Clyde Jeavons

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15 Jul 2016
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Interview notes

Clyde Jeavons notes (pt 1 2016)

11.45 Joined BFI Feb 1969.  Worked for She magazine, as a sub-editor, then on book reviews, then deputy film editor under Elspeth Gray. Had hoped for an acting career, and had done stage production and directing. Touring in Norway. UCL and journalism.

Interviewed by Lindgren and Colin Ford. Acquisitions, features docs tv. Liam and David Francis. Talks about the Langlois-Lindgren “debate”; about Harold Brown(self trained)  and punch testing and the Mk 4 step printer coping with shrinkage. FIAF. PHONE edit needed

Paul de berg; funding for restoration, technicolor story (British v US) “North of Watford” prints. David Walsh.

12.15 Digital tools v. photochemical repairs. MGM It’s Always Fair Weather; Party Girl, examples of aspect ratio failure; capturing colour and repair work. DCP not celluloid means can’t check if a restoration has worked properly. Beware film fetishes. Keep the originals as long as possible.

Grover Crisp on Bridge over the river Kwai@LFF. Cans of film v memory stick. In Norway no “film” is projected except as a museum experience. Henning Schou – laser disk anecdote.

12.25 Back to BFI start, running selection committees; instructed to go to the vaults and watch films for 2 days a week. Noel Pemberton Billing film. Discusses selection of Non Fiction film and how the government funding mean’t you had to prioritise most important. Roger Whitney Science Committee as well. The reason for selection had to be given, and maybe it was over-rigorous, but every country had to preserve its own material. Also it had to be shown. Had to decide with other archives what non-British material. Eg MOMA NY and exchange materials. London Film Society, Ivor Montague as a source of important art films, Battleship Potemkin red tint of flag anecdote. Langlois a bit psychopathic. Deselection.

12.45  NFA-TV-Lindgren highly selective, not ephemera. Taking more and more TV. 24hr recording.

Legal Deposit. C4 funding BFI. TV tail wagging the Film dog. Technically easier and less threatening. Talks about clapped out distribution prints. Tony Garnett (briefly a BFI governor) and The body; Kes. Puttnam and the “stand-by” print. David Kerr’s private members bill, jenny lee’s support and Anthony Kenney review. Chris smith wouldn’t support it and planted Kenney in the committee. Talks about ideal legal deposit, and the voluntary system.

Talks about cataloguing and how the cataloguing staff were all library qualified. Elaine Burrows; Roger Holman, Kalamazoo then shot listing. Luke McKernan, cricket films. The Research Viewings service which outdid the distribution service for loaning prints/screening prints.

Talks about reasons for leaving BFI, and turning up on Pebble Mill with Graham Garden.

His programmes at NFT: advertising films; cricket evening; Olympic evening; Napoleon; Kevin B 4 screenings Carl Davies Geoff Gardner (Melbourne Film Festival) Tom Ryann critic “M”

Single tribute archive screenings Roy Boulting, Guy Green, Anthony Havelock Allen. Sheila Whittaker.

Discusses Keith Lucas, Kevin Gough-Yates. John Huntley. Resigned, considered NFT job but freelance for 5 years working on Berlin film commissions. Talks about Wilf Stevenson ** Tony Smith, Chris Frayling v Colin Ford, Dickie Attenborough, Anne Fleming lottery money;

1.45 McCabe Anthony Steele Joan Greenwood at Guildhall event. Orson Welles stories

2pm NAO audit of archive, recommended quadrupling of staff. 1997 manoeuvred out by Wilf and the financial sub-committee. Matthew Evans “sacrifices” kept on to deliver FIAF Summer schools. 1999 congress China gazumped** millennium congress in London.

Becomes consultant curator and delivers congress. Caroline Ellis** MOMI closure.

FIAF really important then, maybe less so now. Peaked in 50s and 60s. Key role around engaging independent archives, and the movement of prints between archives and technical co-operation; cataloguing less important now. Reformed ?? highly contentious.

Last nitrate picture show. This Film is Dangerous. Trujillo.

2.15 END