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But I think we also see too great a duration of empty greenspace behind the limo, and I suspect it's been used to help conceal the precise limo motion.

That Birds piece was really pretty bad, for close inspection. And I can't imagine any piece of motion picture film that has had more close inspection done on it than the Zapruder film.

But lets talk about the grass. And panning.

In a situation of filming the limo driving down Elm, the things that show the effect of speed is the movement of the background in comparison to the foreground.

From Zapruder's position, following limo down the street, his pan rate starts out slow at the top of the street and increased to its maximum speed when the limo is directly in front of him. After this midpoint the pan speed starts to slow down again.

What does that do the apparent speed of the limo? The faster the camera pans the more background flies past the lens. At the mid point of the film the limo could actually be going slower than at the top of Elm yet APPEAR to be moving faster or at least the same due to the increased panning speed.

This is pretty basic stuff. A slowing limo can look like its moving faster. Anyone can check out how the panning speed changes, test it with any car on any street, just pan the action like Zapruder did.

No need to conceal anything.

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The Birds Trailer

Ubbe Ert Iwerks (1901-1971) (pronounced "Aub", not "Oobe")



LOL I didn't see anything in the trailer that remotely resembled what was alleged with Z-film. I didn't even see birds and humans in the same frame.

Er, you weren't meant to.

So, what was the point?

The alteraationist not claim that the foreground was superimposed on a background but that movements of the people in the limo (i.e. foreground) were altered.

And I seriously doubt the occupants of the limo were illuminated with sodium vapor lamps ROTF

I'm struggling with these sentences. Is this some kind of literary full Brazilian treatment? If it wasn't, it was a damn close shave.

Sorry I wrote that in haste, the 1st should have read "The alterationist not only claim that the foreground was superimposed on a background but that movements of the people in the limo (i.e. foreground) were altered."

I'm not sure what your confusion was with the 2nd.

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For The Record

Mickey Mauschwitz: The Reactionary Politics of Walt Disney

walt_disney-150x150.jpgLis­ten (MP3): Side 1 | Side 2

In both cin­ema and tele­vi­sion, Dis­ney estab­lished him­self as an Amer­i­can icon, and the merged cor­po­ra­tion he left behind after his death is one of the giants of the media world. The real­ity behind Disney’s civic and polit­i­cal life is very dif­fer­ent from the benev­o­lent illu­sions pro­jected onto big and small screens around the world. In fact, Dis­ney was one of the pri­mary fig­ures in the Hol­ly­wood black­list­ing era and had a long pro­fes­sional asso­ci­a­tion with fas­cist, anti-Semitic and orga­nized crime elements.

FTR #301

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At the heart of the Dallas coup lay James Angleton’s Special Investigations Group: It was CI/SIG which selected and served up the patsy. This was done with complete success: Oswald was moved in and out of Russia, and, ultimately, to a post within the Texas School Book Depository at the appointed hour, with ruthless efficiency.

In stark contrast, the provision of an inanimate object, the alleged assassin’s alleged murder weapon, was characterised by an apparently ludicrous incompetence, from its inherent unsuitability to the fact of initial misidentification. How to account for the discrepancy in quality of work? Compartmentalization, and the inevitable division of labour among the coup’s directors? Perhaps, but was Angleton really content with controlling only one element of the plot, albeit a crucial one? His conduct throughout his career strongly suggests otherwise, whatever official hierarchies and policies decreed to the contrary. No, the answer would appear to lie elsewhere. In effect, that the incompetence was apiece with the efficiency – the deliberate work of a unifying intelligence. Two questions are begged: Did Angleton possess a philosophy of intelligence? And if so, what was it?

