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Institutes of Learning

Orson and We

When William Vance brought a camera to school, he and his buddy Orson decided to take it for a test drive with some friends. 

Explainer:  This post was inspired by my dear friend and mentor, Vicki Vance, whose father received a movie camera as a gift in the 1930s. Technology is a glittering lure.

AN 8 Minute, 16mm short

Hearts of Age

Seven years before the word “Rosebud” was even uttered, Orson Welles and his close friend William Vance created “The Hearts of Age,” a student project which is considered to be Welles’ first, and worst, film.

William and Orson made the movie during a Summer Festival of Drama in Woodstock, Illinois. Its silent imagery is a humorous jumble of deliberately heavy-handed symbolism, arty montage and youthful actors in ridiculous theatrical makeup.

1934 student film

Hearts of Age


Old Woman


Indian in Blanket


Show Runner


Bell Ringer

Co-director’s cut

It’s nothing at all. Absolutely nothing. It was a joke. I wanted to make a parody of Jean Cocteau’s first film. That’s all. We shot it in two hours, for fun, one Sunday afternoon. It has no sort of meaning.

Orson Welles, Co-Director

KukLa, Fran and OMG

William Vance

Producer, Kukla, Fran and Ollie.  NBC Chicago.


James Thurber once wrote that Kukla, Fran and Ollie was “helping to save the sanity of the nation and to improve, if not even to invent, the quality of television.”

Vicki Vance, the daughter of KFO producer William Vance, was not as impressed. When she and her brother Denny were invited to be part of the studio audience, Vicki loudly expressed her opinion on live TV. 

Fearless Girl

Vicki Vance

Vicki may have been frightened by Ollie, but she was probably the only person who could look Steve Jobs in the eye and give him a better idea.

As a high-level sales executive for Sony, Vicki was the person who convinced Steve to incorporate the Sony 3 1/2 inch disk into the 128K Macintosh.

They played nicely together.



Vicki Vance, shleping a Sony AVC-3400 connected to a Sony AV-3400 black & white, reel-to-reel deck.