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Movies & Million-Dollar Mansions, Behind the Scenes at the "Flying A," & Silents on the Islands


Motography, October 18, 1913

In the Days of Trajan


One of the reasons why early filmmakers settled in California was the ability to film outside in the winter. This month, I'm featuring news about happenings during silent movie filming in December.


Santa Barbara's "Flying A" filmed a movie about Ancient Rome in the fall of 1913. Many of the scenes with men in sandals and skirts for In the Days of Trajan were set outdoors on several of the million-dollar mansions in Montecito. Trajan [TRAY-juhn] is the emperor of Rome, and he feels that if you aren't with him, you are against him.


One of the estates used for filming was "El Fureidîs," the James Waldron Gillespie property in Montecito. (This estate still exists, although it has been altered over the years.) It sounds like a number of area residents were recruited for crowd scenes. "Nearly 100 people will be used with the Gillespie place as the principal setting." – Santa Barbara Morning Press, December 15, 1912


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