PUBLICITY PICTURE PRODUCTIONS LTD

(1926-1946)

NATIONAL INTEREST PICTURE PRODUCTIONS LTD

(1935-1978)

Publicity Pictures (not to be cofused with Publicity Films) was formed in 1925 by 20-year-old aspiring director Albert Hopkins and 25-year-old cameraman Reginald Wyer, to service the growing market for advertising films. They recognised that animation was an important advertising tool, and the slidemaker Henry Luscombe Toms recommended one of his employees, the artist Laurie Price. Toms had traded as H. Luscombe Toms since 1893, but H. Luscombe Toms and Company Ltd was incorporated in 1922, probably marking his move into the production of films, especially advertising films. It seems that by 1925 Luscombe Toms was plannning to retire. The slide business would continue under the trade name The Slide House, while H. Luscombe Toms & Co would retain the business debts and eventually go into voluntary liquidation (which subsequently took place in September 1928). Luscombe's plan seems to have been for Publicity Pictures to build its own animation unit around Price, to which H. Luscombe Toms and Co would then subcontract any animation work.

In an article on animation for The Journal of the Association of Cine-Technicians in December 1936 (The ACT was the film workers union) Hopkins recalled those early days:

When we started producing cartoons some twelve years ago, we had no money, a small basement in the city, a Moy camera, and lots of optimism. The camera and cameraman were perched on a rostrum some 14 ft. high. Below, lying flat on his belly, was the artist, manipulating a thirty by forty [inch] drawing, and occasionally singing "one," whereupon the gentleman above, having bumped his head on the ceiling, would hand-crank one picture.

Much of Laurie Price's early work consisted of animating cut-out lettering, but both he and Hopkins were keen to expand the cartoon element. Work for other companies helped build up the animation side: for Luscombe Price worked with New Zealand cartoonist Hiscocks on his The Language of Cricket shorts released by Unity Films and animated a series of 'bouncing ball' song cartoons, featuring a little man (called Orpheus) who conducted the audience through the lyrics. (This Community Song series, distributed by Pioneer, was part of the proliferation of sing-along films created by British studios during 1926-7 in response to Pathé's releasing the American produced Song Car-tune series. These are silent films, so cinema musicians also had to follow the onscreen cues.) Hopkins also put the studio facilities at the disposal of Australian artist Len Lye, according to Ken Clark, enabling him to make his first animated film, Tusalava.

It is likely that Publicity Pictures' original premises had been nearer to the City, but by the end of 1929 the studio was at 18 Gerrard Street, in Soho.

In 1929 Laurie Price was released to join Super-Ads, a studio set up to serve production companies such as Publicity Pictures, saving them the expense of maintaining in-house animation facilities. However, the company ceased trading at the end of 1931 and Laurie returned to the fold, along with Christopher Millett.

From the earliest days advertising films had been presented as entertainment shorts and shown as an equal part of the programme. It appears that Publicity Pictures' cartoon adverts maintained that tradition. From a comment by Ken Clark it would seem that their early black & white sound cartoons carried the series title Loony Libels and their later colour cartoon adverts went under the series title Cheery Chunes, which would seem to reflect the popularity of the American imports. The Cheery Chunes were apparently made for The Garrick Film Company, who specialised in advertising films. Perhaps they also commissioned the Loony Libels.

Inventors had been promoting colour systems since Edward Turner in 1902 but the results had been too unreliable, expensive and technically limiting to tempt producers away from the increasingly sophisticated artistry of monochrome. But in 1932 interest in colour was revived by the unveiling of a new 3-colour system from Technicolor, and the subsequent exclusive use of that system for Disney's Silly Symphonies set a new standard for cartoons (a medium where the camera is only a means of reproduction rather than creative cinematography). Advertisers were particularly interested in the potential appeal of colour, and Hopkins and Wyer wanted to be in the running with this technology.

