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Thread: Steam Railway History Documentry

  1. #1

    Default Steam Railway History Documentry

    A a short documentary video I have made superimposing the old with some archive film of a 1960's railway station in Dorset. Closed Captioned.

  2. #2


    I can see this splitting opinion. I know someone who would have orgasms about this but for me it's just an interesting piece of social history and I'm glad some people have these records of the past.

    I think if you could improve the commentary sound it would help the video a lot.

  3. #3


    Thanks MB

    The archive film commentary was made in the 1960's by a railway worker.

    I recorded the disused scenes in about 1984 in the early days of Video cameras. It was a huge Panasonic camera with a VHS Portable top loader video recorder and a separate lead acid battery pack.

    I couldn't stand still to long because of sinking into the ground with the weight of the thing. Now you can do the same thing and better quality from a mobile phone.

  4. #4


    I understand the age of the film and the steam driven camera you used. lol

    Do you think you can clean up the sound ? It would greatly improve the piece.

  5. #5


    Not sure what you mean by "Clean up the sound"? Please explain, your suggestions would be most appreciated

  6. #6


    I mean using sound software to clear up crackles, EQ to improve it etc.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    I love these little gems - pieces of history with a real personal touch because of the interviewee(s). What's more all the rolling stock shots from the 60s looked exactly like all the rolling stock from my (father's!) train set fro the 60s - which is currently on display in his spare room.

    Personally I thought the sound was fine. A few rough edges helps ad to the authenicity.

    Very tricky to work with old fooage like this - you have my admiration.

    I'd offer the following suggestions to improvements of the video.

    NOTE 1. Because you've edited this you have become extremely familiar with the content; your audience has not. Some are as slow as me

    Opening titles were too quick for me to take in. See Note 1.
    Some of the shots were too quick for me to take in. See Note 1. In particular I'm thinking of the shots showing a loco going back and forth under a bridge with dissolves to the 80s shot of the same bridge. As the bridge shot was not from an identical angle/distance it wasn't at all clear to me on firt viewing what was going on. I think I'd have been inclined to do it thus:

    Show old footage with bridge - slow to a STILL. Dissolve STILL into 1980s shot. Dissolve that into another STILL from 1960s then bring it back up to speed.

    Another isue with that piece of film was you showed the loco going one way then cut to it going in the other direction - didn't look quite right.

    The titles at the end did not work. You showed an overhead shot of an area. Then a description explaining where things used to be. I just had time to read the description and wanted to look back at the photo to understand the description when you switched to the next shot. (eg "The roundabout center is where the railway arch was" then picture removed before I could locate the roundabout). See Note 1.

    Aside from Note 1 problems the only other issue I had was the series of strange transitions towards the end. If you have to use transitions at all (which are normally a givaway that the movie is amateur) stick to one or two opposing ones (eg wipe left, and wipe right).

    Even then all they do is draw attention to the fact we're watching a movie - ie detract from the content.

    Nevertheless a nice try which I enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8


    Tim; is your pause button not working ?

    Interesting comment on the transitions; now am of to watch it....

    MMMMMmmm I watch it! I have to say Tim I agree with you!

    I will add one comment; the footage is great, loved the tape effect at the bottom Cool.

    Is it me or didn't the Voice seem to match the visuals, in the sense as what you hear corrosponds to what you see. Doesn't alwayd have to be the case, but watching that seemed a bit disjointed to what you saw...

    Great footage though, Yeah Tim...Note 1 interesting
    Last edited by zandebar; 01-20-2010 at 05:45 PM.

  9. #9


    Thanks ever so much Tim. The best thing I ever did in a long time was finding this forum its great.

    I was going to mention the pause button as well, some may say the shots are too long if I made them longer.

    I found the archive film on the Internet about a year ago and was amazed that some of the filming was done from the same spot as me.

    I think with your comments, now I can give it a tidy up. The shot of the train going under the bridge was not supposed to show the whole bridge but the same bit as the old film. Hmmm don't know what happened there, I'll certainly fix that bit.

    Tried watching on different computers and couldn't fault the sound.

    It must be remembered that Super 8mm film was only four minutes long and very, very expensive and you had to get it right first time, there was no rewind and re record.

    I really appreciate all your comments so please keep them coming.

  10. #10


    CW if they say it too short here then its too short...if they say its too long; its too long...

    Your in safe hands here, people here do know what they are talking about....

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