergman was sitting in. He said, 'Now dear... look, I'd like for you to take off all of that makeup; I'd like to see you without any makeup.' And when she got it all off, Gregg told her to put on her street makeup, to wear to a party or whenever she went out. The thing is... that she had seen those rushes and she had heard the comment for three weeks on the picture, and she was so uptight trying to make good in this country and with everything going wrong, that Gregg wanted to catch her completely relaxed, looking like her natural self. So this is the way he devised to get her to relax, to get her makeup off and to get her natural charm in... without worrying about lines or what the director was thinking. The next day, Toland returned to Selznick's studio to watch the footage. Selznick (who had wanted Toland to film 'Gone with the Wind') came into the projection room and kissed Bergman. [Ralph Hoge, head grip]

1939

Raffles [Sam Wood] b&w

1939

The Grapes of Wrath [John Ford] b&w; uncred 2uc: Charles G. Clarke

1939

Heart of Darkness [Orson Welles] unrealized

1939

The Westerner [William Wyler] b&w; uncred cph (3 days add scenes dir by Lewis Milestone in February 1940): Rudolph Maté; sfx ph: Paul Eagler & Archie Stout

1940

The Long Voyage Home [John Ford] b&w

[Left] with make-up Maurice Seiderman and Orson Welles

1940

Citizen Kane [Orson Welles] b&w; uncred retakes & add scenes: Harry J. Wild; ph early tests & spec cons: Russell Metty; vfx ph (+ add scenes): Russell A. Cully; filmed 29 June-23 October; + small part

'Photographic makeup and wardrobe tests for the production, which was then called 'Orson Welles #3', began on April 16, 1940, with Russell Metty as cameraman. Metty also shot tests on 26 April and 1 May, showing Welles at varying ages. Toland is first credited for tests shot on June 14, 1940. On June 29, 1940, the projection room scene in which 'News on the March' is shown, was shot. It is listed in the RKO production records as a test, as were scenes shot on the 1st, 3rd, 6th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th of July 1940. Scenes shot during this period that were kept in the final film include Thompson's first meeting with Susan; Kane's discovery of Susan's suicide attempt; Kane slapping Susan in the tent in the Everglades; Kane speaking from a flag-draped platform; Kane being interviewed on the boat deck; Susan confronting Kane in their Chicago hotel room; Susan's singing lesson with Signor Matiste; Kane shaking hands with Chamberlain; and Kane standing with Hitler and Göring. In later interviews, Welles explained that he shot these scenes under the guise of tests, so that once begun, the RKO front office, with whom he had been having difficulties, would find it hard to stop the film. [...] Considerable time was spent after October 30, 1940 with inserts, added scenes, special effects, retakes and a trailer. Beginning 20 November, Harry Wild took over as cameraman, shooting the trailer and some scenes in the newsreel, including the Union Square speaker and the Spanish generals with Kane. The final shot, of Alland in front of the hospital before his interview with Leland, was taken on January 4, 1941 by cameraman Russ Cully, who also photographed one day in December 1940. [...] In an interview, Orson Welles stated that Gregg Toland, who won the Academy Award in 1939 for his work on 'Wuthering Heights', asked to work with him. Toland, in a 'Popular Photography' article, stated that with the backing of Welles, who had a reputation for experimentation in the theater, he 'was able to test and prove several ideas generally accepted as being radical in Hollywood circles'. In an article in 'American Cinematographer', Toland explained the rationale and technique of the 'radical departures from conventional practice' that he and Welles devised for 'Citizen Kane'. They felt 'that if it was possible, the picture should be brought to the screen in such a way that the audience would feel it was looking at reality, rather than merely at a movie'. They rejected direct cuts, wherever possible, favoring instead 'to plan action so that the camera could pan or dolly from one angle to another' or to pre-plan 'our angles and compositions so that action which ordinarily would be shown in direct cuts would be shown in a single, longer scene - often one in which important action might take place simultaneously in widely separated points in extreme foreground and background'. Because of the film's huge, deep sets, twin-arc broadsides, which were developed for Technicolor film, were used for lighting. With increased illumination, use of the new super speed emulsion Super XX, as well as wide-angle lenses coated with the recently developed Vard 'Opticoat' non-glare coating, and stopping down, became possible. Toland relates, 'we photographed nearly all of our interior scenes at apertures not greater than f:8 - and often smaller'. At that time, most Hollywood films were shot with apertures between f:2.3 and f:3.2. Use of the 24mm lens was virtually unheard of, according to a 1947 New York Times article, because of 'the cruelty with which it exposes facial flaws in actors and actresses. Orson Welles employed it extensively in his notable 'Citizen Kane' in 1940, but since then it has been largely relegated to the documentary field'. Toland, through experimentation, was able to get sharp focus in even the larger sets, which extended the length of two stages at the RKO-Pathé studio, a distance of 200 feet. For purposes of realism, Welles and Toland ordered that ceilings be built for the majority of their sets and planned 'unusually low camera-setups, so that we could shoot upward and take advantage of the more realistic effects of those ceilings'. Another advantage of the ceilings, which were made of acoustically porous muslin, was that microphones could be placed above them to avoid problems with shadows. In a 'Theatre Arts' article, Toland noted that they spent four days perfecting the scene in which Mrs. Kane signs Thatcher's papers while young Charles plays with his sled in the snow. 'Citizen Kane' was the first film to be printed on a newly developed fine grain positive, which, according to 'Hollywood Reporter', 'improves the fidelity of both sound recording and re-recording through removal of fine particles of silver nitrate that formerly dotted all positive prints'. Toland insisted on using the new fine grain release positive, and according to RKO memos, RKO president George J. Schaefer agreed to change the lab for the film to Consolidated from De Luxe, which could not do the job because the new stock required about twenty times the normal intensity of printing lighting. In recognition of Toland's contributions to the picture, Welles signed a waiver with the Screen Directors' Guild in February 1941, authorizing his own credit card to include Toland's photography credit.' [From the TCM website.]