3-colour Technicolor was expensive and required cumbersome cameras running three separate reels of film. In 1931 the German film company UFA had developed a reliable 2-colour process, Ufacolor, and in 1934 Publicity Pictures, now renamed Publicity Picture Productions, began trying out this process, to be promoted in the UK under the name Spectracolor. For live-action productions they acquired an old silent film studio at Bushey and equiped it for sound and colour, and opened a production office in Wardour Street. For the animation studio there were problems to overcome when shooting animation in colour. As Hopkins recalled in the article mentioned above:

One of the most important things as regards colour is, of course, consistent exposure.

We were amazed to find on installing a recording voltmeter in our supply that the electric company, who should give us 230 volts A.C., were at no time giving us more than 220; this, of course, sends the lighting "into the red." However, to make matters worse, the supply would drop down to six volts below this figure! Indeed, a sick man's chart had nothing on our graph reading!

The remedy was a rectifier to give constant D.C. voltage, and a special 3-phase main to drive a new synchronous motor!

After various tests, they started colour production in December, embarking on Morris May Day (the first in the cartoon advertising series Cheery Chunes) and a 45-minute live-action adaption of the Gounod opera Faust, which despite showcasing Publicity Pictures' technical abilities in sound and colour production, has the distinction of being described as "the worst operatic film ever made" (Richard Fawkes, Opera on Film, 2000). The film does have one claim to fame - it brought together soprano Ann Ziegler (as Margurite) and tenor Webster Booth (as Faust) for the first time: the couple subsequently married and appeared together as a popular classical singing duo. The Musical Director was Leo T Croke, who provided music for all of Publicity Pictures' Spectracolor films. Spectracolor was officially launched in April 1935 with a special presentation of both those films at the Curzon Cinema.

Although Publicity Pictures' colour films were well received, Spectracolor was not taken up by many other companies. L C Beaumont made two comedies at Bushey in 1936, Cocktail and The Beauty Doctor, both with music by Croke, but the market was flooded with new colour systems: most fell by the wayside and even the leaders, the 3-colour processes Dufaycolor and Gasparcolor, eventually lost out to the superiority of Technicolor. (Alexander Korda had persuaded Technicolor that there was a need for a European laboratory, situated in the UK: it opened near Heathrow Airport in January 1937.)

Simon Brown, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at Kingston University, lists 10 Spectracolor films, probably all made by Publicity Pictures. The title of one, The Jolly Farmer, sounds like it could be a Cheery Chune but I can find no online entry for it so it is not included in the Filmography below. Publicity Pictures' entry in the Kinematograph Year Book 1937 ends with this list of films:

 Productions,  1936 :—The Times." Fashion  Sketches "

(colour), " Sweets o Victory " (colour), " Magic

Letters "   (colour),    " Film   Fake, "   " Hoarse

Sense " (colour), " The Cup Final," " Petersen v.

Harvey, "  " Proportional  Representation, "  etc.


Fashion Sketches is one of the films listed by Brown and was made for the Dorland Advertising Agency to promote Clark’s Anchor Tricoton, a new knitting yarn ("cool - colour-fast - unshrinkable"): it does not appear to have involved animation. Sweets of Victory (the missing f seems to be a typo) appears to be a film for The Cooperative Wholesale Society, for showing at Cooperative Society venues. It may be the film that Brown cites as the first advertising film ever made for Mackintosh's Toffee. Again there is no mention of animation. The pun in the title Hoarse Sense might indicate another Cheery Chune but again I can find no other mention of the film.

Publicity Pictures had ceased promoting Spectracolor by the Autumn of 1936, and in November the Bushey studio was sold to Henry J Cook's newly-formed Bushey Film Corporation.

