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Unlocking Film Heritage - Film London

Jan 04 2017

We recently provided some valuable film restoration training and studio experience with a budding Film Information Officer, Jack Reichhold at Film London and we wanted to share his studio-intern experience, to broaden this great training initiative and help younger people tread the boards into film production.

Jack's training and time with R3store was supported by Creative Skillset funding as part of the LSA’s Digital Futures 'Shared Past' training project.

We asked Jack some questions about his time here…


Q.  What first attracted you to the job at Film London and how long have you been there?

Film London’s London’s Screen Archives promotes screen heritage across the capital, which for me is a unique and inspiring mission, and therefore something I wanted to be a part of. For the last 3 years I’ve been collecting home movies and sharing small but precious moments in London’s history with the general public. It’s been fantastic.

Q.  Have you been involved in the ‘London - A Bigger Picture’ heritage project, what the most interesting thing you've seen within the archives?

I’ve been on the project since 2014. More than any one film, what I enjoy seeing is people’s reactions to the films. I drive our mobile cinema, The KinoVan, to outer boroughs across London and showing people how their streets looked decades ago is a one-of-a-kind experience. Recently, though, I really enjoyed seeing home movie snippets from a Polish community in Islington. 

Check out the work here — To see where the KinoVan is next, see ...

Q.  You recently worked with R3store Studios to learn some of the processes involved in film scanning and film restoration and archival, what did you find the most interesting?

The transformation of images during grading made the biggest impact on me –because the change is so dramatic and instantaneous. But also in cases where clients have asked for restoration work, it’s been interesting to see how digital tools can improve the clarity of an image and tackle things that would have been previously very difficult to fix.

Q.  Were you able to learn anything valuable about what we do, has it given you a more technical understanding of what's involved?

R3store handles nearly all of our digitisation work from the Bigger Picture and Unlocking Film Heritage projects, and to see the workflow from start to finish has been really useful. I’ve learnt a lot about film handling and cleaning, as well as the more technical sides of things, such as encoding and digital asset management. There’s a lot of expertise and experience amongst the team, so to be able shadow each of them and see their processes has been very rewarding.


Q.  So you must have a most-famous person story you've met or worked with, whose inspired you in film?

Ray Davis of the Kinks is a London's Screen Archives patron. I met him when he came to a Bigger Picture Screenings at Bruce Castle Museum in Tottenham. Having grown up around the area, he has a lot of passion for the borough’s history and the screen heritage sector in general.

Q.  Where do you see yourself in ten years time, (hopefully still in the film industry)? What's your dream job?

I don't have a dream job, per say, but I do have dream projects. In the next ten years I'd really like to take the first steps towards making more immersive archive film experiences/projects - perhaps with 3-D or VR, which might sound gimmicky but I think you have to look for new ways for people, especially younger people, to engage with archive material.

Q.  If you could give some career advice to a current film or media student about how to get on the industry, what would it be? 

Getting into the sector is a daunting task but actually most people I’ve encountered are keen to help and support new talent, and will actually go out of there way to assist you. The main thing is to ask! Volunteering is also a really useful way to get a foot in the door, so it’s worth checking/asking an archive. Worth mentioning that LSA offers volunteering opportunities.

Q.  What's the most used / loved gadget or subscription you own that's essential to life?

Netflix. Anything else would be a lie!

Q.  List three website's you couldn't live without?

YouTube - you can learn anything.
BBC  - mainly for the sport.
London's Screen Archives - speaks for itself!

If you'd like to hear more, or inquire about training initiatives like this, please drop us a line by email to Jo Griffin or call 020 3871 5300

Film London is funded by the Mayor of London and the National Lottery through the BFI, we also receive support from Arts Council England, Creative Skillset and the Heritage Lottery Fund  Film London also manages the British Film Commission through a public/private partnership which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, and UK Trade and Investment.