In the Beginning…A Tribute to the Legacy of Edward Phillips

Valerie Taylor |

Ed’s journey began on the backlot of Universal Studios, on the set of Beau Geste, back in 1966. At the time, studios were building their own grip equipment with woodshops, machine shops, and sewing rooms. Ed was the drummer for the surf-rock band The Vulcanes, ( but when he found out he was going to be a father, he decided he needed a career that didn’t require touring and leaving his family alone for long stretches. A few years later, he moved his cable running and light repair skills over to MGM, FOX, CBS, and Paramount Desilu; it was then he became adept at repairing heavy arc light fixtures

Gaffers like Earl Gilbert, Goldie Garnell, and Buck Cannel, to name only a few, were looking for lighter, more portable lighting instruments. The Arc (as it was referred to), produced 225 amps of Brute power. Also, Brute was its other nickname and, and weighing in at 250 pounds, it was indeed a brute to lift. With a little encouragement from his friends, Ed started his company, WAYNCO, which specialized in the design and manufacture of the lightweight “Golden Eagle” Arc Light. The Golden Eagle became popular, and in 1971 he sold WAYNCO to Cinemobile Systems, a Taft Broadcasting Company.

Back across town his friend Roy Isaia’s business was beginning to develop - as was Roy’s wife Dianna - and with the birth of their first son Matthew, a company name was born. It was dubbed Matthews Studio Equipment in July 1968.