In 1936, if the photo credit in Sydney Box's book Film Publicity is correct, Publicity Films commissioned Publicity Pictures to provide animated sequences for a film they were making for the Gas, Light and Coke Company. Titled Getting into Hot Water, the film starts with several live-action vignettes showing the 'Discomfort' of not having hot running water. and concluded with Mr Therm (the company's mascot, designed in 1931 by Eric Frazer) coming to the rescue with the Ascot water heater. This was the first time the character had been animated. The voice may have been that of Maurice Denham, who would later provide the voices for Halas & Batchelor's Animal Farm.

Some time around the end of 1937 Laurie Price left Publicity Pictures to work for Anson Dyer in Hammersmith, making advertising films for Publicity Films. Around this time Reg Wyer resigned his directorship to concentrate on a career as a freelance cinematographer. Both men retained their association with the company, as witnessed by this entry in the Kinematograph Year Book 1939 (which would have been submitted at the end of 1938):


PUBLICITY PICTURE PRODUCTIONS, LTD.

93, Wardour Street, W.1.

Telephone :  Gerrard 5843-4.

Directorate :   A. E. C. Hopkins,  R. M. J. Samuel.

Cartoon Producing Studio.

Production Manager
Studio Manager . . .
Film Directors . . .

Scenarists . . .. . .

Film Editor. . .
Art Director . . .
Cameraman . . .

. . .  L.D. Robertson.
   . . .  A. R. Langley.
   . . .  A. E. C. Hopkins.
          R. H. Wyer.
   . . .  L. W. Price.
          C. Millet.
   . . .  M. Samuel.
   . . .  I. A. Mathieson.
   . . .  G. Capper.


Despite describing the purpose of the company as Cartoon Production, no-one is credited as "animator". Hopkins was a supporter of the ACT union (Association of Cine-Technicians) which at this time did not cover animation. Perhaps "Scenarist" and "Art Director" were grades that Hopkins considered appropriate equivalents. The animation unit was responsible for the entire creative process from script to design, and the credits recognise this input.

As part of the cut-backs Michael Law, who had been hired as office boy for the Wardour St office, was let go. He got a similar job at the Strand Film Company, which specialised in public information films, and went on to became a film director, womaniser and cornerstone of the pub and club culture of 1950s Soho.

During World War II the company started making Government traing films - initially for the Army. When Ian Matheson was conscripted, according to Ken Clark, he was made Films Liason Officer responsible to the Light Anti-Aircraft Division and promptly commissioned Publicity Pictures to make gunnery instructionals. These films were primarily live-action, the animation limited to simple diagrams, and special effects such as adding flak and tracer bullets to live-action scenes. Drawing on their experience in advertising film, they often used humour to draw in the audience, especially in the early films.

Because of the Blitz, Anson Dyer had relocated his production unit to Stroud, in Gloucestershire, so after a stint on loan to Technicolor Laurie Price returned to Publicity Picture Productions (the animation studio had moved from Gerrard Street to 26, D'Arblay Street by 1942). He now turned his hand to making model tanks and battleships for stop-motion demonstrations, a more flexible (and in some cases more economical) alternative to cel animation.

In the Spring of 1943 Hopkins worked with the ACT to set rates to cover "the Animation, Diagram and Rostrum Camera departments." These were published in the May-June issue of The Cine-Technician. The increase in work for these departments created by the volume of training films that Publicity Pictures was producing is demonstrated by this staff-list published in the Nov-Dec 1943 issue:


PUBLICITY  PICTURE
PRODUCTIONS  LTD.

D.:  A.  E.  C.  Hopkins.
Assist.  D.:  Marjorie  Hopkins.
Scr.:  Chris  Millett.
C.:  Charles  A.  Smith.
Trick  C.:  A.  C.  Croxford.
Assist.  Trick  C.:  Joan  Baker,  Cyn-
thia  Whitby.
E.:  B.  Terry.
Animators:  L.  W.  Price,  B  Privett,
W.  J.  Palmer,  C  de  Mornay,  C.
Shuff,  R.  Potter,  R.  Moore
(Trainee).
Titles  :  A  R  Langley.
Diagram Unit:  R  J.  J.  Jeffryes,  L.  A.  
Pearce,  F.  Daydi,  C.  Marshall,  R.
Eames  (Trainee).

