Producing in Scotland

Full page aricle on Producing in Scotland, featuring a company call Club Comedies with forthcoming film called "His Highness"

Some time ago, while visiting a cinema in the suburbs of Glasgow, I witnessed a comedy on the screen with a new brand. The name was 'Club Comedies', and never having heard of them, I inquired as to who were the producers. Imagine my surprise when I was told that they were produced in dear, dirty old Glasgow! I immediately determined to hunt down the producer, not that I wanted to annihilate him, but to glean some information as to how and where 'Clubs' were produced. Perseverance was rewarded, and having caught my man, I was invited to attend at the studio and see the whole outfit. I expected to find an amateurish concern, but was pleasantly surprised, for where the 'Clubs' come from everything is perfectly fitted up as though for the production of big things. 'Universal City' had better look to its laurels. I am not at liberty to indicate exact localities, for picture producers require privacy, and were it blazoned forth that 'movies' were being taken every day, too many Peeping Toms would want to know how it was done. Monday afternoon, then, found me at the rendezvous. I first visited the studio, where, at the moment, rehearsals were being held for a comedy which will shortly be released under the name of His Highness. The studio is a large glass-roofed building, with excellent natural light, and, by an arrangement of rails near the roof, powerful arc lamps can supply sufficient artificial light when the natural supply gives out. These arc lamps are of a special type, and their brilliancy can best be imagined when it is mentioned that each is equal to forty of the lamps usually hung outside cinemas. By means of the rails mentioned the lamps can be moved into any position and to any part of the studio, which can be fitted with three distinct 'settings' at one time.. The director of productions is Mr. Foote, and American with experience in several of the best-known picture producing companies in the States, and having seen him at work - and heard him - I am more than ever convinced that the cinema artist deserves all the nice things said about him or her. The producer is a hard task master, or seems so, but in reality he is only doing his best to get the correct effect, and he usually succeeds. From the studio I was conducted to the dark rooms. I have been in several rooms previously, but must say that those in which 'Club Comedies' are finished are about perfection. The dark rooms number about six or seven. First is the loading room. Here the camera is loaded before being taken to the studio and the negative taken. After the negative has been developed it is taken to the printing room, where a Williamson printer of the latest type has been installed. From the 'printer' the positive is passed into the developing room, where the deep-tank system is used. Next it is taken to the fixing room, and from here, by a most ingenious arrangement, it vanishes to the washing room. In the fixing room the film - on a frame - is slipped into a cupboard arrangement, while outside in the washing room it can be withdrawn without any light having reached having reached the fixing department. There are two drying rooms - one where the film can dry naturally, and the other for use when the film is wanted in a hurry or is of a topical nature, where the film can be dried on a huge revolving drum in a matter of ten minutes. In the course of an ordinary working day about 10,000 ft. of film can be dealt with. As dust is the enemy of all film printers, special precautions are taken to keep it at a distance. In all the dark rooms corners are non-existent. At the floor and roof the walls are rounded off, so that no dust can lodge anywhere, and though each room an electrical air shaft runs, which, while supplying the necessary pure air, creates a vacuum which removes all dust before it can settle. The examining room is also a spacious apartment, and from here it is just a step to the projection room, where the finished production is viewed before being sent on its errand to amuse the masses. 'Club Comedies' are yet in their infancy, but already the number produced reaches a dozen, all of which have been successful. While at the studio I was shown where extensive additions are to be made. Space has been marked off for outside studios, where at least six scenes can be set, and films taken out of doors when the light permits. The staff at present numbers about twenty, all told, with Mr. Foote as director and Mr. Verne as camera man. Before leaving a photograph of some of the artists engaged in His Highness was taken and is her reproduced. [photo indistinct]

TitleProducing in Scotland
SourceThe Bioscope


His Highness


Alf Verne