The Snows of Many Years (1917)
Production Company: Educational Films Corporation of America. Director: Robert C. Bruce. Transfer Note: Copied at 18 frames per second from a 35mm print preserved by the Oregon Historical Society from source material provided by EYE Filmmuseum. New Music: Michael D. Mortilla. Running Time: 12 minutes.
Robert Cameron Bruce was an apple grower turned scenic filmmaker. Originally from Vermont, he’d come west and launched a commercial apple orchard in White Salmon, Washington, around 1910. After a bad harvest in 1914, Bruce turned what had been an avocation—photographing Pacific Northwest scenery—into a full-time pursuit, branching out into filmmaking. With much to learn, he hired Jesse G. Sill from nearby Portland, Oregon, as his cinematographer. The Illinois-born Sill (1882–1981) had kicked around the Northwest for about a decade before settling in Oregon. He’d begun filmmaking in 1912 and by 1914 was shooting industrials and local news.