“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.
“Movietone cameraman Ron E. Collins”
This week’s podcast recalls the career of Ron Collins from his early days at Paul Barralet Productions, joining Movietone, working with Norman Fisher as assistant cameraman before becoming a cameraman. Read more
Jan Borg, for many years, a cameraman with UPMT., UPIN, UPITN and WTN, the same company with four different names. He was born May 1st 1938 in Oslo.
He was, formerly, a journalist, a war correspondent and filmmaker. Read more
“Movietone cameraman Jimmy Humphries”
This week’s podcast remembers Jimmy Humphries, Movietone’s cameraman based in New Brighton.
In the mid sixties, United Press and British Movietone News parted company from the enterprise known as UPMT. This was the first British newsfilm agency based in London. It commenced operations in June 1955. Its first customer was the B.B.C.
One of the problems that beset the two companies was that they had different interests in terms of news coverage. Movietone were producing a newsreel twice a week and, where possible, they chose stories that were interesting in terms of what was happening in front of the camera. They were also aware that certain stories would not be suitable for the reel because of the delay in distribution. Read more
“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.
“Cleopatra and the Christmas Bonus 1963”
British Movietone News were owned by 20th Century Fox (along with the Daily Mail) and the ever growing budget of their film, Cleopatra – starring Elizabeth Taylor, had an effect on all parts of 20th Century Fox and their subsidiaries.
In the autumn of 1962, I was invited by Encyclopaedia Britannica to be a member of their jury on the EB Newsfilm Awards. I went to a meeting at their head office to get a briefing and to see if, after the briefing, I still wanted to do it. I agreed.
There were a variety of categories which included Hard news and Feature news. Read more
During the many lunches, and a few dinners, I had with Dick Clark, Head of UPIN, we discussed the operation of UPMT and then UPIN. One of the points I made was that items of news for which the pictures did not tell the story were taking several days to reach the client. The sort of item I had in mind was the example I previously gave where we were obliged to shoot the Prime Minister leaving Number Ten to go to the House for an important speech. Read more
Kenneth Warr’s task was to find freelance cameraman able and willing to work for UPMT in their own countries.
When he reached Johannesburg, he met up with Ernie Christie. Christie had been a competent still photographer working on news stories. Read more