Larry Yust's most significant contribution to educational film was through a finely crafted, intriguing, and intellectually stimulating series of dramatic films made for Encyclopaedia Britannica from roughly 1965-1975. Yust's 'Short Story Showcase' films are, we feel, one of the three great serial dramatic bodies of work of the 1965-1985 era of educational film, the others being the Robert Geller-produced "American Short Story" distributed by Perspective Films, and the fine continual series of dramatic films done by John Barnes from approximately 1959 through 1975. In addition to his film work, Yust is an accomplished photographer, as evidenced by his book Salvation Mountain: the Art of Leonard Knight (1998 New Leaf Press, ISBN 0-9660778-9-X).
Today, Yust continues to be engaged in new photography projects. His latest work involves photographic elevations, which "[are] made by moving in a line parallel to the face of the subject - walking on the opposite sidewalk of a Los Angeles street, or crouching at the rail of a Vaporetto traveling down the Grand Canal in Venice and snapping overlapping shots, with the camera always aimed directly at the subject on a line perpendicular to its face. Recording the images fifteen or thirty for each Elevation takes minutes. Fitting them together in the computer into a single image takes longer, typically two or three days of exacting work." These powerful images can be seen at: http://www.whatinternational.com/photos/photos.html His book, Metro: Photographic Elevations of Selected Paris Metro Stations was published by Ginko Press in 2004, where each open out into a three-foot wide panorama. His work was exhibited in the Louvre in 2005. Several of Larry's photographed can be purchased online.
Biographical notes and filmography
Yust, whose father Walter was the editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was exposed to films (and filmmakers) at an early age, when his father took him to Hollywood on a business trip for the purpose of collecting data on the film industry for the encyclopaedia. Later attending Stanford University as a drama major, he became involved with the theatre department, singing first Gilbert and Sullivan, then onto contemporary musicals. He also developed an interest in set design, lighting, and directing. After military duty (television programming with Walter Reed Army Hospital as part of the Signal Corps' Army Pictorial Service), Yust further developed his craft at other television stations, most notably XETV, the ABC outlet in Tijuana.
Yust's film career began with a series of health and safety films for EB made in 1957, followed by a number of science shorts made in conjunction with Dr. Al Baez. He also made academic films for Wexler Films, televison dramas for PBS, and directed three feature films. He is best known for his outstanding films on dramatic themes. We are in the process of identifying Yust's academic films. An incomplete Yust filmography would include:
EB Basic Physical Science series (Yust produced all of the films in this series and directed twelve of them. Four were directed by Stanley Croner)
Atomic Energy: Inside the Atom (dir. Stanley Croner)
Other films for EB:
Explaining Matter: Atoms and Molecules (1958)
Long Time Intervals (1960) Made for the
Science Study Committee (PSSC)
Short Story Showcase, a series of 16mm dramatic films made between 1969-1977, were released by Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corporation, fourteen of which were written, directed, and edited by Larry Yust, photographed by Isidore Mankofsky, and produced by the filmmaker in conjunction with Clifton Fadiman . Several of the following films have a companion ten minute short entitled "Discussion of __________", which provides insight into the goals of the author, objectives of the filmmaker, and an overview of the events surrounding the writing of the original story. "Short Story Showcase" films made by Yust were:
Bartleby (1969). Also "Discussion of"
EB's "Short Play Showcase" consisted of six films, all directed by Yust, as follows:
The Well of the Saints (1975), along with Editing
a Film, in which the director describes post production
Wondering About Things (1970, for the Lawrence Hall of Science, Regents of the University of California )
For the Dairy Council of California:
(Great) Big Dinner Table, The (1968)
For EC Brown Trust Foundation:
Family Talks Abut Sex, A (1978)
Tell Me Where to Turn (1970)
For Wexler's 'Metric System' series:
School Readiness (1972)
Progress Against Cancer (1971)
Requiem for a Nun (1974),
written by William Faulkner, starring Sarah Miles
Larry Yust's feature films include:
Trick Baby (1970)