Van Pelt Productions was originally established in Culver City, California as an independent motion picture studio in the early 1920’s. The family operation was credited with producing and releasing two full-length feature films; “Air Hawk”(1924) and “Cloud Rider” (1925). Like so many early independent studios, Van Pelt Productions was eventually absorbed by one of the major studios.

As part of the agreement, Homer Van Pelt was offered a position as a camera operator and later still photographer with Columbia Studios. Homer’s career with Columbia spanned over five decades interrupted only by World War 2 when he served as a combat photographer under Adm. John Ford in the OSS. Many of Homer’s photographs have been reprinted from films such as ”The Caine Mutiny”, “Picnic”, “Viva Las Vegas”, “Bye-Bye Birdie” and others.

Shortly after the war Homer married Margaret Mount, a Navy Wave with a specialty in photography. Margaret herself was eventually employed as a photo retouch specialist with Columbia Studios in Hollywood. Their son, Robert pursued a career in real estate but maintained a personal interest in outdoor photography shooting still life in Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East.

Robert’s son Eric and his wife Jennifer have now chosen to resurrect the 80year old family business in San Diego, Ca. with a specialty in wedding, portrait, commercial, and special events photography.

Here are a few photos that Homer Van Pelt took while working for Columbia Studios.

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