Setting a short step back in time. We’re in 1960, and Joel covered the “High Time Fire”.
The date next to the event is Tuesday, March 1, 1960. Then it dawned on me that the “High Time” reference must be related to the HIgh Time movie. I had no idea till today that this movie was partially shot in Stockton.
Joel photographs the large bonfire, most likely the largest bonfire any of the attendees would witness during their lifetimes.
It is clear from the sequence in this series that Joel doesn’t move around. He’s perched on top of one of the ladders or scaffolds next to the 5kW fresnel movie lights. There are quite a few dispersed around the field, and you can see other photographers or operators on these tall stepladders.
I’ll need to rewatch this movie to see how much of the bonfire is actually in the footage.
The light Joel is stationed at is moving at times across the scene.
Since this is a controlled set, it shouldn’t come at a surprise that once the director is satisfied with the impact, the fire department jumps into action.
The image below shows Joel retreating from the ladder, next to the lone movie spot, he used as a vantage point.
Joel did actually a good job covering this, it is hard to predict any exposure and shutter times for this type of events.
This event was covered in Pacific Weekly, March 4, 1960, see below for more info on the movie cast.
There are more subjects crammed in this box for another blog post.