Tag Archives: film

Photographs of veteran Hollywood stuntman Chuck Waters now online

Swashbuckler (1976)

Swashbuckler (1976)

Pepperdine University Libraries is thrilled to announce the Chuck Waters Collection, a new addition to Pepperdine Digital Collections. Chuck Waters, veteran stuntman of film and television, shares his personal photographs, correspondence, and stories chronicling more than forty years in the film industry. Waters (b. 1934) has served as stunt performer or stunt coordinator on over 130 films, including The Deer Hunter, The Exorcist, the Indiana Jones trilogy, numerous films by Clint Eastwood, and many more.

The photographs in this digital collection capture the stunt industry at its height, decades before green screens, wires, and computer-generated imagery (CGI). Working for some of the biggest names in Hollywood—George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, William Friedkin, Francis Ford Coppola, and others—Waters has been set on fire, rolled in crashing cars, clotheslined off motorcycles, driven off cliffs, dropped from helicopters, thrown off horses, and hurled down stairs (yes those stairs in The Exorcist).

Chuck Waters (left) doubling Martin Sheen

Chuck Waters (left) doubling Martin Sheen

As Waters tells us, “We, my fellow stuntmen and stuntwomen, had to figure out how to do our stunts as safe as possible so that we could live to see another day of stunts—as dangerous as they were. And sometimes they did not get to see the next day!”

Come see how they did it. The photographs in the collection cover the range of Waters’ career, from Adam West’s Batman television series to The Mask of Zorro. Enjoy.

KAPOW!

KAPOW!

Materials derive from the Chuck Waters Papers, a part of the Film and Television Collection of Pepperdine University Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives.

Silent Film Online: Trial until February 2, 2014

Pepperdine University Libraries have access to the Silent Film Online collection through February 2, 2014.

Films in this collection represent the foundation of modern cinematic technique and film theory. Carefully curated by Alexander Street’s editors and Video Advisory Board, Silent Film Online covers silent feature films, serials, and shorts from the 1890s to the 1930s.

To get started, take a look at these custom playlists that feature samples of some of the content included in this collection: 19th Century Silent Film, National Film Registry titles, Soviet silents.

Please send comments or questions to Screenwriting & Film Librarian, Sally Bryant. Feedback on the Silent Film Online trial is appreciated.

Pepperdine Honors 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Death with Screening and Exhibit

Herschensohn Exhibit Poster jpgOn Friday, November 22nd, from 2-4:30pm, fifty years to the day following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Pepperdine University Libraries and the School of Public Policy will host a screening of John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums, with director Bruce Herschensohn.

During the entire month of November, a complementary exhibit will be held in Payson Library that explores the making of this film with photographs, correspondence, posters, memorabilia, and other images.

The 90-minute film, produced by the United States Information Agency (USIA) and written and directed by Herschensohn, examined the life, death, and impact of John F. Kennedy shortly after his assassination. It features extensive excerpts from Kennedy’s speeches, including color footage of his swearing in and inaugural address. Gregory Peck served as the narrator of the film, and it was ultimately shown in more than 100 countries and in 30 languages. The USIA produced media about American for foreign audiences. Because audiences were so moved by this film, a special act of Congress in 1965 allowed it to be distributed in the U.S. for viewing by domestic audiences.

The film screening at Pepperdine will be followed by a Q&A with writer and director, Bruce Herschensohn. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, which will be on display in Payson Library throughout the month of November, features materials from the Bruce Herschsensohn Papers about the making of John F. Kennedy: Years of Lightning, Day of Drums. These materials document the filming of the worldwide reaction to Kennedy’s death, including the funeral proceedings in Washington, D.C., and memorial services around the world; the development of the film script and music; the worldwide release and international acclaim of the film; and the distribution within the U.S. Related materials can be found in the Pepperdine Digital Collections.

The materials in the exhibit are taken from the Bruce Herschensohn Papers, which are held by Pepperdine University’s Special Collections and University Archives, where they are available for research. Digital images from the collection are also available online in the Pepperdine Digital Collections. The collection includes items collected and created by Herschensohn as an independent filmmaker, a Director of Motion Pictures and Television at the United States Information Agency (USIA), a member of staff at the White House for Presidents Nixon and Reagan, and a political commentator for the KABC television and radio stations. Materials include correspondence, photographs, video and audio recordings, manuscripts, musical compositions, drawings, newspaper clippings, and other items related to the development of his films.

Bruce Herschensohn is a political commentator, author and senior fellow at the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy in Malibu, California.  He served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations and is the author of nine books, in addition to being a filmmaker and producer.

Please contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu for questions about the screening or exhibit.

Premiere of the film in Karachi, Pakistan, November 25, 1964.

Premiere of the film in Karachi, Pakistan, November 25, 1964.

A poster from the U.S. distribution of the film.

A poster from the U.S. distribution of the film.

Happy World Day for Audiovisual Heritage!

