Weegee’s Camera Magic

“Weegee’s Camera Magic,” ca. 1960

Anyone who wanders into Weegee’s world, is curious and looks closely, notices that there is often a bit of ambiguity, confusion and obfuscation (perhaps even misinformation) surrounding the facts of Weegee’s photos. (Even the cats have three eyes.) The most obvious examples of this are the titles and dates of Weegee’s most famous photos, for example, “Summer, Lower East Side” ca. 1937, was made in the Upper West Side, perhaps around 1945. (More, and incomplete, info about “Summer, Upper West Side” is here.) “Weegee’s Camera Magic” is another example:

wee gees camera magic 1
“Weegee’s Camera Magic,” color, ca. 1960, (image from the Internet)

There is a Castle Film called “Camera Magic,” it’s #806. (It was made or released from 1945-1953?) Perhaps the filmmaker is anonymous.
There is a Castle Film called “Weegee’s Camera Magic,” it’s #1016 in black and white, and #9021 in color. It was copyrighted in 1960. (And released between 1960-1966?)
We think “Camera Magic” and “Weegee’s Camera Magic” are two different films.
(Interestingly Weegee’s film is in both color and black and white. And in way, perhaps Weegee continued his work with Universal.)

Page 156 of “Castle Films: A Hobbyists’s Guide” by Scott MacGillivray, the google books version is here.

castle films p 312
Page 312 of “Castle Films: A Hobbyists’s Guide” by Scott MacGillivray, the google books version is here.

A useful, informative, great book: “Castle Films: A Hobbyists’s Guide” by Scott MacGillivray.

This is “Weegee’s Camera Magic”

Images from the Internet

This is “Weegee’s Camera Magic”




“Weegee’s Camera Magic,” 8mm, complete and headline editions, catalogue number 1016.

This is not Weegee’s Camera Magic:



“Camera Magic,” 8 and 16mm, catalogue number 806.

CAMERA MAGIC DVD Converted From Original Black and White by Arthur Weegee

* Historically Important Special Effects Revealed *

Please understand you are purchasing a DVD of the original print of the black and white – 16mm – sound version of this production. You will not be receiving any film product.

A documentary using camera techniques and found objects to allow the amateur film maker or enthusiast to create special effects. That would be interesting enough, but this was made by WEEGEE – the most famous TABLOID photographer in America – the man who created the genre in the 1930’s and 40’s. What might have been routine in the hands of another cinematographer takes on a new, weird and carnival-like flavor. WEEGEE roams the streets of New York City, and we get to tag along, seeing different camera tricks as we go. The techniques include shooting with a special 90 degree lens that lets you film people surreptitiously, shooting past angled mirrors to create kaleidoscope-like effects, and using reflective sheets with other tricks to achieve effects such as a woman with two heads. A great DVD for anyone with an interest in WEEGEE, a New York film collection or interest in the origins of the “light shows” of the psychedelic 60s.

Some of the scenes include: On Water or Dry Land, Bearded Lady of the Circus, Handsome Man in the Palm of Your Hand, The Girl Who Lost Her Head, Impossible Physical Contortions, The Human Fly, Split Stage (matting film), Goose Step, Horse That Can’t Make Up His Mind, Fish that Jump out of Lake into Boat, Preventing Accidents / Staging Accidents, Making Dollies, Dissolving in Two Figures, Optical Painting – Use of Prisms.

The DVD was carefully / optically produced, retaining the highest quality of the visual and audio information provided. Entertaining in a 9 minute DVD.

Not Weegee’s Camera Magic

The above is a current eBay auction:
For $10.00 you can buy a DVD of a film that was not made by Weegee, but is allegedly made by “Arthur Weegee.”

This is not Weegee’s Camera Magic.
(Not Weegee’s Camera Magic can also be seen here.)

To be continued…

Comments are closed.