[Assist = Assistant;  C = Camera Operator;  D = Director;  
  E = Editor;   Scr = Script.]


The reference to "Trick Camera" rather than "Rostrum Camera" (besides differentiating between animation work and the live-action photography of Charles A Smith) may reflect the varied range of stop-frame and effects work being produced by the unit.

"R Moore (Trainee)" is also worth a note. In his autobiography My Word is my Bond Sir Roger Moore relates how he left school at 15 to work for Publicity Pictures. His father George, a policeman, was a plan-drawer (draughting accurate layouts of crime and accident scenes) working at Bow Street. He showed samples of Roger's artwork (posters designed in Art Class and some cartoon drawings) to his fellow plan-drawer George Church, who knew Albert Hopkins and arranged for Roger to have an interview. In the summer of 1943 Roger Moore started work in the D'Arblay Street basement.

He learned to trace and paint, did some lettering, and assisted the editor. Being the junior he made the tea and fetched buns and rolls from the next-door dairy for the rest of the staff. And during the summer of 1944 he also took his turn on the roof, watching out for Doodlebugs. He was also the runner, collecting and delivering cans of film. When film had been sent from the camera to the labs for processing it was Roger's job to collect the rushes next morning on his way in. This meant setting off early, as he was required to have the rushes at the studio by 9.00 am, and this was to prove his downfall. He was late a few times, and when one day he actually forgot to collect the rushes entirely he was given the sack.

Roger was not too down-hearted. Accompanying a pal who was an film extra led to Roger being an extra on Caesar and Cleopatra. Ultimately this led to a director putting him through RADA, and the start of his acting career. His one legacy from his stint in animation was his membership of the ACT, which was a requirement for employment at Publicity Pictures and which Roger had maintained after he left: it permitted him to direct later episodes of his TV series The Saint.

The War was a constant drain on staffing. Assistant Rostrum Cameraman Arthur Provis had already been called up in the Spring of 1943. In the Autumn of 1944 he was joined by A C Croxford, R Potter and R Eames. All four ended up in the animation department of the Royal Naval Instructional Film Unit. In 1944 members of the Animation Unit were seconded to the RAF Model Department to assist in a Top Secret project - constructing detailed models of the Normandy beaches and hinterland in preparation for the D-Day landings.

After the War the Ministry of Defence, having recognised the value of training films, continued to commission them for the training of new recruits and Nation Servicemen.

A subsidiary company, National Interest Pictures, appears to have been in existance since 1935 - possibly to spread the risk of losses on large productions such as Faust. After the War Hopkins decided to transfer the operations of Publicity Pictures to the renamed National Interest Picture Productions Ltd. Perhaps this was considered a more more appropriate name for the training and public information film field, although they continued to be open to commercial work. There may well have been an accounting advantage involved in the change-over. The Wardour Street office was given up, and by 1946 the company had moved from D'Arblay St to 21 Soho Square.

Reg Hill, demobbed from the RAF after a post-war posting in Germany, joined the animation department. Before the War he had worked in shop display before becoming an advertising designer. Now he turned his hand to model-making and animation. He left in 1954 to join a newly-formed company called Polytechnic Films.

After leaving the Navy Arthur Provis had worked as a live-action cameraman, and in 1954 shot a documentary for Polytechnic Films: the director was Gerry Anderson. Polytechnic Films went bankrupt, and Anderson, Provis and three other ex-employees formed a new company, Pentagon Films, taking with them Reg Hill and John Read (who was a rostrum and model cameraman and may also have worked at National Interest Pictures). Anderson had hoped to make documentaries and films for the new Independent Television network, but other board members were happy to concentrate on making the TV commercials that was their 'bread-and-butter' work. By 1957 Anderson and Provis were considering leaving Pentagon Films to start up on their own, when writer Roberta Leigh approached them to film a puppet series, The Adventures of Twizzle, which she had sold to ITV. The budget was small, but it was a TV series so Anderson and Provis agreed, forming AP Films, and employing Hill and Read. Anderson loathed puppets, but decided that by concentrating on staging and editing they could use the series to demonstrate their filmmaking capabilities.

