Posted: Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

The first Hollywood movie was filmed on Whitley Estate on October 26, 1911. Of all the products of popular culture, none is more sharply etched in our imagination than the movies. Most Americans instantly recognize images produced by the movies: Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones, as an adventurous archeologist in Radars of the Lost Ark. Sean Connery, the gun-toting James Bond in Gold Finger, and Carrie Fisher, the beautiful princess who is fighting the evil emperor in Star Wars. Even those who have never seen ET, Casablanca or Gone With the Wind respond instantly to the advertisements, parodies, and TV skits that use these films' dialogue, images, and characters. So when was the first Hollywood movie filmed?

According to Hollywood myth, the first film made there was produced Cecil B DeMille's The Squaw Man in 1914, after the director decided not to alight in a snowbound Flagstaff, Arizona, but to proceed to Los Angeles. However, in 1911 a new exciting era of Hollywood was ushered in. The motion picture industry already had several studios in the heart of Los Angeles. The movie In the Sultan’s Power was produced in 1908 by Colonel Selig. It was the first full-length motion picture shot in an old mansion at Eighth and Olive. The motion picture industry did not come to Hollywood until HJ Whitley, The Father of Hollywood, spent over fifteen years and millions of dollars developing and beautifying the area. Considering how strenuously others urged producers and directors to settle in a number of other excellent sites, it is amazing that one man could convince the majority of them to settle in Hollywood.

Read more: Hollywood - California Historical Societies

Posted: Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

A photograph is shaped more by the "'Self-Talk'" of the person taking the picture than by what's in front of it. 


To prove this Canon Australia invited six photographers to a portrait session with a twist. ‘Decoy’ is one of six experiments from The Lab, designed to shift creative thinking behind the lens. 

HJ believed in himself. Others told him things were imposible, but he proved them wrong. Make sure the picture you are giving others is the one want you want them to have.

Posted: Thursday, June 4th, 2020 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

A few positive words of encouragment for the world. HJ Whitley always believed that if live offered lemons it was up to him to turn it into something amazing. The saying about turning lemons into lemonade was coined about HJ Whitley by his business partners. That is what he did in Hollywood. He turned lemons orchards into the film capitol of the world.

Encouraging words for us all.

Posted: Saturday, July 4th, 2020 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

People who practice thinking positively, physically reshape their brain by changing what they think. Research has shown that thinking positively, physically grows new neurons in the left pre-frontal cortex of your brain, and boost your ability to see alternative solutions. That increases your chances of making better choices and being more successful.
Tap your forehead above the left eyebrow. That's where a lot of your positive possibilities get there start. The correct self-talk grows more neurons there.
Smarter than a Gorrilla
If your self talk is positive, you're not only wiring in new neural pathways that change how you feel, how you look at life, and how successful you're going to be at just about anything; you're changing the structure of your brain in the right way. What are you going to do today to reshape your brain? How are you going to make your life more positive?

Posted: Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 by Gaelyn Whitley Keith

HJ Whitley was a remarkable man that was not imprisoned by his circumstances, his setbacks, his history or his mistakes, or even staggering defeats along the way. He was freed by his choices. By looking for the positive in every opportunity and by rejecting the belief that every down in life leads us only further downward, he gave himself the greatest power possible; the ability to move up despite the setbacks.

Bereavement, war, diseases, physical assault, stress did not stop him. If this reads like a random list from a nightmare of the very worst things that could happen to someone, that’s basically because it is. Researchers have discovered that these types of events can often spur one to positive growth. What type of growth could it be? After trauma people find they have enhanced personal strength and self-confidence, as well as a heightened appreciation for others.

Perhaps this is why HJ Whitley came up with the saying, “Those who think they can and those who think they can’t are both right. Be the one whose says you can!” He possessed such a positive outlook on life that his fellow businessmen coined this saying about him, “If life gives you lemons – make lemonade. HJ Whitley turned the lemon orchards of Hollywood into the film capital of the world.  The Whitley Heights sign the precursor to the Hollywood sign.

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