Monday, December 11, 2017

Lights, camera, action for The Camera in the Crowd

There was indeed a crowd in Wellington for the Thursday 7 December launch of Christopher Pugsley’s seminal new book, The Camera in the Crowd: Filming New Zealand in Peace and War, 1895 – 1920.

Appropriately, the evening event took place at Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, the home of New Zealand’s film archive and a key partner in this account of the dawn of film in Aotearoa.
Christopher Pugsley speaks at the launch

Author Dr Christopher Pugsley spoke of his long journey to uncover the story of our early filmmakers and cinema impresarios, and his gratitude to the many collaborators and experts who supported him along the way.
Sarah Davy of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision
Nga Taonga Sound & Vision Group Manager Information Services Sarah Davy spoke of the pride the organisation feels at seeking the film history brilliantly captured in print form, and of the work that is going in to accompanying the book with online film footage and information.
Unity Books were kept busy by guests obtaining their signed copies of the 536-page hardback.

And of course, there were cameras in attendance! A selection of photos follows.

Christopher spoke the next morning on Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning show with Kim Hill. The Radio NZ site prefaced the book thus:
Christopher Pugsley is a respected and much published military historian – but what is not as well known is that he has a passion and a deep knowledge of film history. Pugsley's new book, The Camera in the Crowd, is the result of nearly three decades of research – the story of film in New Zealand for its first 25 years, 1895-1920, told largely through the footage that has survived in the archive of Nga Taonga Sound & Vision. It covers the last years of the Victorian era and the first two decades of the 20th century – a period that encompassed great political, technological and cultural changes, including the First World War. It tells of the cameramen, of the film they took - not only at home but also of the Kiwi 'Diggers' in the First World War - and how the public reacted to it.

Click here to hear the interview:

And here are additional links to other coverage:

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