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Author Topic: New Film Search  (Read 4613 times)

Karen Hoy

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2019, 06:27:19 PM »

A search of the National Film and Sound Archive website found only a few film items under Earhart's name and none under Marshall's. This is the only one that seems sort of close:

http://colsearch.nfsa.gov.au/nfsa/search/display/display.w3p;page=0;query=earhart,%20amelia;rec=1;resCount=10

Here is their contact info:

https://www.nfsa.gov.au/contact-us

Karen Hoy
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2019, 07:06:41 PM »

That’s not the Marshall film but it might be interesting.
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Kurt Kummer

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2019, 03:04:42 AM »

Here's a little clip of NR16020 and Amelia getting ready for the flight.  Notice right at the end when the plane splashes through puddles on takeoff.  See how the water puffs up and blows away?  I wonder if that's what happened in Lae.  It'd sure be interesting to know if the antenna wire came off that day.  Maybe Syd's 16mm movie will tell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieCk60JD_Qc
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2019, 08:03:15 AM »

See how the water puffs up and blows away?  I wonder if that's what happened in Lae. 
In the Oakland takeoff film, the water puffs up behind the tire as you would expect.  In the Lae takeoff film the "puff" erupts under the centerline of the fuselage.
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Matt Revington

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2019, 02:06:55 PM »

Ric, when thus came up on the forum a couple of years ago you wrote (Re: Final Takeoff film
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2016, 04:57:02 PM »)
 "The film was allegedly shot in 16mm by someone named Sid Marshall (all we know about him is his name). Somehow the 99s in Oklahoma City ended up with a copy.  'Long about 1987, T.C. "Buddy" Brennan talked somebody at the EAA into producing a film to go along with his book "Witness To The Execution" (Renaissance House, 1988).  The film included the home video interviews Brennan had shot with the islanders who were, of course, witnesses to Earhart's execution by the Japanese.  To make the film more interesting, the EAA asked the 99s to loan them their copy of the Last Takeoff film.  The EAA made an analog video (VHS) dub of the 99s 16mm film and included it in the Witness To The Execution film.  (Here's where it gets good.)  Instead of returning the 16mm print to Oklahoma City the EAA gave it to a former president of the 99s who lived near Oshkosh. She assured them she would return it to Oke City.  She didn't.  She kept it along with other memorabilia she had forgotten to return to the 99s.  When she died, her son, the executor of her estate, auctioned off all her stuff out of resentment for the attention his mother paid to the 99s and not to him. The EAA never knew about it until the 99s inquired about the whereabouts of their film.  By then the deed was done."

Were there no auction records for the 99's print of the film?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2019, 02:10:26 PM »

Were there no auction records for the 99's print of the film?

No, the auction story is not documented and must be considered rumor.  All we know for sure is that the film never made it to Oke City.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2019, 06:59:46 AM »

Here’s where we stand on the Last Takeoff film.   When Elgen Long was researching his 1999 book, the film was at the National Library of Australia in Canberra (as he footnoted). I talked to a librarian at the NLA. The film is no longer there.  Some time in the 1990s all of the audio-visual material in the NLA was transferred to the new National Film & Sound Archive, also in Canberra. I phoned them and an archivist couldn’t find anything listed under Sid (or Syd) Marshall or Amelia Earhart.  He referred me to the collections manager but there was no one at that number, so I wrote an email.  Seems like the film must be there somewhere. It occurred to me that we may be searching under the wrong name.  The Aussies always referred to her as Amelia Putnam. I mentioned that in my email.  They acknowledged receipt of my email and said they’d get back to me within five days.
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Kurt Kummer

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2019, 10:54:06 PM »

Sounds like you're on it Ric.  Good job!  Just thinking out loud I wonder if the film might be filed under New Guinea, or Lae, or aircraft, or 1937, or Electra, or NR16020 or something?
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Randy Conrad

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #23 on: February 24, 2019, 02:31:39 AM »

In light of the famous Lae clip of the Electra taking off...at the 18 sec. mark does it appear that the plane is dragging the small rear tire through the dirt. It appears to be in some dragging motion. Also, the mechanism that holds the rear tire...is it meant to move or is it stationary?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #24 on: February 24, 2019, 07:30:36 AM »

In light of the famous Lae clip of the Electra taking off...at the 18 sec. mark does it appear that the plane is dragging the small rear tire through the dirt. It appears to be in some dragging motion.

