This film is part of Free
A classically Victorian scene - horses and hounds setting off on an old-fashioned fox hunt
This film looks like an oil painting brought to life. The master of the hunt, flanked by his hounds, leads a group of well-to-do Victorian gentlemen in pursuit of a fox - a popular pastime for the 19th century moneyed classes. It's a surprise to see so many children following the pack, including one juvenile huntsman on horseback. The composition here teems with life, against the backdrop of a picturesque rural scene - the kind of image a still camera at the time couldn't capture.
The company that made this movie, Paul's Animatograph Works, made many similar 'actualities' at this time, before moving on to specialise in 'trick' films using early special effects. Director Robert W Paul was one of Britain's earliest filmmakers. He was a successful instrument-maker by trade and became the co-inventor of the country's first moving-picture camera in 1896. He built a studio in London's Muswell Hill in 1898 and continued to make films there until around 1910, when he turned his focus back to instruments and military technology.