Twizzle was well received and the following year Leigh got a contract for a new series: Torchy the Battery Boy. Anderson pushed to increase the 'reality' of the puppets with moving eyes and lips, and more detailed sets and props. In 1959, after 28 episodes of Torchy, AP Films parted company with Leigh and began work on its own puppet series, Four Feather Falls. Provis was unhappy with Anderson's desire to risk everything on the success of this project, and left the company.

He was subsequently approached by Leigh in 1960 to direct her third TV puppet series, Sara and Hoppity. In 1962, following the success of Anderson's Supercar, Leigh won a contract for an SF puppet series, Space Patrol. I suspect (although this is guesswork) that Provis wanted the security of an established production company on such a complex project, and approached his old employer Albert Hopkins. It would appear that Roberta Leigh bought shares in National Interest Picture Productions: certainly the company backed the production. After shooting the pilot for Space Patrol in "a filthy old garage in Shepards Bush," as Provis related in an interview, production on the series began in St Michael's Church Hall, in Stoke Newington. This proving too cramped, National Interest Pictures leased a disused church in Church Rd, Harlesden. After completing three 13-episode series of Space Patrol, Leigh and Provis made a pilot for another sci-fi puppet series, featuring the space investigator Paul Starr, in 1964.

National Interest Pictures continued to make training films for the Armed Forces, along with other Government information films, scripted by Millett and directed by Hopkins, with diagrams from the animation unit. Brian Stevens had joined the unit in 1956 as animator and designer, introducing a more contemporary graphic style. In 1961 he turned freelance, continuing to do work for National Interest Pictures among other clients. As well as diagram animation for Hopkins' productions he provided FX animation for Space Patrol. Having worked freelance on many TV commercials he formed his own company, Brian Stevens Animated Films Ltd, at the end of October 1964.

Jock Speirs worked for National Interest Pictures in 1964, providing diagram animation for Hopkins and effects on Paul Starr for Provis.

In late 1964 Hopkins resigned from National Interest Pictures, and carried production of the training films over to Helen Wiggins Films Ltd, the company owned by Chris Millet's wife. Helen Wiggins was a film editor who had set up a production company in the 50s to make sponsored films for John Player & Sons. Brian Stevens and writer/storyboarder Chris Millett continued to work on the training films for Helen Wiggins Films, with Hopkins directing.

Leigh and Provis were now the directors of National Interest Picture Producions. The pilot for Paul Starr was not taken up, so they returned to the younger age group with Picture the Word (26 short, limited animation episodes in which "Tikki the toucan tells you about things") and two more puppet series, Send For Dithers (a bumbling van driver and his talking penguin) and Wonder Boy and Tiger (a boy and his cat who circle the earth on a magic carpet, waiting to help people in need). A 6-minute pilot for an animated series called Mr Hero was made by George Dunning at TVC, but not taken up.

In 1967 Leigh and Provis tried the sci-fi field again with a live-action/model effects pilot about space agents The Solanauts - with National Interest Pictures producing the models and effects shots, but it did not result in a series.

In 1968 they left Soho Square, moving the production office into the Church Road studio. In the early 70s they ceased trading. National Interest Picture Productions went into voluntary liquidation on the 31st December 1977.

Although the puppet films are live-action, and therefore not considered animation by the definition used by this site (a sequence of images individually created rather than sequentially captured) I have included them in the Filmography below to reflect Leigh and Provis's tenure.

