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The collection consists of scripts; pressbooks; programs; financial records; biographical material, including many articles that Dyer wrote on his career, aerial photography, and Paul Mantz; correspondence of both a personal and business nature, particularly extensive for the period from 1916 to 1921; books; pamphlets; periodicals; catalogs regarding photography, photographic equipment, and supplies; and a scrapbook. Scripts for several U.S. Navy flight training films document Dyer's work during World War II.
Elmer G. Dyer (1892-1970) was born in Lawrence, Kansas. His family moved to Los Angeles in 1906. Dyer worked as a glass cutter and designer for a number of years and for a short time was an assistant set dresser at Universal. Dyer's purchase of a camera led to his work as a freelance cinematographer from 1916 to 1921, and he sold footage to such firms as Paramount-Bray Pictorials, Universal Weekly, and the Gaumont Company. During the 1920s he photographed several Westerns but soon became known for his aerial photography using an Akeley camera. After working on HELL'S ANGELS (1930), he began to specialize in aerial photography and aerial stock shots and was closely associated with stunt pilot Paul Mantz for many years. His output during the 1930s and 1940s included AIR MAIL (1932), I WANTED WINGS (1941), ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939), and AIR FORCE (1943); he received an Academy Award nomination in cinematography for the latter. During World War II Dyer served in the Army's First Motion Picture Unit and shot aerial footage for training films. Dyer began his own stock-shot library in the 1940s and in later years concentrated his energies on this business.
4 linear ft. of papers
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