BBW 2/218 - 'General Principles of Production'

Relevant Films: London River, S.S. Ionian, Steel Goes to Sea, Swinging the Lambeth Walk, Thoroughbred

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  • Mr Primrose has an OBE?
  • 27/06/39 – Suggestions for new films, including a cockney child's first visit to the country.
  • First draft of script for 'Building a Ship' – [turns into Steel Goes to Sea?]
  • July 39? TIDA. Suggestions for more films – Shipbuilding, Scientific Research, Living in London, Shakespeare's Country, British Museum, The Navy (in production), Public Education (suggested title John Jones, Citizen), Parliament, Life at University, Newcastle – London, Football.
  • GBI's potential as a production company that might be used added as a footnote.
  • 07/07/39 - London River allocated a production budget of £1000 if a satisfactory script is forthcoming. Also horse-breeding and racing as a film topic, £500 [= Thoroughbred?]
  • 'Port of Britain' film is suggested to have “some such title as London River”.
  • 25/07/39 – Letter from the Newsreel Association of Great Britain and Ireland Ltd, saying that Neville Kearney is on leave (official headed paper has 'M. Neville Kearney' Secretary).
  • Letters discussing formation of an alliance between Newsreel Association and Joint Film Committee.
  • 02/08/39 - Request to the government for the GPO to be allowed to make films for the Joint Committee of the British Council and Travel Association. Reply is that it is problematic. [See photos].
  • Many references to an Air Force film.
  • Naval film seems to be titled Full Steam Ahead. [Not in catalogue] Later referred to as S.S. Ionian. Produced, with special permission, by GPO. [In BFI as a GPO film]. [See photos]. Update: Her Last Trip is a revised version of S.S.Ionian. The S.S.Ionian was a Royal Mail steamer ship, hence the involvement of GPO, sunk by a mine in 11/39.[1]
  • Calvacanti considered Her Last Trip "a work of art and belongs to him as much as the committee". - SAM 9/3/12
  • Len Lye film is Swinging the Lambeth Walk.
  • 14/12/39 - Concept of the Newsreels created and discussed.
  • 14/12/39 – Aims of Film Committee [see photo].
  • 30/01/40 – The stages of making a BC film. [photos]
  • * 17/02/40 – Primrose detailing problems with the S.S.Ionian film, namely the fact that the ship has been sunk, and the ensuing re-edit. [photo]
  • File closed 13/11/41

[SC – 20/01/11]


- the five major newsreel companies of the UK all worked together to produce a weekly "British News" newsreel, originally intended for the New York World Fair.
- They would work in rotation ie one newsreel each a week, in alphabetical order.
- Each would have access to each other's libraries.
- It was the MOI who asked the Council to put the reels together, but the Council had already had the idea. The MOI suggestion made it a sure thing.

[SM - 9/3/12]
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