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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, and Silents on the Islands


Image: Motion Picture News, June 19, 1915

Special Effects on the Cheap

One hundred years ago, movie studios had neither budget nor equipment for special effects, so they leapt into action to film natural disasters such as shipwrecks and use them in a film. In 1915, the Norwegian ship Aggi ran aground on California's Santa Rosa Island. The Universal Film Company of Universal City paid $4,000 for the rights to film on the wreck and produced a film aptly titled The Toll of the Sea.


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