History matters. No, honest. And in the world of shorts that includes the background of newsreels, education and training films, and of course backyard homemade footage by kids who dreamed of Hollywood.

For May we’ll be taking a look at that history.  In my family the story goes that when WWII came along, my grandfather did not enter the forces due to a few reasons. He had a small child (3 before it ended) and also supported his widowed mother and 6 younger siblings. He worked in an ‘essential industry’ and could contribute on the home front.  His need to contribute extended to donating his cherished & valuable Leica to the war effort in the hopes that it would be useful.  We’ve always wondered how it was used and where it wound up.

I was reminded of that recently when NZOnscreen presented some footage shot by Stan Wemyss, MBE, at Bougainville in 1944.  You can view that reel with more information here.  They set the bar for a country maintaining it’s media history and making it available for public viewing.
But there are tons of other stories. In the years following the war the ratio of newsreel to feature film in Australia was something like 400 to 1.  It’s the beginning of shorts documentary in many ways and back then was a craft that mattered.

There have been other great things popping up lately online including a banned Disney film about menstruation, filmmakers involved in PSA for theatres, etc.
So as I said we’ll take a look at a few of this all during May.  Starting with the recent addition of British Pathe channel to youtube. We kick off with their rare footage of Queen Victoria visiting Dublin in 1900.

Make no mistake because it’s only news – these were artists, pioneers, people with vision. This is how it all began. It’s important to watch. Remembering matters. All knowledge contributes to craft.
We hope you enjoy and will share.


~ by ShortFilmSunday on May 4, 2014.

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