Amateur film

Meaning and practice c. 1927–77

By Heather Nicholson

Amateur film

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7773-9
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: October 2012
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / History & Criticism, Film and Media
  • Series: Studies in Popular Culture


Amateur film: Meaning and practice 1927-77 plunges readers into the world of home movies making and reveals that behind popular perceptions of clichéd family scenes shakily shot at home or by the sea, there is much more to discover. Exploring who, how, where, when and why amateur enthusiasts made and shared their films provides fascinating insights into an often misunderstood aspect of national visual history. This study of how non-professional filmmakers responded to the new possibilities of moving image places decades of cine use into a history of changing visual technologies that span from Edwardian visual toys to mobile phones. Using northern cine club records, interviews and amateur films, the author reveals how film-making practices ranged from family footage to highly crafted edited productions about local life and distant places made by enthusiasts who sought to 'educate, inspire and entertain' armchair audiences during the early decades of British television.


Heather Norris Nicholson is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Visual and Oral History Research at the University of Huddersfield


Preface and acknowledgements
1. Making space for a neglected visual history
2.The amateur club scene
3.The rise of a hobby press
4. Family life as fact and fiction
5. Local lives and communities
6. Gazing at other people working.
7. An indispensable travel accessory
8. Socially engaged filmmaking
9. Moving pictures, moving on

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