The shrewdest and most relevant explication of Angleton’s operational methodology was that produced by the Yale’s Robin Winks, English professor and some-time diplomat. If accurate, we find Angelton preferred complexity to simplicity, conceived concessions as indispensable lures and baits to deception, saw suspicion and conspiracism not as an enemy, but an indispensable weapon in his armoury:

What were the specific lessons of Ultra, Angleton wondered? If one is prepared to pay a price high enough price to deceive the enemy – if one will permit a city to be bombed, rather than warn its residents and thus reveal that one has broken the enemy’s codes (as one entirely false story concerning the alleged sacrifice of Coventry had it) one can make an unreal world real. Those with access to knowledge of one’s movements, and the enemy’s movements, must be protected at all cost: in the final analysis mercenaries, and even those simply without access, are expendable. Ultra made it clear that if a superior source is in place, agents could be sent into another system, an orchestration could be built up, to the point of layer upon layer of confirming information would also support the deception. In descending order of importance, therefore, those interested in penetration must control doubled agents, diplomatic channels (or “back channels”), cooperating agencies (such as the FBI), and the businessmen. Each level would reinforce the next. It followed, however, that if one’s own side could orchestrate an unreal world to deceive the enemy, the enemy would hope to do the same. Thus one must be suspicious of all sources and test all levels of information, examine all instructions, for any possible contribution to the unreal world that was pointed against one’s own interests. For the object, of course, was to live in a real world while thrusting the enemy into an unreal one.(1)

Successful long-term deception, then, was predicated, in the compelling Winksian description of Angletonian methodology, upon:

1) Controlling the opposition through its leadership, either by turning existing established oppositionists or else creating false ones (“the superior source in place”);

2) Reinforcing the bona fides of these turned or manufactured oppositionists by multiple, incremental confirmations (“an orchestration could be built up, to the point of layer upon layer of confirming information would also support the deception”);

3) Deploying concessions, both real and pseudo, on the principle of giving some to get more (“If one is prepared to pay a price high enough price to deceive the enemy”);

4) Sacrificing, if required, expendable “own-team” assets (“in the final analysis mercenaries, and even those simply without access, are expendable”);

5) Creating, by careful coordination of 1) to 4), of a synthetic environment, populated by real people, into which the opposition would be shepherded and detained: “For the object, of course, was to live in a real world while thrusting the enemy into an unreal one.”

Was not Clay Shaw, the New Orleans businessman and quondam CIA asset, the classic superfluous man “without access” – to the core plot and plotters - sacrificed the better to re-launch the second version of the Zapruder fake? Wasn’t the emergence of hitherto unknown assassination scene films in late 1967, all reinforcing the reworked Z-fake, a perfect example of “multiple, incremental confirmations” at work? And what was the Z-film but an unreal world into which potential dissidents could be banished without fear or consequence, save for the transparently absurd official report he sought to crush the better to further the cover-up?

Is there any evidence, then, that Angleton ran, directly or indirectly, a prominent studio or director as a mouthpiece and celluloid front? There is, and it is compelling: His name was Alfred Hitchcock.

(1) Robin Winks. Cloak and Gown: Scholar’s in America’s Secret War (London: Collins Harvill, 1987), 342-343

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Is there any evidence, then, that Angleton ran, directly or indirectly, a prominent studio or director as a mouthpiece and celluloid front? There is, and it is compelling: His name was Alfred Hitchcock.


by Peter Cook

Sunday, 27 May 2012 12:35

35. Topaz (1969)

Many Hitchcock films are remembered for their more audacious special effects scenes, but Topaz stands out as a film seemingly devoid of matte-painted effects - yet a number of mattes were used to flesh out scenes without the audience being aware. As was the case with all of Hitch’s Universal pictures, Albert Whitlock was a key collaborator, and never more so than here. This view of the mansion in Havana, Cuba was a completely fabricated matte effect whereby the house, hill, town, sea and foreground are completely Whitlock’s oil paint, with just the tiny ‘slot’ of live action on a small length of the roadway to facilitate the approaching vehicle. Staggering work that, as with so much of Albert’s work, simply slips by the viewer unnoticed.

20. Saboteur (1942)

Definitely one of Hitch’s best films in my book – thrilling, cocky, fast paced and visually arresting. A sensational visual effects roller-coaster ride that’s packed with excellent matte-painted shots, miniatures and a terrifying death-by-conflagration which opens the story. John P. Fulton was Universal’s resident special effects genius, a not undeserving label for a man who had created some of the studio’s finest photographic effects over the past decade, from The Invisible Man onward. The resident studio matte artist was Russell Lawsen, though the sheer volume of mattes leads me to suspect that other artists may well have been brought in to help out. It’s difficult to choose my favourite among the dozens of mattes in Saboteur, though this shot is right up there. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.

