Gordon S. Mitchell Papers, 1946-1971


Gordon S. Mitchell, producer of special purpose documentary films and television commercials, was born in Los Angeles on March 1, 1907. He attended the University of California at Los Angeles and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena where he received training as an electrical engineer. In 1931 he began work at Universal Studios as a sound engineer, where he attempted to develop better recording techniques for motion pictures.

In 1933, he joined the staff of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Eventually, he became the manager of its Research Council, a centralized bureau responsible for the cooperative development of new film production equipment and procedural standards within the industry. His work on the Research Council coupled with his status as an Army Reserve officer led to Mitchell's active involvement from the late 1930s through World War II with the motion picture and photographic activities of the Signal Corps. He organized cooperation between the motion picture industry and the Signal Corps in the production of training films, was instrumental in the establishment of a training program for photographic officers, and in 1942 became a commanding officer of a photographic unit serving in the Pacific.

In 1946, Mitchell founded All Scope Pictures, Inc., which produced educational and special purpose films. Among these were training films for the Armed Forces, information films for the State Department, public relations and sales films, theater advertising films, and television commercials. After ten years, the company signed a contract with Twentieth Century Fox to become the Commercial Film Division of Twentieth Century Films, producing all the commercials for the television programs produced by the studio. In the early 1960s, All Scope, Inc. ceased operations. Since that time, Mitchell has devoted his time to commercial property development.