TODD-AO MITCHELL BFC 65MM FILM MAGAZINE
Mitchell Camera Corporation, Glendale, California for Todd-AO 1959
This 1,000-foot 65mm film magazine was manufactured by the Mitchell Camera Corporation of Glendale, California, for the Todd-AO Mitchell BFC motion picture camera. "BFC" stands for "Blimped Fox Camera", which was in keeping with Mitchell's designation of the initials "FC" for their "Fox Camera", another 65mm camera of the same era.
These 65mm BFC cameras were made to special order by Mitchell Camera Corporation for Todd-AO, and only eight BFC cameras were made. This magazine having Serial No. 4, was either paired with Todd-AO Mitchell BFC No. 2, reportedly sold to Todd-AO in February, 1959, or may have been a sequentially numbered magazine for a production that used multiple magazines. This is suggested by the painted "BFC" and the number "2" markings found on the magazine's edges. The film chamber lids appear to follow the practice of the time, wherein the lids of a given magazine are marked with the serial number of that particular magazine. This identification scheme has been seen on many Mitchell and Technicolor 3-Strip Camera magazines. Similar to the magazine shown here, other Mitchell magazines have been found with "NC" or "BNC" to further distinguish their assignment or use with a particular camera model. Despite whether the "2" means assignment to BFC Camera No. 2 or whether it was number two out of five magazines used on a particular movie, it's a given that many more magazines than BFC's were necessary (and built) to support their use.
In either case, a 65mm BFC magazine is still an incredibly scarce item, given the small number of BFC's that were built, and that the majority of motion picture production at the time was still utilizing 35mm cameras. Based on the magazine's Serial No.4, it was among the first to be manufactured.
It is interesting to note, that as the information for this Serial No. 4 magazine was being prepared for the website, Todd-AO Mitchell BFC No. 4 was being offered at auction through eBay. This particular BFC was reportedly sold initially to Mark Armistead, a Hollywood motion picture equipment rental house of the era.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office