Short films made with images from the Hulton Archive
December 11, 2008 9:44 PM   Subscribe

Photograph of Jesus is a short film by Laurie Hill illustrating the strange requests photography archivists at the vast Hulton Archive sometimes get, such as for photographs of Jesus, the Yeti, Jack the Ripper, Neil Armstrong with 11 other people on the moon and the like. This film won Getty Images' Short and Sweet Film Challenge. The three other shortlisted films were Big Red Button's gambling tale Perrington Stud, Jasmin Jodry's science fiction fantasy Star Games and Ian Mackinnon's sports story Long Jump.
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
i love stories of people who have to deal with other people who are stupid. this is cool.
posted by mexican at 11:51 PM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

I loved the Star Games video, it felt like a cinematic mashup featuring Fritz Lang, the Tron guys mentioned in a below FPP, and the Carousel from Logan's Run.

Also, Photograph of Jesus' anecdotal hilarity FTW.
posted by nudar at 12:12 AM on December 12, 2008

posted by whiterussian at 12:48 AM on December 12, 2008

I love it! "Thousands of unchecked boxes . . ." Hell, I'd volunteer on the weekends to sort those.

I'd really like to know everything I could about the educational background, mindset, and life of someone who thought it would be a good idea to find out the name of a photographic archive, call that archive, and request a photograph of Jesus.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:12 AM on December 12, 2008

i love stories of people who have to deal with other people who are stupid. this is cool.

I think you touched on some profound truth there.
posted by Free word order! at 5:43 AM on December 12, 2008

Public librarians run into the same things. There are plenty of anecdotes about students asking at the desk for photos of Jesus, George Washington, and other pre-photography people, suitable for incorporating into school projects.
posted by djfiander at 5:50 AM on December 12, 2008

That was a really great movie, just fantastic. Thanks for this, Kattullus.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:54 AM on December 12, 2008

Thousands of unchecked boxes? So he's saying there is a possibility they have a photograph of Jesus, on the Moon, putting bunny ears on Neil Armstrong while a Yeti looms in the background, with a WWII dogfight going on overhead, where Hitler is one of the pilots, and Charles Darwin is the other!
posted by kcds at 6:37 AM on December 12, 2008

Although the Photograph of Jesus film was excellent, there was one bit of mockery I felt was undeserved.

The narrator poo-poo'ed the idea of a photo being taken in the air during the battle of britain air campaign. Yet there's certainly gun-camera footage surviving from WWII dogfights, and I believe there's even some from the battle of britain. Spotter planes using downward facing cameras were virtually common. It hardly beggars belief that there might be photographs taken by a german bomber crew or even gun-camera footage taken over London.
posted by ArkhanJG at 6:39 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Neil Armstrong with 11 other people on the moon and the like.

Ha. The Apollo 11 Astronauts! I love it.
posted by rokusan at 7:28 AM on December 12, 2008

That was one amusing little film.

However, there were a few things that the narrator said that grated on my nerves. There are lots of experts who are so into their art that it seems impossible that someone wouldn't know what they know, and if they don't know that information, well, they're stupid. Why would an average person know when telephoto lenses were invented?

Although the narrator is clearly within his rights to roll his eyes at inane requests, overindulging does his profession a disservice. If people feel intimidated or that their requests might be too stupid to be honored they are more likely to stay away and look for alternative avenues to accomplish the same goals.

It reminds me of the record store workers in High Fidelity who toss out customers who don't meet their standards. Which, while funny in a movie context, is a crappy way to run a business.

It's definitely one of the qualities that makes Metafilter a difficult place for new people...and I guess that's why most people here like it.
posted by Alison at 7:40 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

Very nice little film.
posted by Science! at 8:41 AM on December 12, 2008

Loved it! Have forwarded it to my pictures editor pal. Alison, I would say in the narrator's defence that he is in fact usually dealing not with school project requests but with professionals on pictures desks and elsewhere, who would indeed be expected to have some concept of the history of photography. And who probably get quite bolshy if they don't get what they want.
posted by tiny crocodile at 9:34 AM on December 12, 2008

I enjoyed all 4 of the shortlisted films.

Photograph of Jesus is funny, and I thought the animation and editing were excellent.

Perrington Stud is frickin' hilarious, but the last few seconds before the credits kind of killed it for me.

Long Jump has the most interesting concept, but, by its very nature, is difficult to watch.

Star Games has this awesome dreamlike quality to it. The soundtrack accompanied the trippy space-future-retro visuals perfectly.

Thanks for posting these!
posted by owtytrof at 10:08 AM on December 12, 2008

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