I was also fortunate enough to land a part time job working as a darkroom accent for, Consolidated Film Industries. Consolidated Film Industries was a film laboratory and film processing company, and was one of the leading film laboratories in the Los Angeles area for many decades. CFI processed negatives and made prints for motion pictures industry, where I worked for four years. I was just 16 years old when I started.
Gladys Baker, the mother of Marilyn Monroe, worked for Consolidated as a negative film cutter; Marilyn Monroe's biological father is believed to have been fellow consolidated employee Charles Stanley Gifford. I would see Norma Jeane Mortenson at the gate of the film laboratory waiting for her mother sometimes we would site down on the kerbstone and she would talk all the time never stopped talking. She was just 18 years old..
After graduating as an electrical engineer from California Institute of Technology I was hired by Byron Haskin, ASC, and head of the Warner Bros. Special Effects Department on Stage 5 in Burbank. Since this was the largest such department in the movie business, I was able to work with some of the top cinematographers in the effects field, such as ASC fellows Edwin DuPar, Hans Koenekamp and Warren Lynch. When Warner Bros. purchased First National's studio in Burbank, California, I signed a contract and remained with the studio on and off for the next 40 years.
Throughout the 40 years in the movie industry i only worked with Marilyn Monroe one's in the film River of No Return (1954) on the first day of shutting she came right in front of everyone a said to me "you made it" my little neg man and gave me a kiss. You must remember that it's an unwritten law the film crew do not talk to the actress on the film set. She never stops talking about the days at 959 Seward Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038-2546. In front of CFI.
After we finish up the film I stared out going down to Hollywood Boulevard to 7156 Santa Monica Boulevard, The Formosa Cafe doesn't look like much from the outside. An unimpressive, brick-red building with white & black striped awnings, it sits in a particularly faded section of Hollywood, near the corner of Santa Monica& La Brea Boulevards - a corner where hookers have been known to peddle their services even in broad daylight. Formosa Avenue (from which the Cafe takes its name): that walled, beige complex next door is none other than Warner Hollywood Studio. After work I would always end up there. You entered the darkly lit building we noticed a small crowd dispersed throughout the dining car and bar. One lunch time I was in just after 2.00pm.
One of the servers quickly greeted me and offered up any available seat in the house. She chose the leather-lined booths along the wall. I had just sat down in my seat when I she came over and asked me to come and join her table. It was there I first met George Harrell it was in the Formosa Cafe but that’s another story.