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MOVING PICTURES AND THE WAR

BN TER PR LSIXG OPERA TOR 5. In the present- war journalists and kinematograph operators have been specially banned by the military authorities of all the conflicting forces—neither one nor the other is officially permitted within miles of the front. Nevertheless, some vivid battle stories have reached London from some of tire numerous English and American war correspondents in France and Belgium. and many London " picture houses ” are shewing excellent battle, films which are obviously the genuine thing-, taken on the spot, with no suspicion of " fake.' 1 The. secret of how these feats arc accomplished in spite of the military ban was revealed to the London correspondent of the Melbourne ‘Age’ by Mr S.' Hill, a Londoner, who has been acting as special courier for a number of the London papers since the war began, going backwards and forwards between Belgium and France and London bringing “ war copy ” to Fleet street from the war correspondents at the front. Naturally Mr Hill saw a good do a of war correspondents and kinemato graphic operators and their methods, ami he speaks highly of the enterprise dis played by these men in the pursuit o! their duties. A war correspondent haJ practically carte blanche from his pa .pel as far as expenses are concerned, and lie does not hesitate to spend money freely in pursuit, of "copy” if he thinks the “copy ’ is worth it. One war correspondent. stationed in France, hearing that a battle between Belgians and Germans was in progress across the Belgian border, purchased a motor car at a heavy price, and managed to get to the front in it. disguised a.s a Belgian officer, with a- Belgian soldier chauffeur. He had passports which passed him through, but ho did not disclose how he got them.

The photographers attached to lie London illustrated newspapers also bring extraordinary enterprise to bear in rnrrving oat, their mission at the seat of war, ■whirli is to obtain the best possible pictures in the quickest possible time. There is keen rivalry between London's halfpenny illustrated newspapers, and it is not infrequent for the paper to publish the photograph of the aVtist who dislanguishes himself by sending home a specially good lot of pictures. The artists themselves, in their .anxiety to effect, a

"scoop" over one another, take all sorts of risks, and a number of pictures published have been taken by photographers in the firing line and under fire. How they cat into the area strictly prohibited to newspaper men is never explained. Mr Hill considers the camera, men of the big moving picture firms the most enterprising of nil. T here is so much commercial competition in this fic-ld of enterprise that the best firms in Hie business are represented at the front by men of the utmost audacity and daring. This is the more necessary because the military authorities have placed a very stern embargo on film operators going near the fighting line. Hut the men of th« “movies" manage to get to the front by some means, and in several instances have been even found lighting in British trenches. This enterprise is the more remarkable because the film operator at the front carries a weight of nearly 1001b on his hark, wherever he goes in search of pictures.

As tune, is of great value when an important newspaper despatch has to be forwarded from the front to London, and as the Continental post office service is too dislocated and irregular to bo trusted just now. even if the element of time did not enter into the question, the London newspapers have had considerable difficulties to overcome in the way of getting fiom the front "copy” that cannot, be telegraphed. Some of the great London newspapers have arrangements to bring the copy in withou{ regard to expense.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141229.2.35

Bibliographic details

MOVING PICTURES AND THE WAR, Issue 15687, 29 December 1914

Word Count
641

MOVING PICTURES AND THE WAR Issue 15687, 29 December 1914

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