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Remembered Today:

IWM film stock


IanA
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As most of you will be aware, I have been banging my tin drum and trying to liberate the IWM films so that we may all view them at reasonable cost. The IWM have been very patient with me and, clearly, attempts are being made to open up a little with a pay-per-view service being contemplated. However, this is not the purpose of this posting.

My query, and this is quite genuine - no points scoring or snide comments, is why there is apparently such a limited interest for the subject on this forum. I think I may state, with a fair degree of confidence, that none of us have direct experience of the Great War so all our information comes second-hand from published books and researching material at the PRO and other depositories. Surely, films taken at the time of the war provide the most gripping evidence of all.

I have no way of knowing who were the 60 out of 10,000 members who voted in the the poll: perhaps you were one. If you didn't respond, could I respectfully ask why? In my short time as a member of this forum, I have come to recognise many of the names who feature regularly in the postings (you know who you are :P ) and was surprised and disappointed that many of these failed to 'show'. Although I have never met these people, I have a deep respect for them due to their kindness and willingness to share their immense knowledge with folks who wouldn't know a bullet from a billet. However, the prospect of releasing actual footage from the Battle of Arras excited such strong emotions that some of you couldn't be bothered to vote 'Don't Know'.

Break it to me gently - was it something I said? Something I didn't say? Should I wash more often? Will I be blackballed from Skindles? All contributions gratefully received - but only if you can be bothered :P:D .

Ian

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Ian - I'm interested in what you are doing and posted a response to the question of whether DVD / pay per view was preferable.

However I don't recall a Poll. It may be that I did respond but I'm not sure. From my point of view you've done / said nothing wrong at all. If I failed to pass on my views it is probably only because I have been so heavily involved in the 'soldier who used to have a grave' thread that has been running for a couple of weeks or so that I haven't noticed it. In which case - sorry.

Keep up the good work. :)

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Ian, If there was a poll I probably didn't respond. I collect and research WW1 medals. I am interested in Regimental Histories and any other reference that will help me persue my interest as to where and when the recipient served. A film taken during WW1 I would happily and gladly watch for interests sake. But I would no more look to buy a cd of such film as I would of getting the complete set of the Vicar of Dibley cds from the BBC. I know that once watched I would be unlikely to view them again and they would just sit gathering dust. But I do agree that for those that would like access to such film then it would be great if the IWM would make it available.

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Andrew - you are blameless!!

Jim - fair comment.

Thanks to both.

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I must confess I saw no poll either but that is possibly because I have been here for a while now & only scan the post titles for things that I may be useful in. Only a suggestion of course, based on my own experiences, but perhaps the below would account for many other "old timers" on the forum too?

Generally speaking, I usually give off topic & personal discussions a wide berth as I have found myself fuming many times in the past because of how people feel they can conduct themselves when they dont have to see the other people face to face. As a result, I have adopted the attitude that its better to ignore potentially rude topics & remain (what I hope is) a "useful" forumite than get all angry & wander off into the sunset.

Unfortunately, polls seem to have fallen within that group without me realising it! My mistake as I woudl have agreed / supported the suggestion without pause to think! :(

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I missed the Poll too -sorry. However I would buy some of the films if more were released (I own the double tape of the Somme and the Ancre) IF they were in my areas of interest. Problem is that I don;t know what might be available. Dies IWM have a list of their assets

Perhaps if they were to set up a poll (on their website), it may attract interest , not just from amongst the Pals

Stephen

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I guess I'm another one who missed the poll. I did respond to your posting about the pay per view project; and on looking back later found I was one of many who would prefer outright purchase rather than a download.

If I missed a poll then I apologise but put me down for the relevant box anyway. I will allow you absent voter rights this once.

Garth

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  • 2 weeks later...

Right. Okay. I give up! I will creep away into a small, dark hole and embrace strong drink. In a forum dedicated to WW1 issues we have 145 responses dedicated to cat week; 14 fascinated by central locking on car doors and 6 responses (one of those from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) to original film footage of the war.

:P

(I may sulk until - oh, I don't know - tomorrow morning) :lol:

Ian

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Maybe its the prospect of parting with cash that has scared most of the Pals away :)

Why not post this in 'Other' or 'Chit-Chat' so that all forum users can see it and not just the Old Crusty's...I mean Old Sweats.

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Nah - me feeling sorry for myself is not a pretty sight. Best keep it in the club :rolleyes:

Ian

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Perhaps there is a perverse irony Ian that you seem to be getting more response to the sorry i did or did not reply to the poll than to the poll itself, nought as fickle as the general public!

regards

Arm

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  • 1 month later...

Ian,

Sorry I never replied to your original post but I honestly never seen it ...due to my tunnel vision when selecting which forums to browse <_< .

However, count me in as one that would be interested in the release of IWM film footage on DVD, and/or in MPEG format (either on a disc or download -as this is a handy medium for inserting into lectures on powerpoint).

Aye

Tom McC

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Not too long ago, there was a thread about the use of old WWI images in TV news, as it seemed that a limited stock was perpetually used over and over. In fact, even on WW1 documentaries I have the feeling that not only a limited stock of images is used, too, but also that it is not unusual that some of these images are misplaced (i.e.: the narration deals with 1914, while the soldiers shown wear post-1915 or post-1916 steel helmets). For that, I'd welcome a DVD presentation of original films of the period, unedited and with captions or subtitles explaining what is on the film and giving a bit of background (date of filming, place, units, shoen, etc...)

