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#AngelenoSwissHistoryMonth: Pioneer Eugene Germain

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via google Book “Los Angeles from the Mountains to the Sea” (Download PDF – 30MB)

One of the oldest commercial institutions in Los Angeles is the Germain Seed and Plant Company, whose founder was the late Eugene Germain. He established his home at Los Angeles almost 150 years ago, and was a man of wide and influential relationships with the city until his death.

He was born in the French part of Switzerland, November 30, 1849. Educated in public schools and the college at Lausanne until he was twenty, he then came to New York City and after a short time went west to Los Angeles by way of Panama. His first enterprise in California was a restaurant, but soon afterward he opened a grocery store and gradually developed the commission business then known as the Germain Fruit Company. While it was a general commission firm, an important feature was the handling of seed, nursery stock, wines, and the operation of a fruit packing plant at Santa Ana. Eugene Germain continued as president of the business until 1893.

President Cleveland appointed him United States Consul to Switzerland for a term of four years, and during his absence the business was left in charge of a manager. On returning to Los Angeles he sold the wine department to his brother Edward and the commission business to Loeb-Fleishman & Company, and thereafter concentrated his attention upon the seed and nursery features under the name Germain Seed & Plant Company. In this line he continued active until his death in 1909, when his son succeeded him.

April 2, 1872, at Los Angeles, Eugene Germain married Caroline Sievers. They had five children: Edmund, of Brooklyn, New York; deceased; Lillian, wife of C. A. J. Sharman, of Alberta, Canada; Clare, at home; and Marc L.

Eugene Germain was the first president of the Board of Trade, one of the first vice-presidents of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, and a director and officer in many other important institutions. He was a Mason and Odd Fellow, a member of the Jonathan Club, a charter member of the California Club, and a democrat in politics.

Marc L. Germain, who was born at Los Angeles, August 20, 1882, attended the local public schools to the age of nine, and during his father’s residence abroad attended the schools at Zurich, Switzerland. He finished his education in Yale University, graduating in 1904. On returning to Los Angeles he became associated with his father in the Germain Seed & Plant Company, and as noted above, succeeded him as president in 1909. Eugene Germain has also been responsible for much building improvement in Los Angeles. Some of the buildings erected by him were the Germain Block’ on Los Angeles street, near Requena street, a building on Los Angeles between First and Second streets, another at the northwest corner of Fourth and Los Angeles streets, the Germain Hotel at Tenth and Hope streets, the Germain building at 224 South Spring, a large building at the southeast corner of Twelfth and Main streets, and 215. 219, 221 South Main, near Second street, now a parking lot.

The Germain business was originally located in the T- Kurtz building at First and Main streets, but in 1899 was moved to 326-330 South Main street. In 1918 a separation was made between the wholesale and retail departments, the retail being located at Sixth and Main streets and the wholesale at the Terminal Market.

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July 10, 2016 at 8:08 am

How to deal with life’s challenges…

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Written by M:)

June 13, 2012 at 8:19 am

Meet “Team Swiss” – Cycling 545 Miles to save Lives – from San Francisco to LA

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Meet LA’s celebrity private chef Raphael Gamon, with fellow “TEAM SWISS” teammates and best friends from Zürich, Ulf Diegmann (fb) and Martina Cipolat (fb) – on their way to San Francisco to participate in this year’s AIDS/Lifecycle, (#ALC11) the 11th edition of the largest fundraiser benefiting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Jeffrey Goodman Care Clinic at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, two organizations that provide life-saving services to those with HIV/AIDS, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Team Swiss” is only $45 short on their $10,000 fundraising goal! Want to help? DONATE HERE

 Follow along on their ALC11 journey and SAVE THE DATE: Join us on Day 7, the last day of the Ride, Saturday June 9th – there will be a traditional (unofficial) “Chocolate Stop” all morning atop Zuma Hill past the ARCO station on PCH to cheer and meet “Team Swiss”, and welcome all riders home, refill their water bottles and pamper them with (Swiss?) Chocolate.  Qs? Helvetic.LosAngeles@gmail.com

Bravissimi, TEAM SWISS!

Written by M:)

June 2, 2012 at 10:03 am

#SwissTalentLA: Eliana Burki – A one-of-a-kind Angelena-Swiss Artist who redefined the traditional Alphorn – Check her out!

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Written by M:)

April 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm

#SwissTalentLA: “Missing You” – a short film starring Shiva Rose and Carlos Leal, written by Christophe Vauthey

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A beautiful short film written by, and Co-Executive produced by Christophe Vauthey and Maggie Soboil – featuring a cast & crew of many Angeleno-Swiss artists and their friends who were bought together by the Swiss Cultural Attache’ in Los Angeles to create this most beautiful short, which reminded us that


Here’s a few snapshots of the soiree

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April 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm

#SwissTalentLA – Help them reach for the Stars! “Me + You”, the creative genius of Angeleno-Swiss Film Directors Laurence Stajic, Sam Flueckiger and the sound of “likewildfire”. Check it out, and if you like it, BUY IT!