Tailwheels are always dragged through the dirt. The Electra's tailwheel had a pneumatic shock strut which, in the Last Takeoff video, appears to be fully compressed due to the heavy load, but the tailwheel itself is still rotating.

Also, the mechanism that holds the rear tire...is it meant to move or is it stationary?

There are two types of tailwheels - free-castering and steerable. The Electra had a free-castering tailwheel.  On some aircraft (such as the B-17) the free-castering tailwheel could be locked in position for takeoff.  The Electra did not have that capability.

Modern tailwheel aircraft have steerable tailwheels.  Cables attached to "ears" on either side of the tailwheel strut are connected to the rudder pedals so that the pilot can control the tailwheel with his feet.

Tailwheel aircraft are now commonly referred to disparagingly as "taildraggers."  When I was learning to fly in the 1960s, they were "conventional gear" aircraft.  There is a school of thought that says real airplanes have tailwheels, round engines, open cockpits, and are flown with a stick.  I am a graduate of that school.
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Don White

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #25 on: February 25, 2019, 08:24:25 PM »

And a fine school it is.

Don
Graduate of the "Real cars have running boards" school
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2019, 07:21:43 AM »

The whereabouts of the original Last Takeoff film is turning out to be quite a mystery.  The collections manager at the National Film & Sound Archive (NFSA) has searched under every imaginable subject, category, and title - but no joy.   I asked if there is a chance that the film might have been of the old and dangerous nitrate variety and was destroyed rather than transferred.  he replied, "It's true that most, if not all films in the National Library of Australia's (NLA) collection were transferred to the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA), after the NFSA was established in 1984. Some foreign nitrate films were repatriated to overseas archives in the 1990s, but these are still listed on our database and it would be improbable that a film shot in New Guinea would have been repatriated. Besides, it's highly unlikely that this film would have been shot on nitrate stock as to the best of my knowledge all nitrate film is 35mm, so if it was 16mm, it would have been acetate or safety stock. Like Amelia Earhart herself, the disappearance of the film is a mystery, but will let you know if I get any leads."

My next step will be to go back to the NLA and ask if there are records that might confirm that the film was once in their collections and, if so, where it went.
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Don White

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2019, 04:19:19 PM »

All "home movie" or "amateur" size films -- which were 8mm and 16mm -- were on acetate "safety" base even in the 1930s. My grandfather made 8mm movies in the 1930s (my relatives still have them, and I have his camera) and these were on acetate base. It does deteriorate, but it doesn't become an explosive the way nitrate base does (nitrate as in nitrocellulose or "gun cotton," nitroglycerine, etc.). Apparently the continuing use of nitrate base film in 35mm commercial movies was not because acetate wasn't available, but because nitrate was considered to have desirable characteristics that made the risk of fire worth it, when handled by professionals presumed to know what they were doing. The deterioration of nitrate base was either not yet known (since it takes time to happen) or not considered important, since the movie companies did not usually think that their films would have value after their initial runs. The current desire to preserve every moment of everything forever was not part of their view. This in part may come from the relative newness of the ability (back then) to preserve performances. Performers themselves were oriented toward live performance, and didn't tend to think of recordings or films as preserving for posterity -- performing artists expected their work to die with them. This didn't change until much later. Nor did any movie company anticipate that their products could still have commercial value decades later.
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Kurt Kummer

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2019, 04:21:26 PM »

I wonder if someone on this forum (if it still exists) could point us in the right direction to find Sid's film?

https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/455115-sid-marshall-s-dh-89-a-2.html

There's a mention in this forum of some of Sid's films in a 9th Dec 2011 post from 'sixtiesrelic' that's kind of interesting.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New Film Search
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2019, 07:53:43 AM »

Thanks Don.  I've registered and submitted a query on that forum.
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