This film is part of Free

The Shooting of Emily Jane

An intriguing film of an amateur filming a documentary about Emily Brontë on location, up on the Yorkshire moors, and editing it in his home.

Amateur film 1980 23 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


A rare example of one amateur filmmaker filming another at work. In this case Gordon Riley films his fellow member of Leeds Movie Makers, Jack Eley, making his highly accomplished 1980 documentary about Emily Bronte. The behind-the-scenes footage shows Jack filming on Top Withens, the possible location of Wuthering Heights, writing the script, making the credits and editing the film.

Gordon Riley made a significant collection of films during the 1960s and ‘70s, especially local railway films. Jack Eley’s film was unusual for an amateur film in being made with outside support, in this case of the Brontë Society and the Yorkshire Arts Association. This wasn’t the first time that Gordon Riley and Jack Eley may have been involved in filming the making of a film: they were both associated with Leeds Mercury Movie Makers, which made a film ‘Crash Spectacular’, showing the behind the scenes filming of Alan Sidi’s ‘Devil God’ (1974), also made with the help of the Yorkshire Arts Association.