“Film Originals” of the Pacific Northwest at Local Sightings Festival

Movie title screen for Film Originals production credits
Movie title screen for Film Originals production credits

Although not quite here, October promises to be a very busy month.  Herewith the first in a series of announcements of some special events with Pacific Northwest history interest.

On October 5, 2009, films from the UW Special Collection Division’s Moving Image Collection will be shown as a part of this year’s Local Sightings film festival at the Northwest Film Forum on Seattle’s Capitol Hill.  This special program, “Film Originals, the Work of George and Helen Smith,” will take place at 7:00 pm and Hannah Palin, Film Archives Specialist at the University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, will be on hand to discuss the films.

According to the press release:

George and Helen Smith made films together for over thirty years. George worked behind the camera as cinematographer and editor, while Helen wrote scripts for the nearly 40 titles they produced under the name Film Originals. Their films focused on a variety of topics including the rise of aeronautics in American transportation, the Northwest timber industry, Idaho’s Basque community, smoke jumping, and environmental conservation. Films from the George and Helen Smith Collection to be screened at Local Sightings include Last of the Log Drives (1970), Flying Businessman (1953), Those Were the Days (1971) and Telephone Creek (1950).

George Smith
George Smith

Since everyone here at PNW Blog loves scrapbooks, we’re particularly intrigued by Those Were the Days: A Motion Picture Scrapbook, 1910-1950 (1972), a compilation of clips from earlier Film Originals titles.  The creators’ description sums it up nicely:  “This film makes no pretensions, has no serious message to pass on to the world. If it says anything, it is this: Don’t sell the past short, we all share in it sooner or later.”

So set your DVR for Dancing with the Stars next week and have a night out instead!

Image credits: From the George and Helen Smith Collection, Special Collections Division, University of Washington Libraries via Hannah Palin.


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