This film is part of Free

People passing through Gate

A host of faces pass before the camera in a lively but frustrating film

Non-Fiction 1901 2 mins


This lively film of (mostly) schoolchildren must surely once have looked better than it does here, with most of the faces being frustratingly blurred. Still, it does reveal something of the magic of the moving picture camera even this early - the children can't hide their fascination.

The film has been tentatively identified as the work of JD Walker, EG Turner and GH Dawson, later to incorporate as Walturdaw, a company that is credited with changing the movie industry - though but not because of the films they made. Walturdaw were the first to rent out the film prints that they owned to exhibitors who couldn't afford to buy the prints outright. According to articles EG Turner wrote in the 1920s, this idea came about because exhibitors were finding it too expensive to come up with new material to entertain audiences across long engagements. Being able to rent rather than buy new films changed all that.