British Transport Films Collection

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

Moderator: MichaelB

Message
Author
User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#26 Post by antnield » Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:10 am


User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#27 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:39 am

Just to answer a question posed in the review: the BFI did not censor one of the films by bleeping out dialogue!

It's definitely like that in the original film - and if the word in question is what the transfer supervisor thinks it is, then it's not surprising that it got bleeped out!

(It begins with a 'c' - and isn't 'customer')

User avatar
J Wilson
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:26 am
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#28 Post by J Wilson » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:51 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there talk of a bonus disc being released with the BTF box set? The set, as far as I can tell, didn't come with one. And does anyone know if any further BTF releases are coming?

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#29 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:22 pm

J Wilson wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there talk of a bonus disc being released with the BTF box set? The set, as far as I can tell, didn't come with one. And does anyone know if any further BTF releases are coming?
I may be completely misremembering this, but I think the original plan was to include the first eight volumes plus a bonus disc, but the bonus disc grew into the double-disc volume 9, which was released separately as well.

I can certainly confirm that the box set contains exactly the same discs as previously released (old-style BFI logos and all). The box contains nine slim double-disc cases, arranged volume by volume, with a single book that presumably compiles the text from all the individual booklets (but I can't confirm this as it's missing from my office copy).

I'm not aware of any plans to release any more BTF films - the impression I get is that the commercially viable ones have largely been exhausted (bearing in mind that some titles, like The Elephant Will Never Forget and other Tube-related films, belong to the London Transport Museum).

User avatar
J Wilson
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 11:26 am
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#30 Post by J Wilson » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:03 am

Thanks for the info, Michael.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#31 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:15 am

I can understand that the series might have come to an end because once you get past volume 5 or so of anything there is probably a lessening of a series appeal to anyone other other than the hardcore enthusiast or collector, even if the films are just groups of individual works and no previous knowledge of earlier volumes is needed! I am curious though - what would the uncommercially viable films consist of, and are there many of them? Could there be plans to release them in another medium, say on the BFI YouTube channel or something like that, just to make them available somehow?

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#32 Post by MichaelB » Thu Feb 12, 2009 3:49 pm

colinr0380 wrote:Could there be plans to release them in another medium, say on the BFI YouTube channel or something like that, just to make them available somehow?
Lovely idea in theory, but it seems to be based on a "pull the tape off the shelf and slap it on YouTube" model at little cost other than operator time.

In practice, these films almost certainly won't have been telecined yet, let alone digitised - and doing it properly (good practice as a general rule, to minimise the need to handle the best-quality surviving materials) will cost at least three figures per title. So if you're effectively going to give it away for free, who's going to foot the bill? And why?

There's also the argument that a substantial chunk of the BTF library has already been put back into public circulation, whereas other industrial film units of the same period are currently far less well represented. Given an unavoidably finite amount of time and resources, why scrape the barrel of one outfit (however fondly remembered) when you've barely started tackling the good stuff elsewhere?

(Usual disclaimer: these are personal views and not necessarily BFI policy - and I genuinely don't know what future BTF plans are)

User avatar
Matt
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:58 pm

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#33 Post by Matt » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:23 pm

After reading a bit about these films today, I went poking about for a sample. The first film I came across was...interesting, but perhaps not what I thought would be characteristic. Then I saw this one. Wow. That's an editing master class right there. Perhaps this film is also not necessarily characteristic of what's on the BRT DVDs, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#34 Post by MichaelB » Thu Jul 22, 2010 6:47 pm

Matt wrote:Then I saw this one. Wow. That's an editing master class right there. Perhaps this film is also not necessarily characteristic of what's on the BRT DVDs, but I'm glad I stumbled upon it.
That's the Oscar-nominated Snow by the great Geoffrey Jones, who actually has a BFI DVD to himself, containing virtually his entire output.

