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Moving Image Communications Reveal Gems from the Filmfinders Collection

1 March 2004

Moving Image Communications - March 2004 Newsletter

* Filmfinders Update

* New video clips page in Moving Image website

* We will be moving shortly...

Filmfinders Update

The acquisition of the Filmfinders collection last year has added greater depth and diversity to our already varied footage library here at Moving Image. The transferring and cataloguing of a collection of over 650 films did, of course, present us with a real challenge but we are delighted to say this process is progressing rapidly. Today, 45% of the 650 films have been logged and all of these are available to search in our on-line database. Also, we are gradually incorporating video clips in the database so you can view samples of the films. Our team of researchers have made this process a priority and are continually discovering rarities among the collection. Moving Image strive to distinguish itself, and offer our clients footage they will enjoy watching. We believe this gives our clients an opportunity to "open new doors" and fundamentally spur on new creative ideas. From our efforts we believe the Filmfinders collection will give you a glimpse into a relatively unknown side of film history. Many of the films relate to the history of cinema, both on the screen and behind the camera. Many of these films explore the inner workings of the movie making business, offering the viewer an insight and an introduction to early cinematographic processes.

Cartoon Mysteries

A behind the scenes film of Universal Pictures Animation Unit. "Cartoonland Mysteries" illustrates, using close ups and stills, the process involved in turning cartoon characters, and script into a full-length animated cartoon.

Gertie the Dinosaur

Inside the city museum two gentlemen stand beneath the skeleton of a dinosaur. Can Winsor McCay bring the dinosaur back to life? McCay intertwines the real world with an animated sequence in an attempt to win his bet. A real rarity and a classic illustration of early animated story telling.

Archive Cinema Shorts & Cinema History

A selection of black and white montage footage including clips from classic films illustrating early cinema presentations and behind the scenes Hollywood information films shedding light on the "making of the movies". Highlights the roles of the people behind the camera from the Cinematographer to the Soundman. An education in the history of cinema.

How Talkies Talk & Movies Learn to Talk

A British-made information film describing the techniques that help bring the studio set to life. Lights dim cue the conductor, female lead singer and a number of interesting dresses! Live action and cartoon explanation of how sound is put onto film and projected. See the pianist playing in accompaniment to the action on screen or even an orchestra playing in the movie theatre!


A compilation of silent films. Whether Romantic, newsreels, comic or slapstick they are both unusual and intriguing. Look out for Pearl White, Mary Pickford, Rudolph Valentino, Enrico Caruso, Douglas Fairbanks, Lillian Gish, John Barrymore, Gloria Swanson, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin and the Wright Brother's first flight! Filmfinders also includes a variety of early documentaries. Presented as information films, they illustrate to the viewers of the day the new cultural trends, insights into important news stories and social shifts. The very nature of these films gives us today a real taste of how people around the world during the early and mid 20th Century worked, lived and relaxed. Often nostalgic, these documentaries will develop into a wonderful source of evidence for researchers and social historians. Here are just a few.

Wee Wee Paris, the Paris of long ago

Paris at the turn of the 20th Century, a city of trams, horse drawn carriages, crowed streets and packed food and flower markets. Come see the circus, Ferris wheel, hot air balloons and the Moulin Rouge. A taste of Paris and the famous Franz Reichelt and his attempt to prove men can fly by jumping off the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1912!


Newsreel footage of Suffragettes protests. Excellent quality footage illustrated with Suffragettes marching carry banner saying "Fortune favours the brave", clashes with police and Emily Wilding Davison self sacrifice as she throws herself under the Kings race horse.

Edwardian Scenes

"Funny now but what will our Grandchildren say about us?" A beautiful compiled collection of Edwardian footage illustrating the new fashions of the day. Generously busted women in fantastic dresses and furs, swimsuit modelling and gentlemen wearing bowler hats boasting pocket watches. From the refined ballroom dancing to the lively kick and turns this really is a delight to watch.

The City

An intimate look at the 1940s New York. With Poverty, sickness and a city becoming less fit for living, an age of rebuilding is approaching. Children play in dilapidated areas, Smoke blows from industrial factories and Men reap corn in the fields to earn a crust. The film industry has always had the urge to recreate the past with the added "movie magic" touch and this collection of early black and white reconstructions highlights this point superbly. These films give us an idea of the large-scale productions, by which, even the earliest filmmakers attempted to tell an historical story. One has to marvel at their ingenuity, using the special effects of the day and the "creative alterations" to historical detail that has become somewhat endemic in the story telling process within feature films.

After 6 days

A special effects laden Sunday school lesson. After Six Days recreates numerous religious stories with a surprising production value for such an old film. A somewhat tacky but spectacular telling of Old Testament, from Adam and Eve to Solomon by way of Cain and Abel. Witnessing Noah leading the animals into the ark two by two, the construction of the Tower of Babel or Mosses descending from the mountain top with the ten Commandments. The 1920s audience must have been impressed by its shear audacity and comical use of a "Censored" slide.

Quo Vadis & Ancient Rome

There's nowhere to run or hide in the magnificent Roman Amphitheatre. A terrifying 1920's reconstruction depicting Roman lions attacking Christians. See relatives desperately trying to stay together, the Emperor mocking his victims and the vast crowd cheer as a chariot speeds past or a lion mauls a Christian attempting to flee.

The Winding Trail

Four black and white short serials following the adventures of group of cowboys in the lawlessness and dangerous Wild West. Packed full of exciting runaway wagon cars, buffalo stampedes, and of course, a climatic skirmish with Indians.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

"Into the jaws of death, into the mouth of hell, rode the six hundred. The Charge of the Light Brigade." Black and white reconstruction of one of the most famous military follies in history. Moving Image has marvelled at the diversity of this collection. Filmfinders is by its very nature a fascinating archive - including slapstick comedy, historical recreations, information films and the curiously unusual!

The Trojan car

'Can you afford to walk?' The motorcar from the Monty Python school of car advertising! A hilarious short film showing the benefit of the cranky little car that can "negotiate any terrain" and bizarre sound effects to match. It has to be seen to be believed!

Gasparcolour shorts

Early cinema advertisements with great 35mm colour footage. Includes animated bottles, boats, cigarettes, a live action rooftop 'Rainbow Dance' and even puppet animation for a motor lubricant advertisement. We will continue to update you on the progress of integrating this wonderful collection. Keep an eye on our website for newly added Filmfinders material or speak to one of our researchers for help with a search or for ideas.

New video clips page in Moving Image website

A new page has been set up to view video clips that are not available in the collections pages. As well as the Real Player films you can view MPEG videos of wondeful butterflies from the Wilmhurst collection and a variety of species from the Wild Islands collection, both used for the prestigious Arkive project.

We will be moving shortly...

Moving Image Communications will be moving at the end of March 2004. Please watch this space for the next update!

Please don't hesitate to call us with any questions and queries.

Moving Image Communications Ltd 61 Great Titchfield Street London W1W 7PP - UK
Tel:+44 (0)20 7580 3300 Fax:+44 (0)20 7580 2242

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