Great website, Major Amberson!
Very nice seeing articles on the film that appeared in 1942. The one by Dolores Costello is great, even if it's obviously ghostwritten. It seems to be highly accurate about Welles shooting style on the set. Compare the description of the Camera exploring the Amberson Mansion, with Stanley Cortez's own account, 30 years later!
DOLORES COSTELLO: To Orson, there's no such word as can't. An example of his indomitable determination against the word "can't" occurred during the shooting of the scene (where Tim Holt returns to the deserted Amberson mansion). Orson had an idea that he wanted to get a shot of Tim walking up the staircase, which had several landings and sharp turns, all heavily padded with carpet. Everyone connected with the picture insisted it couldn't be done. Well, the young director likes nothing better than a challenge to attempt the impossible. He ordered the camera strapped firmly to the cameraman's chest, then instructed the camera-carrier to follow Tim as he walked up the stairs. But his idea didn't work. The cameraman's shoes kept slipping on the heavily carpeted stairs, throwing the camera a little out of focus at each step.
Orson ignored the technical crew's quizzical looks, which silently screamed, "I told you so." To everyone's amazement, he ordered the man carrying the camera to remove his shoes and socks and to try the scene again, working in his bare feet. The idea worked perfectly, as the man's bare toes could grip the rough surface of the carpet. Once again the "Boy Wonder" had proved there's no such word as "can't."
STANLEY CORTEZ ON THE SAME SCENE: For one sequence, when the camera explored the Amberson mansion after everyone has left it, I took the shoes off my camera operator, and with a heavy Mitchell camera he walked up the stairs with it and through the empty rooms. We used a periscopic finder, and a thirty-one inch lens. He had to move and we had to choreograph him like a ballet dancer as he walked, so the weight was not unbearably heavy.