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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Emlay

My Dear Dad:
    It's only been a week since you left, but to us it seems like a month. We certainly did enjoy your visit, but we feel that you were too much the host when it should have been vice versa, and the next time we get together we'll see that it shall be us who does the entertaining. You surely did make a hit with our friends, the Emlays. They're not through talking about you yet. When Earle and his wife got home that night they were talking about you, and he said to her, "Believe me, I'm goin' to be like that someday."
Letter, Pinto Colvig to William M. Colvig, December 2, 1917


    The Corporation owns a 51% interest in the Stereospeed Productions, Inc., which produces the profitable and popular "slow motion" pictures of the kind featured by Pathe in weekly releases. The camera, invented by Mr. Earle Emlay, is capable of producing 384 photographs per second and is the only camera of its kind in the world.
Advertisement for stock of the Motion Picture Producing Company of America, Inc., Syracuse Post-Standard, December 7, 1919, page 64


PINTO COLVIG LEADS MOVIE MAKERS
INTO THIS SECTION
Series of Pictures Will Be Filmed in Southern Oregon;
Pioneer Mining Story Will Be Taken in This Locality.
    Motion pictures of Medford, Southern Oregon and Crater Lake will first be taken at the instigation of Medford "boy" Vance "Pinto" Colvig, son of Judge William Colvig and member of one of Jackson County's most noted pioneer families.
    With one of the most complete outfits carried by a traveling company, a cast of players of exceptional ability and recognized reputations, a director of like qualifications, and a camera man of unusual training and experience, Pinto and company from the E.R.L. Productions, Hollywood, arrived in Medford last night to take a series of short subject pictures.
Plan Scenics
    According to director Emlay, the pictures will be "brand-new scenics with human interest, clever stories with some comic relief." They will also probably shoot one special picture, "Shades of '49," with locations at Southern Oregon mines.
    The Rogue River Valley was decided upon, after much discussion, partly because they felt its scenic beauties had been overlooked, also because they wanted to get the "right atmosphere, the far away, the bigness, or the 'wide open spaces'," as they call it. The pictures will be released through one of the biggest producers existing, and Medford and the valley, also Crater Lake, will be made known eventually all over the country, according to director Emlay.
    The company includes Ruth Robinson, feminine lead; Paul Power, cast to play opposite Miss Robinson; "Pinto," Earle Emlay, the director; William Stull; Robert Parker and Val Bradley, camera man.
    Miss Robinson is a recognized New York actress, a year ago touring over the Orpheum circuit in dramatic sketches. She has just finished three pictures in Hollywood.
Found Holt
    Mr. Emlay, the director, will perhaps mean more to people of this valley as the one who "discovered" Jack Holt. He is the inventor of the slow-motion pictures which have been used for screen releases for many years. He was director for House Peters, Beatriz Michelena and others in former years, and has since directed many of the other leading stars of the screen world.
New Star
    Seeing similar possibilities he developed in Jack Holt, Mr. Emlay is now focusing his interest in Paul Power, a young man who not long ago graduated from Harvard and who is now rapidly attaining eminence in the pictures.
    "Pinto" and his successful and varied career are well known to local residents. The past year, however, he has added new laurels, writing scenarios and gags for many of the biggest pictures produced, the latest being the screen version of "Topsy and Eva," with the famous Duncan Sisters playing twin leads. Other pictures recently using Pinto's ideas are "The Poor Nut," "All Aboard," "McFadden's Flats" and Johnny Hines. Mr. Colvig will be comedy constructor in the forthcoming productions, also writing the stories and continuity.
    Of special interest also, and adding greatly to the pictures, will be the work of William Stull, cinematographer, who has just returned from Germany and Sweden. Mr. Stull has gone into the business of motion picture photography as thoroughly as it is possible to do. Studying at many of the leading universities here and abroad, where he learned of the latest lighting methods and scenic values, he is now able to obtain innumerable new lighting effects, such as hazes, sunsets, etc., which besides being novel add immeasurably to the beauty of the pictures. Robert Parker, camera man, was formerly with the National Geographic.
    As mentioned before, the company is completely equipped, even carrying their own orchestra and a portable darkroom.
    "We had thought of going to many places" Pinto says, "Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, even Egypt," but decided to come here. The company is at the Hotel Medford and expect to begin operations in a few days.
Medford Daily News, June 2, 1927, page 1


COLVIG'S MOVIE OUTFIT DEPARTS FOR PROSPECT

    Vance "Pinto" Colvig, former local resident, representing the E.F.R. [sic] movie company of Los Angeles, and a crew of seven, left this morning for Prospect, where they will establish camp for the taking of Crater Lake movies, also snow and timber scenes, for use in forthcoming productions. Upon the return of the party movies will be taken of scenes in this city, and also views of Jacksonville, for use in "Days of '49" pictures. In the shooting of Crater Lake, it is planned to use an airplane.
    "We will take about four sets of pictures here," said Colvig, "and will use some of them in productions to appear in the fall, and others will be scenically descriptive views. I want to get some pictures of Jacksonville and adjacent country, for use in mining pictures."
    Mr. Colvig said that pictures of Medford and surrounding territory would be taken from the air at a later date this summer.
    "Pinto" is a part owner in the film company now here, and is the son of Judge W. M. Colvig. He will direct the taking of the local pictures. "Pinto" is well known locally. He used to play the flute, cornet and bass horn in the Medford band. He is also a cartoonist, and has won considerable fame as a maker of animated film comics, cartoons and pictures.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 3, 1927, page 7


Jim Grieve To Be Next Star of Film World
    Attention, all you Jackson County picture fans, for out of your midst is to come the next masculine star of the motion picture world, and an onslaught on feminine hearts is expected. Such a conquest as was never known before or since.
    Hidden away in the soul of us all are dreams and desires, aspirations and unfulfilled ambitions. "Even as you and I" has been the valley's most noted and handsome son. Under that manly exterior has been the longing for self-expression these many years. Expression that heretofore has never found an outlet.
    But why dwell on that? "It's all over now." The candle will no longer be submerged in the darkness under a bushel, the rose no longer blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air of Agate and Tolo. The only suffering will be endured when the classic nose of John Gilbert, of Jack Barrymore and of Don Juans of the silent art, begin to break. For break they will as their owners take a back seat to make room for the new juvenile lead of the pictures--Jim Grieve.

Medford Daily News, June 8, 1927, page 1     Jim Grieve was the rotund--and middle-aged--proprietor of the Prospect Hotel. Production stills reveal that Grieve did spend time before the E.R.L. camera.


Panascope Films To Show the World Crater Lake
    "It is impossible to bring the whole world to Crater Lake, but we can take Crater Lake to the whole world."
    "An easy way to find the superior mouse trap," I said to myself. Sitting in a luxurious motion picture house, more like the fairy palace of our childhood dreams than a theatre, lolling in the nth degree of comfort in the soft depths of an overstuffed chair, hearing music from a symphony orchestra composed of musicians in the highest stage of musical education and ability, or to an organist of similar standing--the world and his wife will gaze at the marvelous scenes of the "sea of silence" as they pass before them.
    To bring Crater Lake to the world. That seems to be the heart's desire of William Stull, Jr., chief cinematographer, and his assistants, Val Brady and Robert Parker of the E.R.L. Productions, Inc., now in Jackson County to film a series of subject pictures.
    The company invaded the snow country yesterday, Mr. Stull working with the new motor panascope, his own invention. The panascope is an ingenious affair, producing a weird but pleasing optical effect. One scene dissolves into another while the country is traversed, giving the audience the impression they are traveling along with the camera. Stull tried out the apparatus in Sweden ineffectively, but has since perfected the mechanism.
    The company is now established at their camp at Union Creek, and from that point a caterpillar is drawing sleds to the Lake. Col. Thomson, superintendent of Crater Lake National Park, has provided for all the assistance which Park employees and equipment can give the company.
    They are expected in Medford next Monday, when director Emlay will fly over the valley, taking pictures of Medford and surrounding country. Without doubt, this section will receive a great amount of publicity through these pictures.
Medford Daily News, June 8, 1927, page 8


    "Pinto" Colvig made a few witty remarks regarding life in Hollywood among the movie folks [at the Kiwanis meeting today].
    Mr. Colvig said the company in which he is interested has just finished spending several days shooting pictures of Crater Lake and the surrounding scenery, that two of its men went by planes to shoot Crater and Diamond lakes from the air and that they would be in this vicinity for several days not securing pictures around Prospect, Table Rock and other places. He was born in Jacksonville 34 years ago, and last week was the first time he had seen Crater Lake.
"Airplanes Are Shooting Local Lakes Today," Medford Mail Tribune, June 13, 1927, page 8

CRATER LAKE LEGEND MAY BE PUT INTO MOVIE FORM
Picture Director Visions Mighty Drama with Famed Scenic Resort
As Locale and Predicts Big Demand for It.
By JEUNESSE BUTLER
    To weave a scenario around the mysterious and fascinating Indian legend of Crater Lake, use the lake and its surroundings as setting, and produce the greatest epic picture ever filmed is the ambition of Earl Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, Hollywood, who is at present in Crater Lake National Park taking a series of short subject pictures.
    Satiated with the "sheik" picture, the "sex" drama losing its pictorial and box office appeal, and the biblical themes practically exhausted, Emlay believes the Crater Lake legend, with its wealth of imagery and basis for unusual plot, developments and characterizations, will be as refreshing as it will be magnificent and impressive.
Unpublished Myth
    The myth from which the continuity will be written is an unpublished one told to Mr. Emlay by Judge Colvig, who has been familiar with the story since his boyhood days. As may be imagined, it is a colorful tale, abounding in romance, lively action, dramatic situations, and a climax as sensational as the most jaded movie fan could desire.
    Poets, dramatists and musicians have felt deeply the beauty of Indian folklore and mythology. It has furnished them with material and inspiration for their talents, that later produced signal and outstanding successes, the latest being "Shanewis," the grand opera by Charles Wakefield Cadman, American composer, who presented it at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City. Pictorially, however, the Indian legend has been overlooked, until director Emlay, with the vision of the artist, realized its possibilities when adapted for the screen, and foresaw what marvelous effects and what a stupendous production might be developed.
"Not Cheap"
    "It isn't a story to be handled cheaply," he declares, from his vantage point given by years of experience, "but one which will call for the most skillful direction, actors of the highest ability, a supporting case of equal talents, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of extras. Naturally, the siting would be Crater Lake and the surrounding country, which is the most beautiful and advantageous for such purposes that I have ever seen."
    To the uninitiated, there is much that "seems to be and is not" in the pictures. Trick methods of exposure, particularly in the filming of miniatures, produce the most realistic and impressive effects, without the actual occurrences. In the field of such effects, those who have accomplished the most say achievement has not begun to approach its zenith.
Is Inventor
    Mr. Emlay is distinguished as the inventor of the constant cine ultraspeed camera, the only one of its kind in the world. It employs an absolutely new optical arrangement of exposure, some scenes being shot at a speed of 900 pictures per second. This camera enables them to record on the film the minutest detail in miniature operation. To illustrate, a topographical miniature of Oregon would be made to appear as a bird's-eye view of the entire country.
    With this camera a volcanic eruption could be shown for the first time, revealing what really would happen if it were possible to reproduce an actual volcanic disturbance.
    Little imagination is needed to forecast the possibilities of this latest invention in filming such a production as Mr. Emlay hopes to direct. With the unique beauty of Crater Lake, the fantastic tale for the scenario, the weird and pictorial and bizarre effects and with players cast only as Indians, the director feels he has many convincing arguments with which to interest one of the big organizations in making such a picture. This he will endeavor to do, immediately upon his return to Hollywood.
Medford Daily News, June 19, 1927, page 1


JIM GRIEVE AS A MOVIE ACTOR HAS LOTS OF 'IT'
    People coming to Medford this morning from Union Creek were delighted on reaching the hotel at Prospect to find Pinto Colvig and the squad of film people from his Southern California moving picture company, which has been filming pictures hereabouts for two week or more, in the midst of filming a story.
    "This is the real thing I have always wanted to see," said the passersby as they quickly halted their cars to drink in the proceedings.
    Outside the hotel the camera man was grinding away, with the director shouting directions at a group of professional and native actors. One of the actors was Pinto Colvig, made up to represent a Professor Buggs, a scientist on vacation and business in the mountains--you know the kind, having often seen such professors in stage plays and film stories. Then there was a beautiful young woman, presumably the heroine, and a handsome young man, presumably the hero, and a strikingly portly middle-aged man posing as the landlord of a mountain hotel, wearing a wide sombrero hat and high laced boots, and the very personification of what Elinor Glynn calls "It."
    As the passing cars halted, the landlord stepped within close camera range with the hero and, advancing to the heroine, with a Chesterfieldian bow remarked: "Here is Paul, your guide, Miss Robinson," and then glided away with the air of having done a great deed, and in so doing accidentally fell over a dog. This fall seemed to discomfit the mountain landlord, who gave vent to some vehement language, somewhat reminiscent of that used by Spanish-American War veterans.
    As he arose from the ground, the astonished beholders recognized, to their unspeakable disgust, that the discomfited actor was Jim Grieve, owner and manager and supposed boss of the Prospect resort hotel, grocery and camp ground.
    They had nothing to throw.
    "Now we will do this scene over again," shouted the director, and Mr. Mountain Tavern Keeper, be careful to remain on your feet until out of camera range. All ready now, camera!"
    Then again the landlord with the hero approached the lady and said, "Miss Robinson, this is Paul, your--"
    "Wipe off your chin, Mr. Landlord, and put a little more pep into your approach," shouted the director. "Be careful of your feet now--now again, camera!"
    Just as the group of actors was about to go through the scene for the third time, a voice came out of the hotel kitchen, shouting, "Jim, Jim, I've called you about a dozen times now. Come here at once and help move this icebox. Right away!"
    "Gosh, it's Mary," said Mr. Grieve to the director, "and she's gettin' mad. Excuse me for about five minutes." Then he hotfooted it for the kitchen.
    Elinor Glynn was right about that "It" business. Jim has it had.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 20, 1927, page 6


TAKE MOVIES OF LOCAL FISHING
    After having spent a week or more at Union Creek, Earl Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, Inc., of Hollywood, and members of his party, will break camp at Union Creek this week to leave for Crater Lake, where they spent several days two weeks ago and over which director Emlay has flown twice in Pacific Air Transport planes.
    The company is returning to the scene to obtain more shots and will later go to the Diamond Lake country, obtaining pictures of the beaver farm above Brown's Cabin while en route. The party will return to Medford in approximately a week and will then begin making the second shots slated for this section of the country. The subject will be devoted to the southern Oregon sportsmen due to the fishing scenes which will be displayed.

Medford Mail Tribune, June 24, 1927, page 3


Medford Daily News, June 24, 1927, page 1
Medford Daily News, June 24, 1927, page 1. Photo by Robert Parker of E.R.L. Productions


Talented Actress Feature Player with Movie Outfit
    In filming the story scenics now being taken by director Earl Emlay near Prospect and Crater Lake, the company is fortunate in having as leading woman Miss Ruth Robinson.
    Miss Robinson is rated as leading dramatic stock actress in the country. She has played season engagements in the chief cities of the United States, including Minneapolis, Denver, Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Kansas City, Philadelphia and New York. Last season she toured the country over the Orpheum circuit, being the headliner at every performances, acting in her own dramatic playlet.
    She is an actress of exceptional ability, is a beautiful woman and possesses a great amount of personality. Her first screen test, made in Los Angeles, showed such remarkable screen value that she was selected to make her screen debut. There is no doubt that the pictures now being taken in Southern Oregon will be enhanced by the work of this talented actress.
Medford Daily News, June 25, 1927, page 1


CRATER LAKE WEAVES SPELL ON CAMERAMAN
    Distance may lend enchantment to some views, but in the case of the camera men of the E.R.L. Productions, who have been taking pictures in Crater Lake Park for the last several weeks, enchantment grows with "close-ups," according to their own statements.
    "Pictures of Crater Lake outrival anything else I have ever done," says Robert Parker, the "still" photographer of the company. Mr. Parker was formerly with the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. He was chosen by the E.R.L. Productions because he understands thoroughly tone composition in pictures. This is one of the requisite and necessary things in securing beautiful pictures and the remarkable tone gradation in effects.
    Equally as "enchanted" is William Stull Jr., cinematographer for the E.R.L. company. With the aid of six men, Mr. Stull carried the motion picture apparatus to the highest peak of the rim of Crater Lake to secure a sunset.
    The scene was photographed with an ordinary glass lens, but with a specially built fused quartz rectifier, a singular contrivance invented by Stull himself, that allows the ultraviolet rays to pass through, the result being one of the most beautiful effects ever shown. The sunset was shot with stop work, which shows the entire sunset in all its glory in a few seconds on the screen.
    Although it only lasts for 16 seconds actual time in the picture, it took six men and one day's time to photograph. This is to be the final scene in the Crater Lake picture.
Medford Daily News, June 26, 1927, page 1


Paul Power Held Latest Discovery of Silver Screen
    It was in Oregon that one of the leading stars of the motion picture world was discovered, when Earl Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions now operating at Crater Lake Park, first met Jack Holt, who still owns a ranch in Eastern Oregon.
    It is to Oregon and to Crater Lake that Emlay has brought his next "discovery," Paul Power, known as one of the newest "finds" of the silver sheet.
    Power, blond and with regular features, stands six feet, two inches, weighs 190 pounds, and has the finest physique of any of the screen actors of the day.
    He is also an exceptional musician, one time studying the violin in Italy and planning a musical career. His looks, however, lured him into the movies, where physical pulchritude eventually lures both men and women.

Medford Daily News, June 28, 1927, page 1


    News of an accident occurring when Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Production company, and Paul Power, leading man, were carried down the canyon near Anna Springs camp, Crater Lake Park, in a shift of loose snow, was received here yesterday. According to rumors of the accident, Emlay is suffering from serious head injuries. A large camera, carried by the men, is said to have been completely destroyed in the fall. The injured man is in the film company's camp near Prospect.
"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, June 30, 1927, page 2


EMLAY HURT IN ACCIDENT NEAR CRATER
    Serious difficulties were encountered late Monday night by the E.R.L. Productions company, which has been operating around Medford the past three weeks, when Earle Emlay, the director, and Paul Power, leading man, met with accidents in the canyon a half mile above Anna Springs.
    They were on their way to Crater Lake at a late hour, carrying the heavy camera, and, stepping in a bank of soft snow, were carried some distance down into the canyon. Brief telephone communication gave slight details of the disaster, but outside of serious head injuries, Emlay is thought to be resting easily at the company's camp.
    William Stull Jr., one of the cameramen, tried to save a Bell & Howell camera, but this, it is understood, was demolished. It is not reported how serious Paul Power was injured, but Emlay was said to be battered severely, striking his head upon the rocks. To make matters worse, the heavy camera tumbled upon them.
    It is not known whether this will cancel the company's operations in this vicinity or not, all depending on the seriousness of the injuries sustained. The camera, costing $3,000, it is understood, was completely wrecked, the company however having an emergency apparatus they can use.
    The affair is regretted, as Emlay and his company are endeavoring to give Medford much dignified publicity through the release of the story-scenics they have been staging here.
    Pinto Colvig, one of the company and a former Medford boy, missed being one of the injured by seconds, having just left the spot when Emlay and Power fell and were carried down.
Medford Daily News, June 30, 1927, page 1


MOVIE ACTORS RETURN AFTER DEATH SLIDE
E.R.L. Company Back from Crater Lake--Emlay Had Close Call--
Camera Is Saved--To Shoot More Scenes.
    With his head still bandaged from the effects of a fall down a steep embankment last Tuesday evening a short distance above the Anna Spring camp in the Crater Lake National Park, Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions company, which has been in southern Oregon for a number of weeks, was in Medford for a short time this forenoon with his entire company preparatory to taking a number of mountain scenic pictures this afternoon.
    As a result of the fall of 50 or more feet down a rocky, snow-covered bank, Mr. Emlay was rendered unconscious for two hours, striking his head on a rock. Paul Power, who fell with him when a hollow snowbank collapsed, was bruised but not severely injured.
    At the time of the accident, attempts were being made to film a sunset, with the camera, an expensive machine, set on a snowbank, which was believed to be solid. Without warning, the snow caved in, causing Emlay and Power, who has been playing the lead in the moving picture scenics which have been taken here, to fall and slide to the bottom of the bank, with the camera and equipment tumbling after them. Emlay was rushed to the home of Colonel C. C. Thomson at the Anna Springs camp, where first aid was rendered. The camera, while considerably damaged from the fall, was not ruined as previously reported.
    While searching for pieces of equipment the next day, it was discovered that all the snow on the bank was hollow, having melted several feet above the ground, leaving it an unsafe hollow shell. The pictures not being completed, Emlay plans to return to the same spot next week or later to take several hundred feet of film, showing the beauties of a mountain sunset.
    The E.R.L. company plans to spend another three weeks in Southern Oregon before returning to headquarters in Southern California, and during that time expect to film approximately 10,000 more feet of local scenery, in addition to the 10,000 feet which has already been taken. Selecting the better views, in the neighborhood of one-half of the footage will be prepared for theater exhibition in all parts of the United States as well as foreign countries. A number of thrilling "shots" are to be taken next week, but due to the fact that spectators are not wanted, the locations have not been made public.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 1, 1927, page 1


CAMERA SPILL LEAVES MOVIE MEN DEFIANT
    Regardless of the accident of the first of the week, when Earl Emlay, director, and Paul Power of the E.R.L. Productions were hurt in the canyon above Anna Springs, the company is going ahead with the filming of Southern Oregon scenes.
    The high-priced camera, thought at first to have been completely demolished, may still be of use, camera lenses and other parts being sent for and expected to arrive from Portland or Los Angeles within a short time. Meanwhile they are using emergency apparatus.
    Members of the company feel most grateful to Col. C. G. Thomson, superintendent of the Crater Lake Park, who gave the injured first aid and housed them at his residence at Anna Springs the night and day following the accident.
    The company was in Medford yesterday, securing pictures of muskrats and beavers to match up with those of deer and bear secured by telephoto near Crater Lake.
    Having left Union Creek, their headquarters are now established in the company's new camp east of Medford along Crater Lake Highway. Many scenes along Rogue River will be taken before they again return to Crater Lake.

Medford Daily News,
July 2, 1927, page 8



FILM SCENES ON ROGUE TODAY
    On location along the Rogue, the E.R.L. Production Company, of which "Pinto" Colvig, a local boy, is a member, shot several hundred feet of film yesterday. A group of Medford people, including representatives of the press, were the guests of the company for the day and watched the company in action.
    Moods of the Rogue were caught as the camera followed the famous river down the valley, and scenes of southern Oregon beauty were cataloged in filmdom before the eyes of an approving Medford audience.
    The company expects to remain near Medford during the greater part of the summer.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 5, 1927, page 8


    Earl Emlay, director for the E.R.L. Production company, spent a few hours vacation in Medford yesterday from his camp on the Rogue River. Emlay is recuperating rapidly from the injuries sustained in the accident occurring last week when he and his camera collided with the rapids near Prospect.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, July 9, 1927, page 2


EMLAY NEARLY DROWNED
AS RAFT FAILS TO DO STUFF
Paul Power and Director Stage Private Thriller on Rogue
While Taking Scenics; Life Is Full of Hazards.
By JEUNESSE BUTLER
    "If anyone thinks of a motion picture actor as a primper before a looking glass, he should follow this moving picture company around for awhile," says Col. C. G. Thomson, superintendent of Crater Lake Park, who has witnessed a number of life-endangering feats by director Emlay and other members of the E.R.L. Productions in their efforts to obtain pictures in the Park.
    Probably few realize and appreciate the grandeur of Crater Lake and surrounding country as Col. Thomson, who spends so much of his time in the confines of the Park. It is a subject near and dear to his heart, and he naturally takes a deep interest in the efforts of the company to obtain pictures which will laster be exploited to the world.
Risked Life.
    To do this, Emlay has risked his life in airplanes, fallen off cliffs, scaled a mountain or two, and climbed down deep ravines and gorges, carrying heavy, expensive apparatus, an audience knowing little of what measures are necessary to give an audience adequate entertainment. The climax of his adventures in Jackson County occurred this week, however, when Emlay and a few spectators were given an unexpected thrill.
    The company was established at Casey's Camp on Rogue River, and Emlay had become enthused over the beauties of the long, winding, picturesque and rugged waterway as he traveled along its banks. To admire is to desire with a motion picture director, and Emlay immediately wanted to "shoot" the river in some way that the audience might see it as he did, while going along the shore.
Was Warned.
    Timber growth on the shores was too thick to permit use of the camera, so a special raft was built to enable him to take the scene from a proper angle. Oldtimers, knowing the treacherous nature of such a procedure, warned him it could not be done with safety, but Emlay was determined to get the pictures at all hazards.
    A stout rope was fastened to the shore, the director intending to take the rope to the center of the stream and fasten it, that the raft might swing toward the other side of the river and get the scene properly.
    His assistants on the shore, however, let go of the rope, leaving Emlay entirely free. This all happened at a point a short distance from the famous Rogue River Rapids, and the only thing that saved the raft from the rapids was Paul Power, the leading man of the company, who caught up with Emlay in a rowboat.
Fell in Water.
    He made for the other side, and after barely getting [the] rope, the boat got beyond his control. He leaped for the bank with the rope in his teeth, but fell in the water 20 feet deep.
    The old proverbial straw in the shape of an old branch came within his grasp just in time, and Power was able to fasten the rope holding the raft onto the branch. The raft drifted downstream toward the snags, Emlay reaching for these to hold the raft until Power could reach him.
    Onlookers thought this was the end of the thrill, but the real thrill was to come. Power drifted down to Emlay on the raft, much wearied by his efforts, and climbed on.
Many Thrills.
    At this moment, the boat started to drift, and Emlay to save the boat grabbed it, but the current was too swift and carried the boat away and Emlay with it. One oar had fallen out of the boat, and as the small craft was borne closer and closer to the rapids, Emlay says he was given several thrills he hadn't counted on.
    Mrs. Emlay, the rest of the company, and a few other onlookers were thoroughly excited by this time, and Pinto Colvig and a couple of the camera men jumped in a car and made for a point where they thought they might rescue the unfortunate director.
Not Hurt.
    He escaped unhurt, except for a considerable speeding up of heart action while going over the second rapids, and came to shore about three quarters of a mile south of camp.
    "I've expected, in fact, anticipated all sorts of thrills for a good many years," he told Mrs. Emlay, after fully recovering his breath and composure," but this was one I certainly didn't know was coming, and I can't say I altogether enjoyed."
Medford Daily News, July 10, 1927, page 1


EARLE EMLAY PLANS BIG PICTURE TO EXPLOIT LAKE
Indian Legend Visioned As One of Greatest Epics of Celluloid
By Director Now Here Making Scenic Films.
    Promise to use Crater Lake as the setting for one of the greatest epic pictures ever screened was made at the Lions Club luncheon yesterday by Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, here making a series of short story scenics.
    Emlay declared that giant Hollywood producers are becoming interested in the proposition, and stated that even if they failed to back him, the picture would be made.
Great Photo.
    "It will go down as one of the greatest photoplays of all time. I'm going to make it if it's the last thing I do," he promised.
    Inspired by the old Indian legend of Crater Lake as told by tribal medicine men down through the ages, Emlay sees marvelous possibilities in the legend as a basis for a scenario. He visions the unrivaled scenery of the Crater Lake country as a setting for the picture.
No Indian Epics.
    "One great biblical picture has been made. Other mighty episodes have been given immortality on the screen," he said, "and of course there have been poorer productions along the pioneer lines blazed by the big pictures. No one has ever produced the story of the Indian--it is the next great epic. And the beautiful Crater Lake legend is the ideal medium."
    The picture would be filmed in the atmosphere of the time when redskins inhabited the western country, the players would be cast only as Indians, thousands of extras could be used, and every device known to the motion picture industry used to produce realistic effects, said the director.
Many Details.
    "Work on the picture will not start until next spring. There are technical details to be worked out, and months must be spent in research. Every detail must be perfect," Emlay declared. "Where will I get 5,000 extras? Can camps be maintained? How can supplies be gotten in? These are only minor questions, yet they take real study and effort. You can have no idea of what a stupendous undertaking it will be."
    The best of everything in the world is what Emlay plans to secure for his film. Technicians from Germany would be secured for the miniature work, he said, mentioning only one detail. A picture to outrival Ben Hur, the Ten Commandments and other epics is Emlay's desire.
To Take Year.
    As planned, the Crater Lake picture will establish new records. It will take at least a year to film, the winter being used in securing equipment and experts.
    Arrangements have been made to release the series which is now being made around Medford, Emlay said. These pioneer efforts in Rogue Valley in film making will be shown over the entire United States.

Medford Daily News,
July 14, 1927, page 1


    Earle Emlay, director for the E.R.L. Productions, has moved his company from Prospect up to Lake of the Woods, where he will spend several days taking scenes.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, July 16, 1927, page 2


    After an hour of music, the floor will be cleared and at 9:30, with Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, as master of ceremonies, the big Movie Ball will start.
    [omission] Medford. That is what everyone is going to wonder from now until Friday night. For some lucky girl will be chosen by Mr. Emlay from the dance floor to take the leading part in a picture he will make in or near Medford. This fortunate young woman will not only have the pleasure of acting for the screen, but also be paid for her services at the rate of $20 per day.

"Movie Ball by Lions; Benefit of Playgrounds,"
Medford Mail Tribune, July 17, 1927, page 6


LISTEN, GIRLS! GREAT CHANCE COMES FRIDAY!
    Girls, are you tired of it all, waiting for the thrill you never got? Then cheer up, for the thrill that comes once in a lifetime is headed right your way. Phone for a date at your favorite beauty shop and go ahead and get that stunning little party frock you've been wanting. Might as well get ready for "the big adventure."
    What is it? Can it be possible, you don't know? That next Friday night, at the big Movie Ball at Hilarity Hall, you may be the lucky girl chosen by Earle Emlay to act in a picture he is making. That you will not only have this honor and privilege, but will also be paid for all the fun you'll have at $20 a day? Put off your vacation till next week. This is your chance.
    Are you married? Marriage won't bar you, you know. So get permission from your husband, even if you have to promise him half your salary. What's that, compared to fame?
    The movie ball is but part of the grand entertainment the roarin' Lions are putting on Friday night. Before the dance, that starts at 9:30, with director Earle Emlay in charge, there will be given a musical entertainment extraordinary. Mr. Erik Kahlson, Sweden's twenty-year-old prodigy, who recently arrived in New York and is spending his vacation with Mr. Emlay, will be presented in concert of one hour. He will be assisted by two prominent local vocalists, and those who have heard Mr. Kahlson are sounding his praises in extravagant terms.
    Entire proceeds to go toward establishment of children's public playground.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 18, 1927, page 3


MOVIE MEN TO ENTERTAIN BY RADIO BILL
    Movie men are unusually gifted, with many talents besides those for acting, directing, etc., if Earle Emlay, director, and the rest of the company from the E.R.L. Productions are any indication.
    Tomorrow night, beginning at 8:30, Mr. Emlay and the rest of this movie making crew, with the assistance of a number of local musicians, will give a two-hour benefit program over K.M.E.D. to advertise the Movie Night at Hilarity Hall, Friday, July 22.
    Mr. Emlay will be heard in songs and stories; William Stull, Jr., cinematographer, will play the sax. "Jimmie" Johnson will be there with his saxophone also, and tuners in may hear some especially fine saxophone duets. Robert Parker, "still" photographer, plucks a mean uke, and will give an example of his ability, while both Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Stewart will be heard in late popular song numbers.
    Medford music lovers who have yet to hear Mr. Erik Kahlson, Sweden's 20-year-old prodigy, who is spending a few weeks' vacation in the valley, will be given this artistic adventure also, as Mr. Kahlson will be on the air. The young man recently arrived in New York, and has joined Mr. Emlay's company for the purpose of composing and arranging a musical score as accompaniment to the pictures he is taking. Miss Jeunesse Butler will accompany Mr. Kahlson, while Miss Gladys LaMar will furnish the accompaniments for the popular number.s
    All players and singers are donating their services, and the use of the station is due to the courtesy of the Medford Chamber of Commerce. The program in detail will be published in tomorrow's paper.
Medford Daily News, July 19, 1927, page 1


MISS FINLEY IS DELIGHTED SHE HAS MOVIE JOB
    "It certainly was a real thrill to be chosen by Mr. Emlay, and I'm going to do my best to deserve the honor," said Miss Constance Finley, brown-haired, blue-eyed Medford girl selected by Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, from the 300 or more local girls attending the Lions Club movie dance at Hilarity Hall last night, to play a part in the movie now being filmed near Medford.
    Two other girls, distinctly different types, were also announced in the final selection as the director's second and third choices. They were Mrs. Guy Eddy, small, black-haired and slender, and Miss Thelma Kelly, tall, stately blonde. Miss Finley is of medium height and has had previous experience in pictures at Hollywood. The last picture in which she appeared was "Fashions for Women," starring Esther Ralston.
    "I am to have an interview with Mr. Emlay Monday morning, and believe he intends that I go on location then. If I understand correctly, the other two girls will also play parts in the picture," said Miss Finley this afternoon.
    The Movie Carnival, sponsored by the local Lions Club, was preceded last night by a concert, featuring Eric Kahlson, the youthful Swedish violinist, who is under contract with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to appear for 30 consecutive weeks. His selections were enthusiastically received by the large audience of music lovers, who crowded the hall early in the evening to assure themselves standing room.
    Kahlson was accompanied by Miss Jeunesse Butler and Mrs. George Andrews. Others on the program were Miss Ester Maxine Pilker, contralto, accompanied by Miss Ada Pilker; George Maddox, tenor, accompanied by Miss Joyce Maddox.
    The proceeds of the evening, amounting to some $500, will go towards the children's new playground.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 23, 1927, page 2


    Robert Parker, still man for the E.R.L. Motion Picture Production company, Wm. Stull, Jr., cameraman, and Eric Kahlson, Swedish violinist, left Tuesday afternoon for their homes in Hollywood. They have been spending the past nine weeks in taking pictures in the Crater Lake and Prospect districts.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1927, page 2


MEDFORD'S MOVIE QUEEN IS GUEST AT LIONS CLUB
    Elected to honorary membership in the local Lions Club, Erick Kahlson, noted Swedish violinist, and Earle Emlay, director for the E.R.L. Productions, now on location near Medford, were extended a vote of thanks by the members for their contribution to the success of the recent Movie Carnival. In a few words before the club, Emlay stated that he would leave for Los Angeles tonight, while the work on the present production would be under the direction of Charles Elliott, his assistant and business manager.
    Constance Finley, Medford's movie queen, who with Elliott was a guest of the club, will, according to Emlay, begin work immediately in some stunt riding scenes. Miss Finley is a skilled horseback rider.
Excerpt, Medford Mail Tribune, July 27, 1927, page 6


    The presence of Medford's Movie Queen, Miss Constance Finley, and Earle Emlay, movie director, specially fine musical numbers by other guests, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Stewart, and the general spirit of jubilance over the recent successful Movie Night, resulted in one of the best meeting ever held, when Medford Lions once more assembled at the Hotel Holland for their regular meeting, yesterday noon.
"Lions Roar in Glee As Movie Stars Visit," Medford Daily News, July 28, 1927, page 6


Hollywood Man Arrives To Keep Emlay's Books
    An interesting visitor in the city is Chas. M. Elliott of Hollywood, Cal., who arrived in Medford yesterday, to join Earle Emlay of the E.R.L. Productions as business manager. Both wish to express, through the columns of the News, their appreciation of the Lions Club and city for cooperation in their present undertakings, and to state that an announcement of much importance will be made shortly.
    Mr. Emlay and Mr. Elliott were both guests of the Lions Club yesterday, the latter being especially interested in service clubs. The latter was instrumental in organizing the national Rotary organization at Portland and the international at Duluth, and was a member of the San Francisco club until removing his residence to Hollywood.

Medford Daily News,
July 28, 1927, page 6



'Pinto' Colvig Wracks Brain for Way To Draw
Limburger Smell on Celluloid
    "Back again in the tropical south with only dim memories of The Snow That Was. Will say that I enjoyed my visit with the home folks, scenery, etc.," writes Pinto Colvig from Mack Sennett's studios, Edendale, Cal.
    He continues, "Mack Sennett's buzzed my phone for two weeks, and the day after I got here he signed me on a year's contract, same work as last year, trick-cartoon gags and titles. The first crack they handed me was working on the big half-million-dollar war romance comedy, featuring Johnny Burke and the Sennett beauties. [Probably "The Good-Bye Kiss."]
    "I have had all kinds of goofy and unusual ideas for me to create along the trick-cartoon process, but when Sennett asked me yesterday if I could draw the smell of Limburger cheese and show it on the screen, it made me think twice. However, I'm doing it."
    He explains, "The gag shows where a piece of the cheese falls in the bellows of a small organ the comedian is playing, and upon that scene and film I've got to show the smell coming out. I hope they don't expect me to actually make it smell, although the gaff might be so terrible it might do that anyhow."
    Medford people will recall that Mr. Colvig was the first to bring the E.R.L. Productions company to Medford and interest them in this section.
Medford Daily News, July 29, 1927, page 1



MOVIE TO BE GIVEN SUPPORT BY LOCAL BODY
Earl Emlay, on Agreement To Put Proposition of Crater Lake Movie
in Definite Shape, Given Tentative Backing.
    Earl Emlay, manager of the E.R.L. Productions, who last night at the Craterian Theatre outlined his proposition for the filming of a picture founded on the legend of Crater Lake, using the scenic wonder as a pictorial background, met with the committee this noon at the Hotel Medford and discussed future plans.
    The committee is composed of Phil Harrison, A. C. Hubbard, S. S. Smith, Emil Mohr, George A. Hunt, C. E. Gates, Harry Rosenberg, J. W. Wakefield, Earl Gaddis, Ted Baker, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, and Vernon I. Vawter, chairman. Mr. Elliot, business manager for Emlay, was also present.
    The committee, after discussing the proposition, decided to request that Emlay present a more definite proposition, which they will give their support and assistance. The members pledged some financial support, moral support and general cooperation if the final program should seem feasible.
    Mr. Emlay's plan, as he told it to a group of local citizens last night, is as follows:
    That he heard from Will G. Steel, father of Crater Lake, and Judge William M. Colvig, the story of the legend of Crater Lake, and that it impressed him as being admirably suited for a moving picture epic of the "Ben Hur" and "Intolerance" type. He has been taking short reels of the lake and surroundings and has become enamored of its beauties.
    Emlay has written the legend, and secured a copyright upon it, and declares that he has his heart set upon producing the picture, and further declares that it is something new--which the movie world is looking for.
    He estimates that it would cost $125,000 to produce the picture, and he proposes that 125 southern Oregon business men subscribe $1000 each towards that end. He considers it the most forceful advertising the community could receive, besides being a sterling artistic effort.
    Emlay, in stating his proposals, frankly said that he was neither an orator nor a business man, and asked that the handling of the finances be left to other hands. He also emphatically announced that if it degenerated into any sort of a stock-selling scheme he would divorce himself from it forthwith.
    It was the consensus of opinion of those who listened to Mr. Emlay that his plan is feasible, that he possesses the talent to make it a reality, and that some plan should be evolved whereby it could become an actuality.
    Mr. Emlay said that he came to stay a week at Crater Lake, and had been there eight weeks, and still reluctant to return to Hollywood. He has made himself thoroughly familiar with the history and legends of Crater Lake and is daily gathering more data.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 3, 1927, page 1


BUSINESS MEN HEAR PLAN FOR FILMING
GREAT EPIC AT MEETING LAST NIGHT
    Plans for including Crater Lake and the beautiful Indian legend connected therewith in one of the world's great motion picture epics were detailed at a theatre party at Hunt's Craterian last night by Earl Emlay, manager of the E.R.L. Productions company. Emlay, who has been directing a small company in photographing scenes at the lake, revealed to the party, consisting of 40 or 50 business and professional men, his mental picture of what he sincerely believes will prove one of the greatest cinema spectacles of all time.
Is Costly
    Emlay estimates that the production can be made for a sum approximating $125,000, and said that he was willing to stake a year of hard work and his reputation as a director and photographer of motion pictures on the successful outcome of the venture.
    The plans detailed by Emlay revealed the fact that he is convinced that the production will prove an excellent financial investment not only, but will do more to carry the story and unsurpassed beauty of the famous lake to millions in a manner that cannot be approached through any other channel.
Is Feasible
    His plans created a favorable impression upon those in attendance and of those who made comment upon the proposed idea; a majority expressed the opinion that the venture is feasible from a business standpoint.
    A committee was named to make a study of Emlay's plan and to assist in presenting the proposal to the general public of the city. Vernon Vawter, C. E. Gates, Earl C. Gaddis, Harry Rosenberg, S. S. Smith, A. C. Hubbard, George Hunt and Emil Mohr were named as members of the committee.
    Emlay's plans provide for filming the entire production at the lake and in this city. Some of the scenes will require 5,000 people, all of whom he proposes will be secured locally. Only a very few of the better types of leading artists will be required in filming what Emlay says will be a super production.
Indian Legend
    An outline of the story around which Emlay proposed to build the spectacle was given by the producer and will date back 10,000 years, which is the starting point for the famous Indian legend as to the lake's origin, and will continue up to approximately 100 years ago, when Indian tribes were carrying on continual warfare. A love narrative is interwoven in the story, with a beautiful Indian princess and a handsome young chief of another tribe as the principals.
    The eruption of Mt. Mazama and its collapse into the bowels of the earth will form the climax and afford the great spectacle of the proposed production.
    "It will rival, if not excel, such productions as The Last Days of Pompeii, Ben Hur, Intolerance and many other of the leading film spectacles," said Mr. Emlay, who has been devoting weeks to the formation of the story and who has contributed much to the rapid advances made during recent years in the film industry.
Medford Daily News, August 3, 1927, page 1



TO TAKE MOVIE OF LOWER ROGUE
    To shoot several hundred [feet] of film around the romance of Hellgate Gorge, Earle Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions, is moving his company and equipment down to Grants Pass today. "But we won't desert Medford for long--be back here probably tomorrow or the next day," he said, "to continue where we left off."
    Emlay explained that he was delayed in his work here through the illness of Miss Constance Finley, Medford's movie queen, whom he had intended filming in a series of trick riding scenes. Having taken some stills of the local girl, the director announced that she photographed "beautifully--far better-looking even than she is off the screen," and anticipates that she has a real future ahead of her.

Medford Mail Tribune,
August 4, 1927, page 3


EMLAY TO FILM LOWER ROGUE AND PEAR INDUSTRY
    Filming scenes which have never appeared on the screen before, Earle Emlay of the E.R.L. Productions will leave this week or early next with a party for the wild forest country below Hell's Gate above the mouth of Rogue River to spend a week or more taking one full reel of scenery, which Mr. Emlay believes to be some of the wildest in southern Oregon. After finishing the reel, he plans to take another of the local fruit industry, showing how pears are picked, sorted, packed and shipped.
    Mr. Emlay, who has directed the taking of numerous reels of southern Oregon scenery during the past two months, last week filmed scenes around Hell's Gate, where the water is 90 feet deep. Claude Bardon, a resident of the Hell's Gate district, is this week constructing a special boat from which Mr. Emlay will attempt to take scenes while traveling downstream. Mr. Bardon, who is said to be an expert at boat handling, will pilot the boat on its dangerous journey, which has been attempted but very few times.
    A United States geological and survey party attempted to make the trip some time ago, but as a result lost all [its] instruments. Mr. Emlay is procuring special camera equipment for the journey, which will be fraught with risks. His cameraman, W. Stull and others, are expected to arrive this week from Hollywood for the "shooting" of the scenes, for which an unusually active finish has been planned.

Medford Mail Tribune,
August 8, 1927, page 3



TO REPEAT AIR TICKET SHOWER
    More theater tickets will be dropped from an airplane again next Monday, according to George A. Hunt, local theater owner. The tickets, 500 of them, will admit the owner to admission to the various attractions which will come to the Craterian and Rialto theaters during the Greater Movie Season, which started this week.
    The plane will fly directly over the vacant lot in front of the Medford Mail Tribune office at 5 o'clock. The tickets are guaranteed to fall on the ground this time. Yesterday pilot Cunningham was not flying his own plane and could not fly low. Next Monday he will be in his own plane and will fly as low as possible. Earl Emlay will fly with him to drop the tickets.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1927, page 2


    Earle Emlay, head of the E.R.L. Productions company of Hollywood, accompanied by William Stull, cameraman, left this forenoon for Gold Beach as a preliminary move to the filming of scenery along the Rogue River below Hell's Gate. Mr. Emlay, who has been in southern Oregon for two or more months, plans to follow the river to the seas in a specially constructed boat next week, giving scenery to the screen never before filmed.

"Local and Personal,"
Medford Mail Tribune, August 11, 1927, page 2


Movie Director To Film Rogue from Hellgate to Sea
    Earl Emlay, director of the E.R.L. Productions company, which has been filming scenes in the Medford country for the past two months, leaves this morning with Claude Bardon for Hells Gate.
    Bardon, who took Zane Grey down the river to Gold Beach, will go with Emlay, who intends to take pictures of the marvelous scenery. A special boat has been contracted for the dangerous trip.
    William Stull, cameraman for the company, will meet Emlay at Gold Beach with another camera, where motion pictures will be taken.
    Emlay and Bardon will travel light, for they realize that they stand a chance of losing their boat and camera, and possibly their lives, in the swirling current of the river.
Medford Daily News, August 12, 1927, page 2



MOVIE DIRECTOR FAILS TO REACH GOLD BEACH
ON HIS TRIP DOWN ROGUE IN BOAT
    Fear that Earl Emlay, Hollywood motion picture director, who is well known in Medford, where he has been filming scenic reels for the past two months, has been drowned in the treacherous, swirling currents of Rogue River was expressed last night in a telephone message to The Daily News from William Stull, cameraman. Stull phoned from Gold Beach, Emlay's destination.
    The director, who once before narrowly missed losing his life while photographing scenes along the river, left Hell's Gate below Grants Pass Wednesday with Paul Bardon of Grants Pass in a peculiarly constructed boat. He and Bardon expected to float down the raging rapids, taking action pictures, and to arrive in Gold Beach yesterday afternoon. In the afternoon, Stull, waiting at Gold Beach, found a tire which Emlay had taken as a life preserver floating down the river. A rubber pouch which Emlay used to carry films was also found in the river.
No Trace Found
    Stull immediately phoned The Daily News and at 8 p.m. last night phoned again with information that no further equipment of Emlay's had been found, but that Emlay and Bardon had failed to arrive.
    The tire which was found in the river was one which had been marked for identification, for Emlay fully appreciated the danger of the expedition on which he was embarking.
    "Stull's taking my blue suit down to Gold Beach as a shroud. I always liked blue," Emlay told the News before starting on the trip, jesting about the dangers.
Special Boat
    Bardon last year piloted Zane Grey down the treacherous section of the river, which runs over rapids and through wild country. A special boat shaped like a tub was constructed by Bardon for Emlay's trip.
Narrow Escape
    On July fifth, Emlay was almost drowned in the rapids near Casey's Camp, when a raft from which he was taking pictures broke loose. He was rescued by Paul Power, actor, who was then in Medford and was working with Emlay.
    It is believed that, had disaster overtaken Emlay and Bardon, more equipment would have floated to Gold Beach. Possibilities are that no ill luck has befallen the pair, although the rough stretch which they intended to travel is so treacherous as to cause fear for their safety to arise.
Was Injured
    Emlay's enthusiasm for getting striking scenics led to his injury in Crater Lake Park before the season opened, when he and Power tumbled down a canyon with a heavy load of equipment when a snowbank gave away. The men were slightly injured, and costly equipment was lost in the fall.
    In addition to taking many scenic pictures in Rogue River Valley, Emlay had written a scenario for an epic picture of the Crater Lake legend, and he intended to film the picture in Southern Oregon.
Medford Daily News, August 14, 1927, page 1


EMLAY RETURNS AFTER DELAYED RIVER VOYAGE
Movie Director Gets Wet, Loses Some Films,
But Completes Trip to Mouth of Rogue River Without Further Mishap.
    GRANTS PASS, Ore., Aug. 15.--(AP)--The trip of Earl Emlay, motion picture man, to Gold Beach by boat down the Rogue River, halted temporarily Saturday when the craft struck a rock at Russian Bar, on the lower river, and went to the bottom of the river almost immediately. The boat was being piloted by Claude Bardon, experienced river man, who took Zane Grey to the mouth of the Rogue a year ago. Emlay had planned to take a picture of the Rogue River.
    The camera and most of the equipment was saved, although Mr. Emlay does not yet know if the films, which he had already taken, were ruined.
    Emlay and Bardon started down the river last Thursday afternoon. When the accident occurred, which ended their trip, they were seven miles below Almeda, or about forty miles from their starting point.
    Finding of an automobile tube and rubber container for films many miles below the scene of the accident gave rise to reports Saturday night that the pair might have been drowned.
    The two returned to Grants Pass today.
    Following the accident the boat was raised and repaired, and the remainder of the trip to the mouth was made in 14 hours, using an outboard motor. Several films were lost.
----
    Earl Emlay, Hollywood film director, and William Stull, Jr. reached here this afternoon, after their ill-fated trip down the lower Rogue River when their boat was wrecked on Russian Bar.
    Emlay suffered no physical injuries from his thrilling experience but was depressed by the loss of his films, which he claims were the most thrilling and picturesque ever taken of western scenery.
    The motorboat in which the picture expedition was traveling was wrecked Saturday evening, just before the party were ready to land and make camp for the night. The boat was sucked underneath the raging waters, and the party were carried 400 yards submerged and clinging to the boats. They finally managed to make shore.
    Emlay declares that the scenery along the lower Rogue excels that of the Colorado River, and that a boat trip down it is more dangerous and exciting than any river trip in the world.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 15, 1927, page 1


EMLAY SAFE ON TRIP TO GOLD BEACH
    Safe and sound, but depressed over the loss of his films and some other photographic equipment, Earl Emlay, motion picture director connected with the E.R.L. Productions, returned to Medford yesterday following a wreck and cold dip into Rogue River's icy waters near the mouth at Gold Beach.
    Emlay's boat, piloted by Claude Bardon, struck on a rock in the river and according to reports went down almost immediately. He saved his expensive movie camera but lost an automobile tube and a rubber film carrier, which were found later at the mouth of the river and gave rise to a rumor that the adventurous pair were drowned.
    Emlay and Bardon left last Thursday for their nerve-wracking trip down the treacherous Rogue in a boat which resembled a tub more than a trim watercraft.
    After he had taken some fine scenery pictures on the river, Emlay had the bad luck to lose them all when their boat struck the submerged rock.
    Lower Rogue River presents some of the world's finest scenery, Emlay declares, and agrees that local thrill-seekers who have made the trip by declaring that a boat ride down the swift stream is the most exciting thing he has attempted yet.
    The sunken boat was raised and proceeded downstream by means of an outboard motor, and Emlay, together with his right bower, William Stull, returned to Medford in quest of new adventures.
Medford Daily News, August 16, 1927, page 1



EARL EMLAY OFF FOR HOLLYWOOD
    Earl Emlay, producer of E.M.F. [sic] films, who has been taking scenic pictures of Crater Lake and other spots in this vicinity for the past four months, left this afternoon for Hollywood, Calif., by auto. He hopes to be able to salvage some of the films he saved when the boat in which he was making a trip down the lower Rogue capsized a week ago. Emlay and party saved themselves with difficulty.
    According to the producer, his pictures of Crater Lake will be shown at the Craterian in about a month, when he plans returning here.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1927, page 4


    If Emlay ever returned to the Rogue Valley with his Crater Lake film it was more than two months later, at which point I stopped reviewing the newspaper microfilm. It could be that little of the footage survived Emlay's repeated disasters, but the eventual fate of the film is probably best hinted at by his activities a year later:


Emlay Opens New Salad Shop at Service Station
    With the opening of Moore's super service station at 14801 Ventura Boulevard scheduled for tomorrow night, Earle Emlay, formerly of New York, is making preparations to open a salad shop on the premises, where light lunches and the finest of salads will be served and sold to retail trade.
    Emlay claims to be a past master in the art of producing a delectable salad, and the new establishment will cater especially to motor parties and the hostess who wants something different for her dinner parties.
The Van Nuys News, August 31, 1928, page 10


    Mr. Earl Emlay, erstwhile proprietor of the Salad Shop, has given up his business here and has opened up the Emlay Grill in the McCadden Hotel, Hollywood.
"Cahuenga Park--Sherman Oaks," The Van Nuys News, February 22, 1929, page 19


Raoul Mario Rites Held at Burbank
    BURBANK, Feb. 3.--(UP)--Funeral services were held today for Earle Emlay, 55, known in the radio world as Raoul Mario, who is credited with perfecting an ultra high-speed camera by which slow motion pictures are made. He died Thursday at his home in Pacoima.
San Mateo Times, February 3, 1945, page 3





Last revised October 6, 2013