Directorate

It would be interesting to discover who joined the board when Publicity Picture Productions expanded to promote Spectracolor but the records of companies from the first part of the 20th century are no longer available online. Additional directors are mentioned in various trade magazine entries, however, as follows:

Publicity Picture Productions, Ltd

Entry submittedDirectors

Late 1936:A E C Hopkins, R H Wyer, M J Samuel
Late 1938:A E C Hopkins, M J Samuel
Late 1939:A E C Hopkins, N F Samuel
Late 1941:A E C Hopkins, N F Samuel

National Interest Picture Productions, Ltd

Entry submittedDirectors

Late 1957:H T De Vere Clifton(1) (Chairman), D F Cartlay, A E C Hopkins (Managing)
Late 1958:H T De Vere Clifton (Chairman), D F Cartlay, A E C Hopkins (Managing) J A Booth (Secretary)
Late 1963:H T De Vere Clifton (Chairman), D F Cartlay, A E C Hopkins (Managing), G Winter, J A Booth (Secretary)
Late 1965:Roberta Leigh, Arthur Provis (Secretary)
Late 1977:[Wind-up notice, London Gazette]R Lewin(2) (Chairman)

(1) Henry Talbot De Vere Clifton, "former squire of Lytham, traveller, gambler and friend of kings", was an aristocrat who squandered his inherited family fortune through his generosity, his whims and his enthusiasms. Film production was one of these interests.
(2) Rita Lewin (née Shulman) was Roberta Leigh's real name.


Filmography (animated films & inserts only)

as Publicity Pictures

The Language of Cricket(series of at least 3 films) 1926, for H Luscombe Toms & Co
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Designer:Hiscocks
Animator:Laurie Price
Writer:Gerard Barton Savi
Distributor:Unity Films
Sound:Silent
Colour:Black & White
Length:approximately 3 min
Community Song series(series of at least 12 films) 1927, for H Luscombe Toms & Co
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animator:Laurie Price
Distributor:Pioneer
Sound:Silent
Colour:Black & White
Length:500 ft (8 min)
Loony Libels(Series of advertising films, titles unknown) 1932-3(?)
Client:Various, unknown
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Christopher Millett
Sound:System not known
Colour:Black & White
Length:unknown

