Gerald Bertram “Jerry” Fairbanks was a producer and director in the Hollywood motion picture and television industry.
Fairbanks survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, and began his career in film as a cameraman on silent movies such as John Barrymore’s The Sea Beast. This was followed by work on early sound productions such as Howard Hughes’ film Hell’s Angels in which he participated both as a biplane pilot and aerial cinematographer for the extensive World War I dogfight scenes.
His first foray into producing involved an innovative color series of theatrical short subjects for Universal Studios called Strange As It Seems. Based on the success of these productions, he was able to sell Paramount Pictures on three new series of short subjects entitled Unusual Occupations, Speaking of Animals, and Popular Science.
The latter series was produced with the cooperation of the editors of Popular Science magazine and ran from 1935 to 1949. Films in the Unusual Occupations and Popular Science series were made in Magnacolor and showcased a vast assortment of groundbreaking wonders from the world of science and industry.