Victor Fleming entered motion pictures as a combination driver and stunt man at the Flying A studio in Santa Barbara, California, in 1912, following a series of jobs that included bicycle mechanic, taxi driver, auto mechanic (He also did a little racing on the side), chauffeur and auto salesman. Allan Dwan took credit for hiring him after he repaired Dwan’s car, but Fleming’s real conduit was his actor pal Marshall Neilan, whom he had met as a chauffeur.
After two years with Flying A, Fleming joined Neilan at Kalem, making the early Ham and Bud comedies, and in 1915, he joined the Douglas Fairbanks unit at Triangle, where he worked under Dwan and John Emerson. His first picture there was The Habit of Happiness, and he was one of several cameramen who worked on D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance in 1916. By the outbreak of World War I, Fleming was Fairbanks’ supervisory cameraman at ArtCraft Pictures. After Signal Corps service that included serving as President Woodrow Wilson’s personal… read more