as Publicity Picture Productions

Morris May Day(?Cheery Chunes) 1935
Client:Morris Motors
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Christopher Millett
Music:Leo T Croke
Sound:System not known
Colour:Spectracolor
Length:unknown
The Midshipman(Cheery Chunes) 1935
Client:Worthington Beer
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Christopher Millett
Music:Leo T Croke
Sound:System not known
Colour:Spectracolor
Length:unknown
The Baronial Beanfeast(Cheery Chunes) 1935
Client:OK Sauce
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Christopher Millett
Music:Leo T Croke
Sound:System not known
Colour:Spectracolor
Length:unknown
Carnival Capers(Cheery Chunes) 1935
Client:not known
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Christopher Millett
Music:Leo T Croke
Sound:System not known
Colour:Spectracolor
Length:unknown
The Gay Cavalier(Cheery Chunes) 1935, for The Garrick Film Company
Client:Worthington Beer
Producer:Albert Hopkins
Animators:Laurie Price, Ian Matheson, Christopher Millett
Music:Leo T Croke
Sound:System not known
Colour:Spectracolor
Length:unknown
Getting into Hot Water(animated sequences) 1936, for Publicity Films
Client:Gas, light & Coke Company
Animators:Laurie Price(?), Ian Matheson(?)
Voice of Mr Therm:Maurice Denham(?)
Sound:System not known
Colour:Black & White
Length of animated sequences:175 ft (1 min 59 sec)
Observation and Reporting(diagram and map inserts) 1941, Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:18 min 22 sec
The Private Life of a Fuze(animation and diagram inserts) 1941, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels (about 18 min)
Post Early(animated insert) 1941, Ministry of Information, GPO
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:1 reel
6-Pounder Twin Gun:
1: General Description & Laying
2: Drill & Preparation for Action
(diagrammatic inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels each
Range Finding: Barr and Stroud(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:1 reel
6 Inch CP II: Preparation for Action(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels
'X' Marks the Spot: Map Symbols Explained(animated diagram & model inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels
Fire Direction - Close Defence(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels
6 Inch CP II Gun: Laying(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels
River Crossing(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels (about 18 min)
Handling & Laying British Anti-tank Mines(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:25 min 55 sec
Infantry Role in Clearing Minefields by Hand(animated diagram inserts) 1942, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels
U-Boat Attacks on Convoys No. 1(animated model inserts) 1942, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:606 ft (6 min 44 sec)
U-Boat Attacks on Convoys No. 2(animated model inserts) 1942, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:589 ft (6 min 33 sec)
U-Boat Attacks on Convoys No. 3(animated model inserts) 1942, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:690 ft (7 min 40 sec)
Where's That Milk?(animated graph, titles) 1942, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Food
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:606 ft (6 min 44 sec)
Attack on U-Boat No. 1(animated model inserts) 1942, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:1 reel
17 PDR Anti-tank Gun:
Sights, Sight Testing and Zeroing
(animated diagram inserts) 1943, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:12 min 25 sec
Handling & Maintenance of the LL Cable(animated diagram inserts) 1943, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3333 ft (37 min 2 sec)
Radio Location Part VIII(animated diagram inserts) 1944, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:4 reels
Mechanics of Recovery(animated diagram inserts) 1944, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Air Photo Reading in the Field III:
How to Use Air Photographs
(animated diagram inserts) 1944, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels
Bren 303 LMG Mechanism(animated diagram inserts) 1945, Army Kinematograph Service
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels
Pistol Revolver No. 2 Mechanism(animated diagram inserts) 1945, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:4 reels
The Military Map and Conventional Signs (Map Reading I)(animated diagram inserts) 1945, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:14 min 30 sec
Contours, Hills and Slopes (Map Reading II)(animated diagram inserts) 1945, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:17 min 26 sec
Contours, Spurs, Re-entrants and Valleys (Map Reading III)(animated diagram inserts) 1945, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Visibility (Map Reading IV)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Map Setting and Position Finding
(Map Reading V)
(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Comparison of Map and Ground
(Map Reading VI)
(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Aids to Direction (Map Reading VII)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Measurement of Distance and Choosing a Route (Map Reading VIII)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Direction on the Map (Map Reading IX)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Direction on the Ground (Map Reading X)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Laurie Price
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Use of Prismatic Compass (Map Reading XI)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animators:Laurie Price, Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:19 mins