And Ian, don't feel bad about the proposal not meeting an immediate response: maybe your petition set someone's head at the IWM in motion and we shall see te results some time in the future.

The Lord, some say, works in misterious ways.

Gloria

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Hi Tom McC and Gloria,

Don't worry, I'm getting over it and have promised to finish the medication :)

In such a vibrant forum it is so easy to simply miss a message. We all have such busy lives!

I do find it extremely tantalising that such a rich source of information is still not available to anyone who wants it. I will keep pushing!

Cheers,

Ian

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Ian,

As best as I can remember, I did vote in your poll. What surprises me is that the IWM seems to need to see a substantial commercial market before it will contemplate digitising even its more major film holdings, whereas I would have expected it to be progressively digitising all of its collections of images (still and moving) as part of its curatorial mission, in order to preserve their content beyond the life expectancy of the physical media on which they are recorded. Historical and media/marketing specialists could then work together to select/design commercial and 'bespoke' products for sale, for educational use, for exchange with other collections, etc, etc.

Mick

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Hi Mick,

If you did vote - good for you, salt of the earth, remember you in my will.....

I confess that I, too, find it odd that the IWM isn't more (horrible phrase!) pro-active in this. One thing I have learned is that nearly all museums work on incredibly tight budgets and if it ain't budgeted for, it don't get done! I find Mr Smither of the IWM is keen to open up the film archive but is constrained by the rules of the game.

My original query remains - apart from those who, understandably, did not see the various postings, why was there such an appallingly low response to my poll?

Cheers,

Ian

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Ian: I confess that I, too, find it odd that the IWM isn't more (horrible phrase!) pro-active in this

:huh: That puzzles me too... surely this year's 90th anniversaire didn't present a golden occasion, at least, for a special DVD presentation of the "Battle of the Somme"? With all the press coverage, I'm sure it would have found public beyond the Great War aficionados

Gloria

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Is the answer, perhaps, that the IWM has traditionally confined itself to licensing the use of its film stock to commercial outfits like DD and Nugus/Martin, who cherry-pick material that appeals to a wider 'war history' audience, but is now looking into the potential market for direct sales of less glamorous, more specialist footage as a way of offsetting the cost of digitising some or all of the film collection for curatorial reasons?

I'm sure that most members of the Forum would buy (or at least put on their Christmas wish list) a classic like the Battle of the Somme, and those with specialist interests would probably buy compilations of relevant footage, but most people's budgets are already very tight, and I suspect that many feel (as I do myself) that they shouldn't have to pay DVD prices to see relatively obscure footage from a public collection and that the IWM should instead be making more film material available for free viewing on TV and over the Internet. This sort of pro-activity was popular some years ago, under the name of 'outreach' — but unfortunately, now that we have the technology to make it really effective, it seems to have withered away for want of funding.

Mick

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Gloria,

As I said somewhere else on this forum, the IWM are having a gala presentation of the newly remastered DVD complete with new musical score. Be in London on 22nd October with a nice £20 in your hand and you can be in the audience! :D

Ian

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Oh, That's good news :)

No budget now for travel, but will check for availability of the DVD... Is it on sale already?

Gloria

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Honest answer - I don't know!

But my guess is that if the big presentation is on 22nd October, it will be for sale immediately after that. I would keep checking the IWM website.

Cheers,

Ian

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Thanks Ian, I will keep an eye on that :)

Gloria

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  • 1 year later...

Hallo All

Sorry to ressurrect this thread if it's considered 'Gone West',

but I wondered if Ian A had any updates regarding the archives

of Great War footage held by the IWM?

Ian, you seem(ed) to be fighting a one man Crusade to get access

to the Archive for the general public. Have your efforts been fruitful?

Does the IWM have any current plans to 'digitise' the footage they hold?

And just how much is there that has never been seen since it was shot?

I would imagine that the preservation, remastering and then the transfer

of the footage would be a timely and costly business. Is there anything

more deserving of a little bit of Lottery funding than this project!

In particular I am interested in any 'combat' footage and whether any combat was

actually filmed, or if the majority is all 'after the event recreation'. The closest 'combat'

footage I have seen appears to have been shot over very long distances.

I know the 'state of the art' camera's at that time were bulky and static devices but

wondered if anyone at the time tried to film events as they were happening with

something akin to 'hand held'. Hand held and cranked, I dont know if it was possible.

kind regards

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Thanks for bringing this thread to life again - this is a real interest of mine and I missed the thread the first time around! I posted a thread about combat footage from WW1 recently, would be nice to see some stuff that isn't the same old 10 seconds of film or bits taken from movies!

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Hallo, redorchestra

Yes, I have been recently watching for the first time the BBC series The Great War

and have been surprised just how much footage comes up again and again throughout

the 8 hours, especially seeing as the series was made with the IWM's input. I would also

have thought that back then in 1964 the use of archive footage would have been 'easier'

as most television of this type was made on film and thus all the editing and transfer equipment etc

I'll hunt out your thread

Kind regards

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