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Help Laurence, Sam and “likewildfire” reach for the Stars!  DOWNLOAD HERE:

likewildfire is based out of Los Angeles, California.
Not just an artist or a band, it is an independent music collective aimed at changing the way music is created and promoted

Song by Like Wildfire (http://www.likewildfireofficial.com)
Video written, directed and produced by Sam Flueckiger (http://www.sam-flueckiger.ch) & Laurence Stajic (http://www.laurencestajic.com)

Written by M:)

October 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

#SwissTalentLA: Meet Raffael Dickreuter, Angeleno-Swiss Special Effects Genius – Congratulations Raffael, You Made(it)in.LA+!

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What is your background?
I am originally from Switzerland and grew up there but have been living in LA for 6 years now mostly doing previs and vfx work.

How did you get involved on this project?
Pixel Liberation Front got hired early on in the process in pre production to help flesh out the large amount of visual effects sequences with previs, at the time no actors were cast yet and the look of the film was being developed. a team of artists under the supervision of Kyle Robinson moved to New Orleans where filming was happening and worked on location to plan lots of the action sequences. eventually production moved back to LA after half a year of filming and post production began at Warner Bros. the team deliverde large amount of Postvis shots to help edit the film and those shots then were sent of the vfx vendors such as Sony Imageworks and many others who would deliver the final shots for the film. I ended up animating shots as a previs designer as well as using the virtual camera system that I developed which would help the director, 2nd unit director and production designer scout sets. I also helped record action sequences using motion capture with stunt performers.

How was the collaboration with director Martin Campbell?
A veteran filmmaker with a great sense of humor made it a pleasure to work with Martin Campbell, he is married to a swiss woman and it was interesting to not just talk about movies but also Switzerland with him.

Did you received storyboards from the production or did you start from scratch?
Both cases happen. You often start with storyboards but some sequences you might start out with just some info or scribbles on paper and then get refined as the process moves on.

Can you explain the creation of a previs shot step by step?
Previs is meant to help plan action sequences before they are shot. at this time no set might exist or a real world location has to be worked into the process. You start with modeling some assets such as characters, spaceships and location and then you go on animating shots, composite in effects and they get edited together. Since it’s a much faster process than final shots which large companies will do with tons of departments and a slow way of delivering, the director can come by look at the edit and look over your shoulder and give straight feedback. So previs has a much faster turnaround which helps the creative planning. Previs is also based on real world measurements so the shots are not just to look at but also to measure distances, determine the costs of shots, which elements are practical, which are digital and also to simply try out sequences that might not get shot.

What was the most complex sequence to design and animate?
GREEN LANTERN was a very ambitious project with alien characters, artificial worlds which were all challenging, but the creation of Parallax was definitely a challenge as it was a difficult creature to handle. Artists Michael Grawert and Diana Velasquez did a great job tackling all the hard shots with that creature. The Ferris Party scene also went through many iterations which was a challenge to get it right in a short amount of time. We were able to go on set and see the helicopter crash and hundreds of extras run away, that was a great experience.

Did you use motion capture for your animations?
For the training platform between Hal Jordan and Kilowog and Sinestro we captued the performers and used that for previs. Most previs is still being done using keyframe animation.

You were on the set, can you explain how was one of your typical day?
The visits on set means usually a lot of waiting as the real sets needs tons of planning coordinating many people. Being able to see explosions going off or extras run around in masses is an experience but it can mean long waits. Working with stunt performers I found very interesting doing the fights as you see what effort goes into actually doing these kinds of actions.

When you look at the final result, is there a big difference between your previs and final shots?
It’s actually amazing how close the final film looks to the previs for most of the action sequences. It was such a technically challenging complex film which can serve as a good example how previs can help you plan sequences and save cost.

What was the biggest challenge on this film? How did you achieve it?
We faced many challenges such as the mentioned Parallax but also the insane number of shots that we had to do. For me personally was the development of the virtual camera system which I didn’t know if I could make it work in time. Knowing there was expectation to use it very soon was stressful but it worked out luckily.

Was there a shot or a sequence that prevented you from sleep?
hahah. there were some months were we had to work 7 days a week, at that point all you can dream of is sleep actually.

What do you keep from this experience?
It was great to see real set explosions and seeing my camera system being used by other artists on the movie. Seeing the final result on film is always a thrill. What is amazing tough sometimes is that you will see the result of something on screen that you might have worked a year or more before that and how long it takes a film to make of this size.

How long have you worked on this film?
I think it was about 14 months while 8 of them being on locaiton in new orleans.

What was the size of the team at Pixel Liberation Front?
The team changes in size, it usually goes from 4 up to maybe 10 or 12 depending on the production need.

What is your next project?
I just spent 7 months on the new Superman movie MAN OF STEEL, what’s next we will see.

What are the four films that gave you the passion of cinema?

A big thanks for your time.


Pixel Liberation Front: Official website of Pixel Liberation Front.
Raffael Dickreuter: Official website of Raffael Dickreuter.

Special thanks to the Swiss Visual Effects Association “Swiss Made VFX”
© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2011

Written by M:)

October 6, 2011 at 9:32 am

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