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W.H. Tilley Collection, no. 8 - 1950s and 1960s

Susan T. Solomon

Silent | 1951 | 1962

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    • About the video
    • Wesley Hope and Pau... Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley
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    Shot in the 1950s and early 1960s by W.H. Tilley, this footage was largely taken along the Southern California coastline at Santa Barbara and Laguna Beach. The Laguna Beach clips document the 1961 Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts (at the Irvine Bowl), where Paul Tilley was selling his oil paintings - images include Paul's booth and paintings, the Tilley brothers together, and the festival grounds. The film also features the Southern California coastline, along with the grounds and ruins at both San Juan Capistrano and Mission Santa Barbara, and, finally, the Santa Barbara courthouse. (The Santa Barbara footage was shot earlier, in 1952.)

    Brothers Wesley Hope and Paul Tilley can be counted among Texas' pioneering filmmakers. Their movie work extends at least as far back as 1910.

    In addition to their short subjects (as for-hire filmmakers) and early documentary movies of Texas, the Austin-based Tilleys made cartoons, titles, slides, advertisements, newsreels, and comedy features. The brothers were also involved in the turn-of-the-century amusement business as carnival music producers and for-hire projectionists.

    The Tilley brothers are best known, however, for their three commercial narrative features: Mexican Conspiracy Outgeneralled, Their Lives By a Slender Thread and The Kentucky Feud. These films were produced in 1913 around central Texas (as well as Mexico) under the auspices of their Satex production company and film lab, one of the first of its kind in Texas.

    W. Hope Tilley eventually pursued his music-related activities full-time, remaining in Austin. Paul Tilley later worked with another fellow Texan in Hollywood, film director King Vidor.