Making History: making movies

Making history poster
Making History: making movies 5 minutes of film of your life right now. Submit the film to our archive and become part of history. You may have seen that Hampshire Archives and Local Studies (HALS) is working together with Wessex Film and Sound Archive (WFSA) to source material for the archive during the COVID-19 crisis, in a project entitled Making History . If you have film material, of any length, you can submit it to us for Making History. Full details are on our website Alongside this wider call to action, WFSA is embarking on a longer-term contemporary collecting project supported by the British Film Institute awarding funds from the National Lottery and by Hampshire Archives Trust. This Making History: making movies project aims to showcase the work of amateurs within our extensive collection while bringing into focus the decision making that went into every foot of film. The two-year project will involve screenings of regional film material, workshops, and collecting of contemporary material from members of the public, creating a new raft of modern material that enhances audiences’ understanding of archives and their relevance today. As part of Making History: making movies we would also like to use some of the newly sourced footage in screenings, likely to take place in 2021-2022, to sit alongside footage produced by early amateurs. To get involved, please email You can  find more about WFSA role HERE
Amateur filmmaking has changed a lot in the past 100 years. What we choose to record on film can tell people a lot about us and the world in which we live, as it did for amateur filmmakers in the early part of the twentieth century. In the 1930s a cine camera could set you back a couple of weeks’ wages. You then had to buy stock, develop it and project the finished film.  It took money, time and skill. People had to carefully choose what they filmed.  With similar restrictions, what would you film now? Our original aim with Making History: making movies was to really home in on the ‘everyday and the mundane’ to enhance the overall quality of our contemporary collecting. In the light of the COVID-19 crisis, we feel there is a need to actively collect material right now, as a means of cathartic recording, but also in the creation of an historical record, history from the bottom up. Due to the crisis we are focussing on our contemporary collecting now and pushing back into next year the elements of the Making History: making movies project which involve in-person contact (such as some workshops and screenings). Working with our colleagues in HALS we are reaching out to communities to contribute to the archive of the future. Now more than ever it is important that we capture a visual record of our regional experience on film, the remarkable, and the mundane – our lived experience in 2020. You can contribute films of any length to WFSA as part of our ‘Making History’ call to action with HALS, but for the purposes of Making History: making movies we are asking for 5 minutes of footage only because we want to replicate the limited resources that early filmmakers experienced and reflect on what this means for our own decision making about what we film.

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