Santa Cruz County History - Films

Full Text Newspaper ArticleSanta Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Dec. 21, 1927. p. 6


by Preston Sawyer

Progressing more rapidly than was expected due to especially favorable climatic conditions, a super-efficient working staff and no setbacks, the Fox Films production unit under Director Jim Tinling yesterday afternoon completed the shooting of exteriors here for a new film play, "Soft Living." The entire company returned last night to southern California.

Locations were used as follows: Forest Glen, near Aptos; Big Trees, and settings near Boulder Creek. It was originally believed the work to be done here would require four to five days.

Director Tinling is a favorite with his company, and has a flare for doing things efficiently and with dispatch. He demonstrated his ability to accomplish things during his short stay here. In contrast with slow-working companies who have filmed here in the past, the present-day trend of the movie makers to "keep moving" and hold down "the overhead" is markedly noticeable.

Camera Experts; Glory in Return

Greeting old friends after a long absence, Joe August and David Ragin, cameramen de luxe, were as one in broadfaced assertions of joy at getting back once more to "God's country." Joe and Dave, the inseparable, are past masters at the noble art of cinematography, and they know whereof they speak when praising the merits of local settings for celluloid registration. Greeting ye humble scribe, "the boys" were brightened with the openly apparent satisfied expression of at last achieving a return trip to a place they have wanted to see again.

"It has been almost eight years," said Dave Ragin, reminiscing, "since the last time we came here, with Bill Hart. I was assistant to Joe August then. I especially remember experiences we had in Felton and Capitola, and the log cabin we used, situated by the river just beyond Big Trees. The name of the picture was "The Testing Block." Bill's leading woman was Eva Novak, and Lambert Hillyer was directing.

"Santa Cruz has been a looked for goal ever since that trip. Although we have approached as near as Carmel on location work, this is the first return visit to this side of Monterey Bay since 1920. Once a person works here he is marked with a love for the region and a desire to come back."

Ragin is now a full-fledged second camera man and still photographer. Fortified by years of association with Joe August, who bears the reputation of being one of filmland's best cameramen, Dave has become a real thing in the art, himself.

Among the best known master productions filmed jointly by Dave and his famous cohort in the past few years are "Dante's Inferno," "Two Arabian Knights," "Rustling For Cupid" and one of the greatest of John Barrymore's productions.

Copyrighted by the Santa Cruz Sentinel-News, Morning Edition. Reproduced by permission.