Father Silent Films Pioneer Mcavoy

Title: My Father, a Silent Films Pioneer - George E. McAvoy

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Author: George E. McAvoy

Release date: 2011-09-29

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Henry McAvoy was employed by Fox Silent Films as Location Manager from 1915 until his death in 1920. Henry had managed a fire works company, which gave him the experience of handling explosives to becoming an electrician. His job included that whenever Fox needed anything (submarines, war ships, naval aircraft. locations for filming) it was his job to acquire it. It was also his job to handle the explosives that were used in the thrilling scenes. The breathtaking scenes that thrilled the audiences were staged at the location. Many times this almost cost the life of one of the actors or actresses and in one case did. Author George McAvoy was only three months old when his father was killed in a dynamite explosion in his own garage. George only knew of his father, Henry McAvoy, through stories passed down from his mother and two brothers, from the letters his father had written to his mother when they were courting and when he was traveling, and from the thousands of photographs that his father took. George McAvoy uses these photos to tell the story of his entrepreneurial father who during the period of silent films became in charge of Fox Films special effects and finding the right locations for movies to be filmed. It was a much wilder time in the film industry when the center was Fort Lee, New Jersey, before the move to Hollywood. Many more risks were taken and there were few, if any, stuntmen. Unfortunately much of the film history was destroyed in a large fire at the Fort Lee storage warehouse where the highly flammable films were kept. The story includes onsite tales of filming and details of Henry McAvoys family life.

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