R.I.P. Dann Cahn

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R.I.P. Dann Cahn
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R.I.P. Dann Cahn

Dann Cahn, a pioneer of the three-camera method of filming and editing TV sitcoms, has died. Cahn also was the last surviving member of the original creative team behind the landmark series I Love Lucy. He was 89 and died Wednesday of natural causes at his home in west Los Angeles. Cahn worked on Lucy‘s entire six-season run from 1951 to 1957. Unlike series that preceded it, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s show used three motion picture cameras instead of one. The multicamera technique allowed for a show to be filmed continuously and in sequence, like a stage play. The amount of footage overwhelmed editors at the time, according to the LA Times, and they located a cutting-edge device that had been created for the quiz show Truth Or Consequences. When it was delivered to Desilu, Cahn called it a “monster” because it wouldn’t fit into the editing room so they put it in the prop room. “It was a Moviola with four heads — three for picture and one for sound,” Cahn told Editors Guild Magazine in 2006. Cahn eventually became editing supervisor at Ball and Arnaz’s production company Desilu, where he supervised editing of a slate of TV shows that included Our Miss Brooks, The Real McCoys, The Life And Legend Of Wyatt Earp, The Untouchables and several others. Cann also worked on The Beverly Hillbillies, The Fall Guy, Police Woman plus several made-for-TV movies including Bates Motel and Bud And Lou. Feature work included Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, Zero To Sixty and Forever Darling. Cahn was the son of Philip Cahn, a film editor who co-founded the Motion Picture Editors Guild in 1937. Dann Cahn’s only survivor, Daniel, is currently president of the Guild.

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