American maintained an office in England by 1911 and as late as 1921. This headquarters handled worldwide distribution of Flying A releases, except for the United States and Canada. The procedure for supplying films was for production to take place in Santa Barbara, California, the camera negative then sent east to Chicago where domestic prints and, presumably, a second negative would be created. This additional negative, or perhaps the actual original, would be shipped to England where the London office would produce the prints.
According to conventional silent film wisdom this was unique as other firms chose to either shoot the original productions with a second camera or use second takes for the foreign version. However, all American Film Company archival prints are likely to represent the director's original intent, whether domestic or foreign. Records prove distribution to countries as far away as Russia, China, Australia and South Afica. The large holding of prints at the British Film Institute is due to the significance of the London office.
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