Cupid’s darts

The obituaries for the late David Nobbs have all concentrated on the television series that he wrote, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin (1976-79). This was inevitable. It’s the work of his with which most people in Britain around at the time will be familiar, and it bequeathed to posterity a number of catchphrasesRead More

It speaks for itself

‘A million minutes of filmed history’ – someone in the communications team of the AP Archive must have been mightily pleased when they came up with that tag line for promoting their release online of the entire British Movietone newsreel archive onto YouTube. For that is what the have done. Apparently every story from everyRead More

Forget me not

My favourite website of the moment is the marvellous Forgotify.com. It is based on an absolutely inspired idea that also reveals a profound truth or two. Its simple premise is that there are four million songs on the music service Spotify which have been played by no one – around 20%. So Forgotify makes theseRead More

Film Archives UK

Today, October 27th, is UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. The day is marked every year by audiovisual archives and archivists as a means to (in UNESCO’s words) “raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity”.Read More

What is restoration?

Today I attended What is Restoration?, a one-day conference on the subject of film and video restoration, organised by FOCAL International and hosted by the BFI Southbank. FOCAL International organises an annual set of awards for use of footage in film and television productions. The awards include two for film restorations: one for best singleRead More

A right of access

This month the BFI Southbank has been running a season of Jacobean dramas on television. It’s another output of the Screen Plays: Theatre Plays on British Television project, whose conference I wrote about last year. The project aims to document, revalue and champion the largely lost tradition of theatre plays being presented on TV. TheRead More

Welcome to the machine

This week I attended Screening the Future 2011: New Strategies and Challenges in Audiovisual Archiving, held in Hilversum, the Netherlands. The event was organised by PrestoPrime and PrestoCentre, interlinked projects funded by the European Union as part of a decade-long programme looking at how film and broadcast archives should plan for the future by sharingRead More