April 6th 1944 – Movietone had been commissioned, in December 1943, to make a short film for the Empire Division of the Ministry of Information on “The Life of Princess Elizabeth”. Little or nothing had been done since receiving the commission probably due to the inability of the officials at The Palace to organize things. Any thought of getting the film ready for the Princess’s birthday had to be dismissed because her birthday was now less than two weeks away and not a single foot had been shot. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Movietone News’
When I started to write about Movietone at War I intended to write several separate articles. These were to be around fifteen hundred words each. I started to write and research at the same time. I gathered more and more information. The discovery of events associated with the subject were most interesting. I continued to write realising that what I was writing was more than an article. I soon had a word count over 6,000.
Before long I had reached 25,000. As I write today, the score is 125,000. Read more
27th September 1939 – The newsreels had been asking the Ministry of Information to allow them to film the embarkation of the B.E.F. (British Expeditionary Force) to France. They had been stalled at every turn. Then the Ministry of Information issued them with 3,000 feet of film on the embarkation. But, the material was badly dated and worse still, the newsreels guessed that the story had been shot by the G.P.O. (General Post Office) Film Unit. Read more
“Movietone’s shipping manager Dick Davies”
This week’s podcast tells the story of Dick Davies who formed the shipping department for Movietone, speeding up delivery and reducing costs to the company – resulting in stories reaching the screen much quicker than before. Dick was also an accomplished musician, who formed his own Big band. The real story of the podcast is how a deal made with management was reneged upon.
From time to time, while researching information for articles, I have come across written material that I find impossible to believe.
It seems that the authors of these articles have no experience of film making or newsreel production, so that they are unable to even acknowledge that there is something wrong with what they have written. Read more
In early 1955, Independent Television News was created. They were looking for staff, especially cameramen and sound men, as well as film editors.
They raided the newsreels. Our Editor, Gerald Sanger, who was employed by the Daily Mail, was seconded to Rediffusion, who got the franchise for London programmes from Monday to Friday. Raymond Perrin was appointed as Senior Film Editor at ITN, he was joined by Greville Kent and Alan Haythorne, these latter pair were editors who usually only worked on provincial “specials”, stories that were done from time to time for provincial cities. Read more
“Movietone cameraman Jimmy Humphries”
This week’s podcast remembers Jimmy Humphries, Movietone’s cameraman based in New Brighton.
“Movietone engineer Victor Mardon”
This week’s podcast concerns Victor Mardon, Movietone’s engineer, working from a workshop in Conway Street in the West End of London. He often gave me a shopping list of items needed to repair cameras, which I took to the staff of Beardmore’s in Percy Street. Victor Mardon was one of the unsung heroes of Movietone, working miracles from his workshop.