This last one has me torn down the middle. This production was sent to YouTube by a lady who is or was a member of U3A. (University of the Third Age). But oddly, it has amassed one of, if not the, biggest number of views that we have on the internet.
At the time of writing, I am not a member of YouTube. Therefore, I am unable to make comments on that website. However, I have said something brief on http://www.ourdacorum.org.uk/ on the item Too Many Mayors.
I therefore shall give background details to this production.
A man named Tom Lowrence (correct spelling) put forward an idea that we should make a documentary film on the history of Hemel Hempstead. The committee thought this was a good idea, and subsequent discussions took place. Tom, however, sadly, with the progression of time, did not get much involved in further discussions.
It was decided that we should approach The Hemel Hempstead History Society. Our name was at the tim, Hemel Hempstead Cine Society.
The man we consulted was Clifford Owen. We had dealt with him before in our past. Now if Clifford Owen was involved in anything, he tended to take charge, officially or unofficially. He was very conscientious, and despite his age, quite a bolt of energy. He became the anchorman for the film. He narrated some interesting facts and figures, and skillfully interviewed some very interesting people.
I cannot remember all of the crew, but I do remember Alan Willmott did some rostrum camera work. I am not sure if David Blundell was a member at the time, but he had some recording equipment. I also was involved with sound, and was a boom microphone operator. The lead on the boom was liaised with the camera operated by David Harrington.
The production did get some advance publicity, if my memory serves me correctly, in a December 1982 edition of The Hemel Hempstead Gazette. The article also contained a photograph.
In early 1983, some further publicity for this film was also gained, when Darren Taylor wanted to do an interview about our club on Hemel Hempstead Hospital Radio. Sadly, I had cause to be visiting West Herts Hostpital aka Hemel Hempstead General Hospital, and would be on site when the programme went out. Therefore it was practical for me to be interviewed. As well as a general chat, it was obvious that A WALK INTO THE PAST, as our latest production in progress, was mentioned.
The film was premiered at St. Mary's Church Hemel Hempstead's Old Town in May 1963. ( If my memory serves me correctly).
Now for many years, there had been an international magazine for amateur film makers. It was known as THE MOVIE MAKER. By coincidence, this magazine had moved offices to Hemel Hempstead. They subsequently gave a very impressive report on this film after viewing its premier.
Now one thing that puzzles me regarding the YouTube submission is the fact that that it states that the production was made in 1984. It also apologises for the poor quality of sound and picture. The only explanation that I can think of for this is that Clifford Owen was keen to have video copies made. I am not sure what the arrangement was for the video copies, between us, and the history people. However, it was done. Clifford Owen was not satisfied with the quality of them. He did see our member, the late Brian Harris about this. As far as I am aware, he informed Clifford that in copying from one medium to another quality is quite often lost. Also, video tape for domestic equipment was not as good as film. This was an argument that was occuring within the amateur movie making scene at the time. I will add that video has become far superior now to what it was in the mid 1980s.
There was a video cassette in the local library, but with changes of building etc. it is now with the Hertfordshire Archive Library Services in Hertford HALS, where it is not for loan.
As far as Hemel Hempstead Cine Society aka Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers, are concerned, apart from the far superior original super 8 film, which is the original master, there is also a super8 film copy, one video cassette copy, and one DVD copy.
Hemel Hempstead Cine Society changed its name to Hemel Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers in 1987, because of the growing number of productions being made on video.
Our more recent newly revamped website is http://www.hemelmoviemakers.org/
I believe the contents of the article above is accurate. If anyone who disagrees, please let me know.
As this blog may be shared with the Herts. Memories and Our Dacorum local history websites, I must emphasise that the comments above are mine, and not necessarily those of The Hemel Hempstead Movie Makers.