Geekery: New Doc from Peter Jackson Focuses on WWI

The doc will contain never before seen restored footage, and a special focus on veterans.

The director has been interested in this period in history for a very long time. His collection of World War One memorabilia was used to create an exhibition at New Zealand’s national museum. He directed a short for RED called Crossing the Line that focused on fighting in the trenches. So, it’s not surprising that the Imperial War Museum in London would approach him for a project like this.

Jackson is using never before seen footage – from the archives of the museum and the BBC – that has been restored and hand colorized to create a documentary that focuses on the people involved in the war. The footage includes hours of interviews with veterans.

Jackson’s goal is to tell their story.

The currently untitled documentary will be released this fall at the BFI London Film Festival; a UK wide theater release will coincide with that. Copies will also be given to secondary schools across the UK to help teach a new generation about the war that changed the world.

While you’re waiting there is a lot to check out. The documentary is part of the 14-18 NOW program that commissions artworks inspired by the time period. They’ve commissioned over 100 pieces so far – from sculpture to comic books to prose and performance – for the centenary.

What resources would you recommend for students wanting to learn more about the Great War?

  • Manwiththedogs

    Freakin’ awesome.

  • The Great War YT channel is fantastic, btw.

  • Dan

    This kind of thing is one of the few reasons I occasionally lament digital capture methods.

    They’re better in almost all ways and I am in no way advocating getting rid of them but analogue recording methods tend to pick up a *lot* more information. We can go back and mine them for new data every so often with new technologies. Touch them up and do all sorts of things. With digital you can’t really- what you see is what you get.

    • Have you seen Side by Side? It’s 6 years old now, but it’s still relevant to the digital vs film debate.

      • Dan

        I haven’t seen this. Seems kind of interesting but the whole thing of Digital vs. Analogue has always bothered me. A lot.

        Even calling it a debate bothers me because it’s not a debate. Outside of what I mentioned there is no other redeeming feature I can think of film in place of digital recording methods. They’re faster, cheaper, easier, cleaner, interact better with post processes, can do a whole bunch of things analogue can’t… Hell. even that information density can be decently mimicked if you really want by doing HDR style multiple exposure recording. It’d cost more than normal but less than using film at this point I’d bet. Not sure if its a common practice or not but it seems like the kind of thing they wouldn’t bother doing because it’s unnecessary. Then again they’re pretty good about getting extra footage and stuff usually just in case as it can help a lot in post.

        Even in that interview the guy asks “whats better about digital?” Keanu responds with real, actual examples that demonstrate value. “Whats good about film?” he responds with “I cant do it myself. I want to. y’know. *mimes grasping motions* and kids now will never have that experience. they’ll never get to touch it”

        It’s pure wanking. I doubt Keanu actually physically touches film. Unless he’s editing like it’s the 40’s he’s probably using an Avid editing setup or similar competitor which uses digitized footage to make test reels then they get some scrub in the back to physically cut it up and tape it together down the line.

        Even if he did get messy “the kids wont be able to do it”? Yet more wanking. It’s not like they have all the kids in the Kodak lab there. The kids aren’t there in the darkroom with you. The only one touching film are the folks editing it, which isn’t all the kids.

        Cg vs practical effects, “hand drawn” vs “digital” cartoons, film vs digital recording, recording 3d vs converting it… people have these inane opinions about things they dont understand based on interviews that are pure marketing. fantasies to make the people on screen sound more artsy and poetic than they are. ugh.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Well that is amazing, will need to check it out.

  • euansmith

    I guess that, for some men, these were the happiest days of their life.

    The footage looks amazin; eat your heart out, Rick Deckard.

  • karl keller

    The Great War YT channel is fantastic, btw.