BW 2/31 - 'Joint Committee on Films: Agenda, Minutes & Correspondance [38]'

Relevant Films: N/A

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[SC 14/12/11]

Proposal for 1939 New York World Fair, submitted by Donald Taylor (Strand Films). 4000ft long, costing £3k-£3.5k. Producers himself and Mr Pelly (Publicity Films).

Discussion on provision of new films for NYWF. [p]

Newsreel propaganda discussion twixt Primrose & Mr Castleton Knight of Gaumont British News. [p]

Joint Film Committee Meeting title sheet - 19/09/38. [p]

‘Mr Kearney of the Federation of British Industries’.

JC budget 1939-1940 [Dec 1938].
“In the final budget no money was allocated for production, a large proportion of the available money being used for ‘adaption’... The question of production must be faced and there is the suggestion already before the Committee, for the distribution of special newsreels... The work imposed on the Association by the Committee has been considerable, if regard is had to the amount of detailed work involved in each transaction, and will involve increases in the staff of the Film Department. This work has been further increased by the New York World’s Fair. In the present year, the whole of this expenditure, amounting to several thousand pounds, including technical staff, rent etc. of film vaults, a considerable postage and telephone bill, not the mention the salary of Mr. Primrose and his assistants, has been paid for, with the exception of £227 by the Association. It may be argued that this is the Association’s contribution to the film work. On the other hand, anything like the programme envisaged above, with the New York World Fair work in addition, will involve increases of staff at head-quarters, increases of technical staff and larger premises for the Film Unit. The Association cannot be committed to such expenditure without the assent of its Financial Committee, and they will object to an excessive proportion of the Association’s modest funds being earmarked for film work. It is suggested that for the next twelve months, pending consideration of the whole question, the Council should make a grant to cover extra staff and expenses, of £1,000. It is not a question of the Council paying the Association’s staff, but of the Council paying part of the cost of the work which is done with and for them.” [p]

More items on preparations for the World Fair, and budgets for the JC. [p]

Discussion on Paul Rotha’s attacks on the Committee. [16.01.39] [p]
Decide there is nothing to be done about it at present.

Document on a Mr Cecil Cattermoul, who essentially distributes the JC’s & TA’s propaganda films, but disguises the sources and markets them as entertainment. [p]

Candidates for manager of NYWF pavilion cinema - Lt.Com. Harold Auten, and Mr T.G.C. Turnbull. [p].

JC minutes summary [31.01.39]. Mention of a new film about the Navy. Highet (GPO) to look into it. [p]

Navy film proposal involves following the HMS Ashanti, though the Committee is not keen at this stage.

JC debates whether to make a film on the Royal family. Decline. [15.02.39] [p]

[06.03.39] Colonel Bridge has to withdraw from JC due to commitments at BC. Signature illegible, but assumed to be written by Guedalla from witty tone. [p]

1939 list of documentary films draft. [03.39].
Draft of Films of Britain?
“The preparation of the 1939 Lists has been delayed mainly because a number of new films have only just been finished or have not yet been viewed.”
Includes: Duchy of Cornwall & The British Navy, only.

[15.02.39] Archer Cust of the Imperial Institute writes to Primrose at TIDA, but as Secretary of the JC, to ask if the JC would help finance ‘Empire Around the Atlantic’, which is now ready for production.


SM 9/3/12

- Proposal for a film on British Justice (probably English Criminal Justice). Would be expensive, as would need to be high budget & appeal to American audience.

- New York World Fair 1939. Newsreel companies to meet to discuss creation of "British News" for New York World Fair. Newsreels would eventually be distributed across the world.

- Newsreels would generally be low cost. Consulted GPO first. Only cost £100 each (initial estimate. In actuality this would cost £150), and initially 20 were ordered.

- Each reel 15mins, for 26 weeks during fair. Each of the five companies would do one week each, in rotation.

- Newsreel Associates also prepared a 60-70minute programme per week also, for £100.

- Each company's editors would cooperate with each other.
- Each company would use their own commentator.

- Intro/outro made for each company to use. Major Adkins 'Fanfare of Trumpets' was requested to be used. He agreed royalty-free, only if acknowledgment made to Kneller Hall Coronation Trumpeters.

- Each of the newsreels asked to submit opening/closing trademar idea. Not known which was chosen.

- Two copies were shipped per week - one by boat, one by air. "Experimental plane, if need be."