'The Cameraman' - Atlas Obscura

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'The Cameraman'

Burbank, California

This statue celebrating early Hollywood is largely forgotten, while its twin replica at Walt Disney World has become an icon. 

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A life-sized bronze by the father-son team of Aldo and Andrea Favilli, The Cameraman was unveiled in 1995. A small plaque underneath the statue reads. “He envisioned dreams that others might share…” a quote attributed to M. Vignali (seemingly Marcelo Vignali, a current movie animator).

Under the sculpture’s old-school camera is a tool of the absent director–a bullhorn. A sculpted open script lists a series of names the Favillis wanted to thank, starting with “Papa e Mamma.”

The elder Aldo Favilli worked as a cinematic art director at the legendary Cinecittà Studios in Rome. His son, Andrea Favilli, was educated at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Andrea’s product design work with brands eventually led him to Disney, where he worked as an Imagineer.

Andrea Favilli worked as the lead concept designer on projects including the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney/MGM Studios, and Disneyland Paris. By 1992 he had opened his own business, Favilli Studio (FS). Soon after, Roy Disney commissioned him to design the original statue to celebrate filmmaking, especially in the early days of Hollywood.

Andrea had also worked on designs for Walt Disney World in Florida. A replica of The Cameraman was placed at the entrance to the Hollywood Studios theme park, which was inspired by 1930s and 1940s Hollywood.

With many millions of visitors per year, it’s no surprise that Walt Disney World’s cameraman—who is not based on Walt Disney, nor any person in particular—gets more attention than the relatively isolated Burbank original.

In Burbank, the original Cameraman’s outstretched hand points to the Hollywood sign nestled on the hills beyond.

Know Before You Go

The statue is also opposite the Smoke House, an old school, red leather booth eatery that opened in 1946 and has fed many people in the movie business since then. George Clooney and his producing partner Grant Heslov had so many meals there that they actually named their production company after the restaurant. 


That statue is on the corner of Lakeside Drive and West Olive Avenue. It's located near gate 2 of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California.

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January 25, 2024

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