As you'll see from the relevant thread, I'm not the only one who plays it regularly - in fact, I have half a dozen of Jones' films ripped to my iPhone.

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#35 Post by zedz » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:09 pm

Another vote for the Jones DVD, in case I haven't mentioned it before. It's fantastic.

User avatar
RossyG
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 5:50 pm

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#36 Post by RossyG » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:16 pm

And another. I wish I had a fiver for every time I watched Snow and Chair-A-Plane Kwela.

I'd have £105.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#37 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:37 pm

You could afford the 18-disc British Transport Films boxset at full RRP and be able to transport it a few miles on a train!

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#38 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:27 pm

British Transport Films Collection Volume 10 has been confirmed for July - titles to be announced.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#39 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:38 am

The full list of titles has yet to be announced, but this press release confirms that the title of BTF 10 is London on the Move, and that "this welcome return for the popular BTF Collection turns its attention on the trams, buses and tube trains of London."

The clear inference here is that the BFI has struck a deal with the London Transport Museum, who took over the rights to the London-related BTF titles when the BFI took on the majority of the rest. This is why The Elephant Will Never Forget didn't appear on previous BTF volumes, although it was of course included in both Shadows of Progress and A Day in the Life.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#40 Post by antnield » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:37 pm

July 16th - and a two-disc set as per previous volumes.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#41 Post by antnield » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:34 am

Contents for Volume Ten:
British Transport Films Volume 10 - London on the Move

Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production unit. Launched on 1st May 1949, and led for 25 years by Edgar Anstey a founding father of the British documentary movement it became one of the largest industrial film units in Britain.

British Transport Films Volume 10 London on the Move, marks a most welcome return for the BFI's celebrated and best-selling DVD series, and marks a shift in focus onto travel in the nation's capital.

Bringing together a number of fascinating and informative films themed around London Transport, this extensive 2-DVD set explores travel on the trams, buses and tube trains which have carried millions of visitors and residents alike around London every year.

Disc one

All that Mighty Heart (1951)
Our Canteens (1951)
One for One (1964)
Cine Gazette No.14: Do You Remember? (1955)
The Nine Road (1975)
London on the Move (1970)

Disc Two

Under Nights Streets (1958)
Power Signal Lineman (1953)
Omnibus 150 (1979)
Cine Gazette No. 10 (1951)
Moving London (1983)
AFC: Automatic Fare Collection and You (1969)
Overhaul (1957)

Special features

Moving Millions (1947, 15 mins): A Central Office of Information film made by the Crown Film Unit in 1947 illustrating the scope of London Transport activities at their most extensive including bus, underground, trams and trollybuses.

Fully illustrated booklet

UK / 1947-1983 / black & white, and colour / 223 minutes / Ratio 1.33:1

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#42 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:30 am

Full specs announced for volume 10:
The British Transport Films Collection Volume Ten
London on the Move

On 17 September 2012 a new volume will be added to the BFI's best-selling series of transport and travel films, The British Transport Films Collection. London on the Move, the tenth in the series of double-DVD sets, focuses on the films that the BTF Film Unit produced for London Transport in the post-war period - films that explore the workings of the capital's bus and underground train networks.

Spanning nearly 40 years from 1947-1983, the films will not only appeal to transport enthusiasts, but can be relished and enjoyed by anyone with an interest in British social history or documentary filmmaking.

Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production unit. Launched on 1st May 1949, and led for 25 years by Edgar Anstey - a founding father of the British documentary movement - it became one of the largest industrial film units in Britain.

Highlights of Volume Ten include the classics All That Mighty Heart, Under Night Streets and Overhaul, as well as rare gems like Power Signal Lineman and Our Canteens. This selection has been digitally remastered for this release and is accompanied by a booklet of film notes.

