East Anglian Film Archive's website hosts a fascinating film about the work of Capability Brown. It dates from 1964 and was made and distributed by the Ransomes Film Unit. Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies Ltd of Ipswich were manufacturers of lawn mowers as well as agricultural equipment and trolleybuses. Its film unit created a wide range of general interest films which were available to interested groups on free loan, providing indirect publicity for the company while creating a bond with gardeners in the audience, and with the heritage of landscape management. The film shows many estates shaped by Capability Brown, and provides an interesting visual introduction to his work. One of the advisers on the film was Dorothy Stroud, the first person to publish a large and important text on Brown whose work is still much referred to today.
To watch the Capability Brown film, visit the EAFA's Capabilty Brown film page.
The East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) website contains nearly 200 hours of films from the archive collection free to view, spanning over 100 years and a wide range of places and subjects by arrangement with the film copyright owners. Based in Norwich, EAFA was established in 1976 as the first regional film archive in England, collecting films of the East of England region - Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Now it is one of a network of regional and national film archives preserving the UK's moving image heritage as older formats become obsolete, and each new medium seems to have a shorter lifespan.
The film archive collects films on all the different film gauges and video and digital formats across the range of amateur and professional production, including documentaries, educational and instructional films, independent and artist films, advertising, television programmes, amateur films and home movies. Donors and depositors of collections include many hundreds of individuals, families and organisations across the East of England region, as well as the region's television broadcasters Angia Television and BBC East.
Over the years, archives have copied the original films onto new film, to video and now to digital formats for access, but the preservation emphasis remains on storing the originals in the archive's air conditioned vaults at low temperature and humidity. Access is provided through the website and educational projects including a current partnership with the British Film Institute which provides access to archive film through BFI Player .
The East Anglia Film Archive is part of the University of East Anglia (UAE) in Norwich, and the University's wider interest in Capability Brown is reflected in the Research Review 2013 by Jon Gregory, Sarah Spooner and Tom Williamson of the Landscape Group within the School of History at UAE.
Written by Jane Alvey, Curator - East Anglian Film Archive. www.eafa.org.uk