14. Vertigo (1958)

Probably one of the most iconic mattes from any of Hitchcock’s films, this Jan Domela-painted tower added to an existing Spanish Mission is one of around six key matte shots from various vantage points which form the cornerstone of this classic film, and were much imitated in later films. Special effects supervisor John P. Fulton was not the easiest man to work with by a long shot, with Domela and the other Paramount technicians constantly at odds with Fulton’s volatile personality. A shame really, as John was one of the industry’s most intuitive special effects designers, with many landmark trick shots under his belt. Terrific perspective here with invisible blending between the art and the location, courtesy of effects cameraman Irmin Roberts.

12. Torn Curtain (1966)

In putting together this list I simply couldn’t omit Torn Curtain. Part of the scenario involved a chase through an East German museum, a geographic impossibility to film due to the socio-political era in which the film was made. To solve his directorial dilemma, Hitch turned to his frequent collaborator, matte painter Albert Whitlock, with the resulting sequence presenting some of Whitlock’s best ever work in the form of some half-dozen mattes depicting the various galleries within the museum. The shot shown below is nothing short of phenomenal, with just the small staircase under actor Paul Newman being real, while the rest of the frame is a Whitlock painting. Even the tiny ‘masterpieces’ lining the walls are all a result of Albert’s skilled brushwork.

4. The Paradine Case (1948)

Hitchcock had always been a strong advocate of matte and special processes in his films with The Paradine Case displaying many amazing mattes where you’d least expect them. This shot is the highlight, one of several conceived in post-production to help strengthen the narrative. All of the shots of Gregory Peck’s tour through the mansion are painted mattes, with no physical sets at all. Under special effects chief Jack Cosgrove, matte painter Spencer Bagtotopoulis and cameraman Clarence Slifer achieved the impossible with Golden Era virtual set matte art – the sort of thing which today is widespread by way of digital imagery and a green screen – Slifer and Bagtotopoulis confidently created fabricated environments some 70 years earlier with just paintbrush, camera and an optical printer.


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  • 8 months later...

Newspaper Publisher's Big Story Would Wait For Good Of Community


By Mark Andrews of The Sentinel Staff

November 17, 1996


Martin Andersen was a transplanted resident of Orange County - as are many people here. But he quickly fell in love with the area and committed himself and his newspapers, the Orlando Morning Sentinel and Evening Star, to improving the community.

Sometimes that meant writing editorials to support candidates for governor he didn't really like because he knew they would help get highways built in Central Florida. Other times it meant working behind the scenes with politicians and business leaders to bring industry - like the Martin missile plant - to town. Or calling in a favor from his old friend Lyndon Johnson to get a Navy base planted 50 miles from the ocean.

The year was 1964, and someone wanted to buy huge tracts of land on the Orange-Osceola County line. A Miami attorney representing the mystery buyer went to see bank president Billy Dial.

The attorney, Paul Helliwell, told Dial there had been a leak in California about the project. If that information were publicized, it would ruin Orlando's chances of gaining a huge new employer, former Orlando Sentinel managing editor Ormund Powers writes in his new biography, Martin Andersen: Editor, Publisher, Galley Boy.

''Let's go see Martin Andersen,'' Dial replied.

''That's the last man we want to see,'' Helliwell said.

''That's the first man we want to see,'' Dial told him.

After their visit with Andersen, the publisher called in his top staffers and told them, ''There is a big deal going on. And while we don't know what it is, we have assurances it will be good for the community, and we don't want a line printed in this paper about it,'' Powers writes.

The buyer, of course, was Walt Disney. Disney's attorneys wanted to negotiate the purchase of huge tracts for Walt's theme park and hotels before enough people got wind of it to drive the price up.

The secret was kept, and Disney was able to buy 27,400 acres at an average price of $182 per acre.

Ironically, what lured Disney here was the junction of two highways - Interstate 4 and Florida's Turnpike. Andersen had influenced the routing of both through Orlando.

Only after the first deed was recorded in May 1965 did Andersen's newspapers report long-running rumors that the land was to become an East Coast version of Disneyland. That was confirmed less than six months later when one of Andersen's reporters visited Disney's headquarters in California.

Andersen insisted publicly that he never knew who the mystery buyer was until reporter Emily Bavar broke the story. But some Sentinel insiders told Powers they don't think as good a newsman as Andersen could have been unaware.

