Elgin Lessley

Elgin Lessley

Birth
Higbee, Randolph County, Missouri, USA
Death 8 Feb 1944 (aged 60)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Eventide, Lot 1247, Grave 3
Memorial ID 44038723 · View Source
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Cinematographer. Lessley was a hand-crank cameraman of the silent film era -- a period of filmmaking when all special effects work had to be produced inside the camera during filming. Though Lessley worked first with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and later with Harry Langdon, he is best known for the groundbreaking effects he produced with Buster Keaton, who dubbed him "the human metronome" for his ability to crank consistently at any requested speed. Lessley's most striking effects were in "The Playhouse" and "Sherlock, Jr." In "The Playhouse", through use of a specially-shuttered lens and repeated back-cranking and re-cranking, Lessley allowed Keaton to appear as up to nine characters simultaneously, interacting with one another. In "Sherlock, Jr.", Lessley's careful positioning of camera and actor in various locations produced the effect of a man stuck in a movie where his location keeps changing as he struggles to keep up. Lessley retired from filmmaking after shooting "The Cameraman" with Buster Keaton in 1928.

Bio by: Christina Dunigan


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Christina Dunigan
  • Added: 7 Nov 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 44038723
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Elgin Lessley (10 Jun 1883–8 Feb 1944), Find a Grave Memorial no. 44038723, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .