The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show

Production Stills: The Mystery of Ghost Farm

These photos from the filming of the second Hardy Boys serial were made at the World Jungle Compound in Thousand Oaks, California. They show Tommy Kirk, Tim Considine, and character actor John Harmon doing a traveling take, where the performers move along a prescribed distance for the duration of the shot. The first photo (below on the viewer's left) displays the trio as the camera sees them at the start of the scene. The last two images show how the camera and sound crew track the moving actors.

Production stills were made for a variety of purposes, including publicity. The still photographer roamed around the set capturing both the filmed action, and the actors while in-between scenes. At the end of the day the photographer would prepare contact sheets with a dozen thumbnail photos on each. These sheets served as a record of the day's filming for accounting, as a continuity guide for the production crew, and as a source for selecting photos for publicity.

Each photo was given a tracking number, which can be seen below the images on the contact sheet. When a picture was chosen to be enlarged for publicity or some other purpose, the tracking number would often be placed on the image itself, usually in a bottom corner, preceded by "MCTV-". There were probably logs maintained, by tracking number, of each photo taken.

Every studio had its own system for numbering production stills. For the Mickey Mouse Club, they were numbered sequentially from the start of production. No one seems to have anticipated that a daily television show was going to generate a lot more photos than the couple of hundred typical of a movie. By the end of the third season, the numbers being assigned to stills had reached over 27000. The vast majority of these images never made it beyond the contact sheet stage, which, as the photo to your right shows, was not necessarily a bad thing.

Contact Sheet

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