1940

The Outlaw [Howard Hughes & (uncred) Howard Hawks] b&w; uncred cph (+ c.asst): Lucien Ballard; spec pfx: Roy Davidson; released in 1943 & 1946

1941

The Little Foxes [William Wyler] b&w

1941

Ball of Fire/The Professor and the Burlesque Queen [Howard Hawks] b&w

1942

December 7th [Gregg Toland] b&w; doc + dram seq + recreations/82m; unreleased; re-edited to 34m by John Ford; prod for the War and Navy Departments

1942

The Battle of Midway [John Ford] c; doc/30m; ?; ph: John Ford & (uncred) Jack MacKenzie & Kenneth M. Pier

1944

Song of the South [Harve Foster (live action) (replaced H.C. Potter) & (anim) Wilfred Jackson] c; live action ph; released in 1946

1945

The Kid from Brooklyn [Norman Z. McLeod] c

1945

Notorious [Alfred Hitchcock] b&w; uncred ph rear-projection footage; ph: Ted Tetzlaff

[Left] with dir William Wyler

"The Best Years of Our Lives"

[Left] with dir William Wyler

1946

The Best Years of Our Lives [William Wyler] b&w; aph: Paul Mantz

1947

The Bishop's Wife [Henry Koster (replaced William A. Seiter)] b&w

1947

A Song Is Born [Howard Hawks] c; uncred cph: W. Howard Greene; spec pfx: John P. Fulton

1948

Enchantment [Irving Reis] b&w

1948

Roseanna McCoy [Irving Reis & (uncred retakes) Nicholas Ray] was scheduled as doph; prod (start of filming 16 October) was ph by Lee Garmes & (uncred) Floyd Crosby


 MISCELLANEOUS

1926

The Bat [Roland West] 2nd ph; ph: Arthur Edeson

1926

The Winning of Barbara Worth [Henry King] c.asst; ph: George Barnes

1927

The Love of Zero [staged by Wm. Cameron Menzies and dir by Robert Florey] b&w; exp short/15m; ?; ph: Edward Fitzgerald (& Slavko Vorkapich)

1928

The Rescue [Herbert Brenon] c.asst; ph: George Barnes