Disc One
All That Mighty Heart (1963): a day-in-the-life of London's arterial transport networks, filmed across London and its suburbs between 1953 and 1963;
Our Canteens (1951): a fascinating and informative staff instructional film which was shown to all new canteen service recruits as a training aid;
One for One (1964): a detailed record of the full mechanical and electrical overhaul that London's buses received after every 200,000 miles of service;
Cine Gazette No.14: Do You Remember? (1955): London-born actor John Slater narrates this 1955 film which demonstrates London Transport's system for retrieving and returning the lost property of its passengers;
The Nine Road (1975): this film shows all the aspects of running the "Nine Road", one of London's oldest and most used bus routes that runs right across town;
London on the Move (1970): with its 250 miles of track and 5,000 miles of bus routes, the daily running of London Transport was enormously complex, as this film shows.

Disc Two
Under Night Streets (1958): a glimpse into the world of the 1,100 strong labour force which sets to work on London's underground lines every night, after the last train has departed;
Power Signal Lineman (1953): this film formed part of LT's training course for the Underground's Power Signal Linemen;
Omnibus 150 (1979): this film, which was produced to mark the 150th anniversary of the first London Omnibus, charts the evolution of public transport by bus in London;
Cine Gazette No.10 (1951): a newsreel-style production relaying information about London Transport's bus and underground services;
Moving London (1983): an ex-LT employee describes how the London Transport network has modernised and expanded during the 50 years since it was created;
AFC: Automatic Fare Collection and You (1969): an amusing short made to coincide with the opening of the new Victoria Line;
Overhaul: this film takes a look at the operation at Aldenham, where London's buses are made to look new again after serving four years' service on the road.

Special Features
Moving Millions (1947): a Central Office of Information film made by the Crown Film Unit in 1947 illustrating the scope of London Transport's activities;
• Comprehensive booklet with new essays and film notes by Patrick Russell (BFI) and Stephen Edwards.

Product Details
RRP: £19.99 / cat.no. BFIVD894 / E
UK / 1947-1983 / black and white, and colour / 223 mins / Ratio 1.33:1

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#43 Post by MichaelB » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:20 am

Mondo Digital on London on the Move:
Perhaps the most revealing and fascinating short of them all leads disc two: "Under Night Streets," a 1958 peek at the inner workings on the tube lines after the trains have closed for the evening. You get to see the workers toiling away repairing the tracks, going deep in the tunnels, cleaning out all the human-caused debris, and testing out the workings from every possible angle. It's all visually striking, too, and would actually make a terrific short film before watching Quatermass and the Pit or Raw Meat (aka Death Line).

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#44 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:11 pm

It reminds me a little of this Day Today report!

User avatar
gcgiles1dollarbin
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:38 am

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#45 Post by gcgiles1dollarbin » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:07 pm

Just in case you were thinking of revising your opinion about how stupid Americans are, it took me a full thirty seconds before I realized that that report was a joke. I had to hear "kill the horses with hammers" before I could say, "Wait a second..."
It's just that there's so much authority in your accents...

User avatar
zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#46 Post by zedz » Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:19 pm

colinr0380 wrote:It reminds me a little of this Day Today report!
Even more off-topic, but at least it's BFI-related: I think that shot of the 'fluffers' (and maybe some of the other footage as well) comes from Molly Dineen's wonderful 'Heart of the Angel'. At the very least, that film establishes that not all of the surrealism of that report was invented: there really are teams of nocturnal workers wandering through the tunnels picking wads of human hair off the tracks!

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#47 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:18 am

The BFI has just published Automatic Fare Collection and You (1969) on YouTube.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#48 Post by antnield » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:43 am

The Digital Fix on London on the Move.

User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#49 Post by MichaelB » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:06 pm

James Blackford, one of the BFI's in-house DVD producers, talks in detail about how London on the Move was put together.

User avatar
antnield
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:59 pm
Location: Cheltenham, England

Re: British Transport Films Collection

#50 Post by antnield » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:44 am

Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955) has just been uploaded to the BFI's YouTube channel in full. (Also available on Volume One.)

Post Reply