23 May, 2012

Fresh Blood in Southport

There is fresh blood in this Diamond Jubilee year, courtesy of Southport MovieMakers.

Sixty years ago, Southport MovieMakers made a film about blood. In 1951, having impressed the then Regional Donor Organiser for the National Blood Service (Liverpool Region), Mr George Monro, Southport MovieMakers was invited to make a film for the NBS, the aim of which was to recruit people to donate their blood.

In the post-war period in which the film was shot, it was thought that a colour film, shot on Merseyside, would have more impact than black and white – which would have perhaps been rather draining! The shooting of scenes for the film at factories and workplaces added an extra dynamism.

The film was judged to be one of the Ten Best Amateur Films of 1951, in the competition run by Amateur Cine World Magazine.  A young 19-year-old man directed the film, Trevor Livesey. Such was the success of the film that soon afterwards the Blood Transfusion Service asked Southport MovieMakers to make another film.

The 30-minute film produced by Southport MovieMakers was entitled “Calling to You” and indeed the film is expected to be calling out to potential blood donors again – sixty years on.   The National Blood Service is actively promoting this film around the region with a view to arranging screenings to coincide with the Royal Diamond Jubilee. There has been a great deal of interest shown in the film:

  • University of Liverpool – History of Medicine lecturer to use it in her lectures
  • University of Manchester – Urban History lecturer to use it in her lectures
  • Chorley Little Theatre – Planning to show it as part of an old film event
  • Parbold Picture House – Planning to show it in October before another film
  • Stockport Plaza – Planning to use it as an information short before another film

Dates for screenings have yet to be confirmed. Given the interest shown and the range of venues, the National Blood Service is hopeful that the new screenings of this old film will help them recruit new donors.

No comments: