I started film
making in earnest
At one of the family film shows I projected a commercially
produced film which seemed to act as a catalyst, it pictured
timber floating down the rivers in Sweden; there were clips of
elephants being used to transport timber in Burma, I knew I could
make films as good as these. I set off on the trail to find and
film as many craftsmen as I could.
Whilst I spent all my free time, weekends and holidays filming
in different parts of the country, back in the classroom I continued
to experiment with 16mm film. I found by using this film that
it was possible to give both a right and a left hand demonstration,
the only thing I had to do was to turn the film over and project
it. I used this technique in teaching the handling of tools to
left-handed pupils. I never deterred any boy from using his left
hand if he was naturally left-handed.
The only problem I had to solve in making these films was
that it only required a short length of film and the films were
too short for the projector ! So I spliced the film end to end
and formed a loop - I was then able to project the film continuously
onto the screen. This was a great breakthrough, it enabled many
pupils to watch the film until they had grasped the steps they
needed to practise.
The loops of film I produced gave a continuous viewing
of a particular operation such as the using and handling of a
plane on a piece of wood. The pupils watched the screen until
such time they considered they knew exactly what was required
- then off they would go to their work benches and they would
practise the skill they had been watching.
I produced several of these loops of film covering many skills.
As the loops became longer I had to invent something to absorb
the length of film. I invented a 'Loop Absorber'. In doing so,
I had introduced into the classroom another teaching aid which
had never been used before.
Later I was to be invited by my colleagues to demonstrate
these new ideas in education.