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The Great Dictator


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#1 Matthew Buick

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 06:04 PM

Hello.

I was watching Clarlie Chaplin's incredible 'Great Dictator' about a week ago, when I noticed that there were two Directors of Photography, Karl Struss, ASC, and Roland Totheroh.

I was wondering specifically why Charlie Chaplin hired two DP's? When he had someone as experienced as Karl Struss working for him why hire Rolad Totheroh? I knoe Chaplin had a strong working relationship with Totheroh. Was that the reason? Or would one have shot daylight scenes, the other, interiors?

Thanks. ;)
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 06:48 PM

It could be that one was fired during production. It could also be that each shot parts that were in different areas for some reason. WHo knows.
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 07:20 PM

Another thing to look at is what films the two DP's shot immediately before and after this one. Sometimes this kind of thing happens because a production runs long, and there are scheduling conflicts.



-- J.S.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 23 July 2007 - 09:09 PM

Most likely, one was fired and the other stepped in at one point. That's the way Chaplin was with DP's who weren't working fast enough. He didn't care so much about how beautiful the lighting was, mostly the performance and getting the scenes done.

But also, according to IMDb, the film was "Shot for 539 days". Don't know many DP's who could have lasted that long on one shoot.
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#5 e gustavo petersen

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Posted 24 July 2007 - 02:01 AM

From Turner Classic Movies website:
http://www.tcm.com/t...=...41&rss=mrqe

For the first time in years, Chaplin brought in a new director of photography, Karl Struss, to work with his usual cameraman, Rollie Totheroh. He did so at the urging of his brother, Syd, who felt that Totheroh?s techniques were behind the times. Struss quickly learned that the director preferred to shoot scenes as though they were being performed on stage. He finally convinced Chaplin to let him shoot the scenes from two cameras at once, placed at different angles, to make it easier to edit the film.

While it doesn't directly answer your question, it does explain what happened a bit.
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