as National Interest Picture Productions

Town and Country Planning (No. 5)(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Directorate of Army Kinematography
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:908 ft (10 min 5 sec)
The BESA MG 7.92mm Mechanism(animated diagram inserts) 1946, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:33 min 58 sec
Medical Application of Sulphonamides(animated diagram inserts) 1948, May and Baker Pharmaceuticals
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:34 mins
Shadow on Happiness(animated diagram inserts) 1949, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:908 ft (2 reels)
Cross-country and Obstacle Driving(animated diagram inserts) 1949, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:2 reels?
Introduction to AA(animated diagram inserts) 1950, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels
Troop Tactics Part 2:
Tank and Infantry Co-operation
(animated diagram inserts) 1951, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:3 reels
Troop Tactics Part 3:
Contact with the Enemy
(animated diagram inserts) 1951, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:black & white
Length:4 reels
The Effects of Atomic Weapons on Troops in the Field(animated diagram inserts) 1954, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:28 min 35 sec
March Discipline(animated diagram inserts) 1955, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour(?)/TD>
Length:1 reel
Field Cable Laying(animated diagram inserts) 1957, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour(?)
Length:8 reels?
Principles of Supersonic Missile Flight(animated diagram inserts) 1958, Air Ministry
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour(?)
Length:9 reels?
Air Photos in War(animated diagram inserts) 1958, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour(?)
Length:6 reels?
Doppler Principle in Airborne Navigation Aids(animated diagram inserts) 1958, Air Ministry
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Doppler Navigation Aids - Green Satin/GPI Mk 4 and Blue Silk/GPI Mk 4a(animated diagram inserts) 1958, Air Ministry
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Charicteristics and Effects of Nuclear Weapons(animated diagram inserts) 1959, Air Ministry
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Radiological Defence Protection - Residual Effects(animated diagram inserts) 1960, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Radiological Defence - Decontamination Part 1 - Personal Cleansing(animated diagram inserts) 1961, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Sea Slug(animated diagram inserts) 1961, Admiralty
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
AFV HE Shooting(animated diagram inserts) 1961, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:5 reels?
Space Patrol(TV series; live-action marionettes) 1962
Co-production with:Wonderama Productions
First aired:from 7 April 1963 (UK, ABC Television Midlands/North)
Producers:Roberta Leigh, Arthur Provis
Director:Frank Goulding
Script:Roberta Leigh
Animated Effects:Brian Stevens
Sound:RCA Sound Recording
Colour:black & white
Length:3 series of 13 episodes each; 25 mins
Aerials Part 1(animated diagram inserts) 1963, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:2 reels?
Aerials Part 2(animated diagram inserts) 1963, Army Kinema Corporation
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Ian Matheson
Rostrum Camera:Roy Lacey
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:3 reels?
This Farming Business(animated diagram inserts) 1964, COI/Food Ministry of Agriculture
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Jock Speirs
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:unknown
Controlled Environment in Poultry Houses(animated diagram inserts) 1964, COI/Food Ministry of Agriculture
Producer & director:Albert Hopkins
Script:Chris Millett
Animator:Brian Stevens
Sound:System not known
Colour:Colour
Length:12.5 min
Paul Starr(pilot for TV series; live-action marionettes) 1964
Co-production with:Wonderama Productions
Producers:Roberta Leigh, Arthur Provis
Director:Roy D Baker
Script:Roberta Leigh
Titles:Brian Stevens
Sound:RCA Sound Recording
Colour:Colour
Length:25 mins
Picture the Word(TV series, limited animation) 1965
Production Company:Wonderama Productions
Producer:Roberta Leigh
Script:Roberta Leigh
Animator:unknown
Sound:RCA Sound Recording
Colour:Colour
Length:52 episodes of 10(?) mins
Mr Hero(TV pilot, animated) 1965(?)
Production Company:Wonderama Productions
Producer:Roberta Leigh
Script:Roberta Leigh
Animator:George Dunning
Sound:RCA Sound Recording
Colour:Colour
Length:6 mins
Send for Dithers(TV series; live-action marionettes) 1966
Co-production with:Wonderama Productions
Producers:Roberta Leigh, Arthur Provis
Director:Frank Goulding
Script:Roberta Leigh
Sets made by:Modelive
Sound:RCA Sound Recording
Colour:Colour
Length:13 episodes of 15 mins
Wonder Boy and Tiger(TV series; live-action marionettes) 1966
Co-production with:Wonderama Productions
Producers:Roberta Leigh, Arthur Provis
Director:Frank Goulding
Script:Roberta Leigh
Puppets by:Jock Spiers
Sound:Audio Systems
Colour:Colour
Length:13 episodes of 15 mins

Links to Other Sites

INTERNET ARCHIVE The Cine-Technician Vol 2 No 7: Secrets of Cartoon Technique (Jan 1937): Article by A E C Hopkins (page 82 of the earlier Feb 1936 issue has some comments on the use of colour in live-action, also by Hopkins).


Back to top of page

Peter Hale
Last updated 2017