Shooting The Somme, How an Iconic Film Was Faked, Uncovering a Century of Controversy

Making a film of battle in 1916 and taking it direct to cinemas before the battle had ended was groundbreaking. The cameramen filmed with the troops and captured the dirt and horror of modern warfare, but after its acclaimed first screenings, doubts began to emerge as to the honesty of the film, producing a century of controversy. – Highly Recommended

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NAME: Shooting The Somme, How an Iconic Film Was Faked, Uncovering a 
Century of Controversy
FILE: R2807
AUTHOR: Bob Carruthers
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back 
PAGES: 304
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, World War 1, First World War, The Great 
War, trench warfare, Battle of the Somme, 1916, movie making, motion pictures

ISBN: 1-47386-868-8

IMAGE: B2807.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/yxtskuj3
LINKS:  
DESCRIPTION:   Making a film of battle in 1916 and taking it direct to 
cinemas before the battle had ended was groundbreaking. The cameramen 
filmed with the troops and captured the dirt and horror of modern warfare, 
but after its acclaimed first screenings, doubts began to emerge as to the 
honesty of the film, producing a century of controversy. -  Highly Recommended

This book provides the first balanced review of how this groundbreaking film was shot, edited and 
presented, including details of how some scenes were manufactured.

Today it is perhaps difficult to appreciate the challenges of shooting a film in battle during 1916, 
pulling the elements together and making it flow for the audience. It is also perhaps difficult to 
appreciate today just how sensational the film was and how great the impact on the audiences. In 
1916, movie film making may have been a young industry but was not new, with several decades 
of experimenting under its belt. Photography in war was also more than half a century old and this 
gave much knowledge of the challenges of operating relatively vulnerable equipment on the battle 
field, being close enough to the action to get the most revealing shots, while staying alive. There were
 also challenges in shooting action shots where there was no control over lighting, or the opportunity to 
reshoot any footage that needed to be better.

Once film was shot there were challenges in getting it back to the photo lab for processing. Then the 
processed film had to be put together and edited to produce a flow that would hold the attention of the 
audience. Action footage would include imperfect scenes and the director would have to decide 
whether to use authentic footage, or fabricate new footage, to produce the effect required on the audience.

Today we are used to phone camera footage shot by amateurs and film shot be professional war 
correspondents, where we assume that what we are viewing is authentic film. The mass of images 
available of any specific event is assumed to provide some level of authenticity by comparing footage 
from different cameras. However, film/video is still edited and enhanced and this is easier today in a 
digital environment. In reality, digital filming offers a great many opportunities to significantly enhance 
video and modify elements to completely alter the information portrayed. Shooting the Somme was a 
very interesting prototype for today's instant documentary, in addition to being a fascinating story of 
how early combat cameramen and film directors rose to the challenges and exploited the opportunities 
that were available to them.