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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," Silents on the Islands, Way Back When: SB in 1924


Image: Exhibitors Herald, January 14, 1922

Nasty Language on the Set


"The studio vernacular of stage electricians proved disconcerting to a nervous visitor from the Midwest during the filming of . . . The Unfoldment. [This 1922 silent movie was also filmed on California's Santa Catalina Island.] When the cameraman yells 'Feed 'em' it means the electrical current is turned on; 'Hit 'em' is the signal to strike a blow against a tube in case a light flickers; when the command 'Kill 'em' is given, the lights are turned completely off.


"Kern was directing Florence Lawrence and William Conklin in a dramatic scene. 'Feed 'em' commanded the electrician. 'Oh, they are serving lunch to the players, aren't they?' smiled the visitor. A few minutes later the chief electrician yelled, 'Hit 'em hard.' The nervous visitor became visibly more nervous. 'Now kill 'em dead,' howled the chief electrician. The lights went out and Director Kern said, 'Good work.'


"'Mercy, but this studio is a brutal place,' said the visitor in a horror-struck voice, as she swept off the stage. 'I'm going to notify the police of these goings on,' she concluded as she banged the stage door.'" – Los Angeles Herald, February 21, 1921


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