''If he got behind a project, he got behind it all the way,'' Dial once said. ''Martin would go along with anything that was for the good of the community.''

The growth of Orlando meant Andersen's newspapers needed to expand. Perhaps he was skittish about the debt that would require. Could be it was worry about getting unions in his plant. Or maybe the publisher who didn't like to delegate important tasks was just tired. In any case, he began casting around for someone to run his newspapers.

He hired Charlie Brumback, an accountant from Toledo, Ohio, whose parents wintered here, to run the business side in 1957. A year later, he asked if the Tribune Co. of Chicago wanted to buy the two papers. (Brumback later became publisher of the Sentinel, then moved to Chicago and retired last year as chairman of the board of Tribune.)

Andersen and Tribune - along with other potential suitors - danced around each other for several years. Andersen, Powers writes, ''was torn between feeling he would lose a part of himself if he sold, and the feeling that he had to sell because there was no one in his family to leave the properties to.'' The deal with Tribune finally was consummated in 1965.

''My greatest accomplishment was coming here a total stranger, dead broke, and being accepted by the leaders of a community,'' Andersen told the Sentinel Star after he retired. ''We'd go on those trips, fish and talk and work things out, go see people, get things done.''

It is interesting, to me at least, that Martin Andersen was a newsman for Charles Marsh, whose newspaper chain bought the Orlando Sentinel and sent Andersen there to run it in 1931:

...Mr. Andersen, a native of Greenwood, Miss., quit high school at the age of 15 to support his family. He joined the Associated Press and then went to work for Texas publisher Charles E. Marsh, who owned a chain of papers, including the Orlando newspapers. In 1931, Marsh sent him to Orlando to take over the papers there.

At first he paid the staff in 20 percent cash and 80 percent script, redeemable from stores that used it to pay for advertising in the papers. Mr. Andersen later said he was unaware that the practice violated federal law. He eventually bought the papers from Marsh.

He also owned a greenhouse, a truck line and considerable real estate.

Eventually, Mr. Andersen became ``one of the six most powerful men in Florida,`` according to a 1958 Florida Trend Magazine article. The most frequently cited example of his power was his efforts in behalf of George Smathers` successful race against U.S. Sen. Claude Pepper in 1948.

So, not only did Andersen know Senator Smathers, he also knew LBJ's close friend and supporter Charles E. Marsh, the husband of Lyndon's alleged mistress, Alice Glass, and owner of the farm in Virginia where Lyndon often hobnobbed with George and Herman Brown. Andersen went to school in Fort Pierce, Florida before meeting Marsh, who acquired the nearby Orlando newspaper and sent Andersen back to run it.

It was in Beaumont that Andersen met the man who later would give him a career-making break: Charles Marsh, owner of the Beaumont Journal. But Andersen didn't stay long in Beaumont, moving after a few months to the New Orleans States, then job-hopping to The Associated Press in New Orleans and next to Waco, Texas.

Back in Texas, Andersen was reunited with Marsh, who owned the Waco Tribune and numerous other papers. There, Andersen saw an opportunity to impress his boss when he learned the publisher of the New Orleans Times-Picayune was visiting Waco. Andersen surmised the man was in town to buy the competing Waco Times-Herald. He tipped off Marsh, who made a winning bid for his rival.

Marsh gave Andersen a series of jobs at other papers he owned, grooming him for management. After Andersen turned around a money-losing paper in Harlingen, Texas, the townspeople asked him to run for mayor. When Marsh learned of that, he sent Andersen and his wife on an all-expenses-paid vacation to Europe for three months, Powers writes.

After Andersen returned in March 1931, Marsh said he had a new assignment for him. He had just bought the morning and afternoon papers in Orlando. While locally owned, both papers had fallen deeply into debt as the Great Depression worsened. Marsh sent his best troubleshooter, Andersen, to turn things around. He was supposed to stay only one month.

Richard E. Foglesong, Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando, 87:

Sentinel publisher Martin Andersen knew Lyndon Johnson through their common mentor, Charles Marsh. After first endorsing Johnson in his aborted 1956 presidential try, the publisher organized a motorcade for him during a 1964 campaign visit.
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