Popular Science Monthly
��Vol. 89 No. «
��239 Fourth Ave., New York
��Catastrophes by the Foot
��To paraphrase the word.s of a well- known humorist, there is motion- picture realism and, on the other hand, there is motion-picture realism. There is cinema realism which consists mainly in cheap and uncon\incins illu- sions. Into this class falls llie director who substitutes a miniature dreadnought in a batiuub for the real article, or the director who mounts his camera on a rolling i:)latform, this de\'ice giving to the steady deck of a ship the appearance of rolling and tossing. On the other hand there is the director who will command his pla\-crs to leap real precipices on horseback. He is the same director who t, will sink a com p a n y of
��a stretch of nailed-down scenery on a floating dry-dock. This type of director is the man who is giving the public its most shivery thrills.
Sinking a "set" on a floating dry-dock has been done more than once. In fact, it is a favorite trick. A stateroom of a ship is built of wood strips, painted can- vas and a porthole. It is erected on the platform of a floating dry-dock and the camera adjusted. The action, dramat- ically speaking, starts. The sea-cocks of the dock are opened and it gradually sinks. Water creeps up — the ship is sinking! The cameraman cranks, the actors go through all of the pantomimics necessary to convey the alarming infor- ion that he ship is
���Would you care to be a motion-picture operator or a motion -picture actor, after this? Would you look brazenly out of the picture and care naught for the opinion of the man on the wharf?