Here’s something that you may not have known: this Sunday, October 27th, is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. And why should you care? While you may be hard pressed to find a Happy World Day for Audiovisual Heritage card at the Hallmark store, it speaks to a very important issue. Experts estimate that we have only 10 to 15 years left to digitize the wealth of content on analog audiovisual media—such as film, reel-to-reel tape, and even VHS—dating to the mid to late 20th century. This material constitutes an indispensable complement to the written record of our collective world history, and it is at risk of permanent loss due to the vulnerability of these media to decay, damage, and playback obsolescence.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2005 in order to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual recordings and raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken to preserve them.

Pepperdine University Libraries has responded to this charge by partnering with the California Audiovisual Preservation Project, an initiative of the California Preservation Program that provides digitization and access services for historic California audiovisual recordings. So far, more than two dozen films, reel-to-reel tapes, and other vulnerable recordings in our Special Collections and University Archives have been digitized for preservation purposes through this collaboration. These recordings, such as this recently digitized speech by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor at the 1985 Pepperdine Law School Dinner, are now available in our Pepperdine Digital Collections.

Please visit the links above to discover how you can contribute to the preservation of the world’s audiovisual heritage.

Kennedy in June, 50 Years On: Today’s featured digital object

President Kennedy at the Berlin Wall in "The Five Cities of June"

It was Fifty years ago today that President John F. Kennedy made his historic Cold War era speech at the western gate of the Berlin Wall. The speech, highly critical of communism’s restrictions on personal freedom, included the memorable refrain “Let them come to Berlin” and, of course, the famous phrase “ich bin ein Berliner.” President Kennedy’s speech was captured by filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn, who used the speech as the final segment of his 1963 documentary The Five Cities of June.

Produced for the United States Information Agency, The Five Cities of June features five distinct historical events, each taking place in June 1963 in five different cities around the globe. These events include the election and coronation of Pope Paul VI in the Vatican; the launching of a rocket from an unknown Soviet location; skirmishes between North and South Vietnamese in Ben Tuong, South Vietnam; the integration of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with the assistance of U.S. Marshals; and President Kennedy’s speech at the Berlin Wall. Charlton Heston provides the narration; Bruce Herschensohn provides the screenplay, music, and direction. The film was nominated for Best Achievement in Documentary Production (Short Subjects).

JFK and West Berlin Mayor Willie Brandt on souvenir postcard, 1963

The Bruce Herschensohn Collection in Pepperdine Digital Collections provides access to a wealth of rare materials related to the production of this film and the events it depicts. This includes correspondence, production notes, artwork, scripts, and ephemera. View, for example, a souvenir postcard from the Berlin Wall signed by President Kennedy bearing a special cancellation mark for the occasion. Click here to browse other materials in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection related to The Five Cities of June. You can view the entire 27-minute film here. Enjoy.

New Cold War era Herschensohn film online: Today’s featured digital object

Where were you at 5:02? May 18th, 1965, that is. Attending a Hindu wedding in New Delhi? Riding a roller coaster in Mexico City? Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps being born in San Diego? These are just some of the events captured by the film Eulogy to 5:02, written and produced by Bruce Herschensohn for the United States Information Agency in 1965. Narrated by Richard Burton, the 27-minute film presents twenty segments—each one-minute long—depicting a “minute lived in freedom” in twenty locations around the world. That minute? 5:02 Greenwich Mean Time on May 18th, 1965.

Filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn in 1965

It was a minute of no particular importance, but, as the opening narration tells us, “for the two-thirds of the world who lived in freedom on May the 18th, 5:02 was significant, for it was another minute spent in doing what they chose to do. Though their freedom went on as unnoticed as the time, 5:02 was theirs, to work if they wanted to work, to dream if they wanted to dream, to live as they wanted to live.”

Although clearly crafted for an explicit purpose at the height of the Cold War, Eulogy to 5:02 presents the viewer with a remarkable, multinational time capsule depicting life on Earth nearly 50 years ago. Tahitian women wash clothes on the beach as the sun rises; Arab construction workers build high-rise apartments in the planned-city of Ashdod, Israel; and youngsters play children’s games on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. A little closer to home, a salesman maneuvers his convertible through the labyrinthine freeway system of Los Angeles, where it is 9:02 AM (the lack of traffic congestion would startle today’s commuter). All scenes are scored with Herschensohn’s lively and dramatic music.

At least as interesting as the film itself is the story behind its creation. This story plays out in the digitized scripts, production notes, and correspondence of the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Coordinating the simultaneous filming of twenty sequences in twenty global locations is a significant task—as is fudging the truth when circumstances don’t quite work out. Piecing this story together reveals as much about history and politics as it does about making movies.

Storyboard and still from "Eulogy to 5:02" refugee sequence

For example, the concluding one-minute segment of the film depicts the arrival of refugees to free soil. Herschensohn originally scripted the sequence with mainland Chinese seeking refuge in Hong Kong, but circumstances required the relocation of the scene to Vietnam. His instructions to the local film crew (employed by the USIA) included the following: “This is one of our main propaganda sequences and needs to come off with a real feeling of compassion. The family or families need to evoke a real empathy from the audience and no corn. The faces should be great old wrinkled faces as well as unknowing youth…” On May 24th, 1965, Ed Hunter of the USIA film crew in Saigon wrote to Herschensohn with news of the successful, although arduous night of filming. “I risked my life, got soaked to the skin, and was arrested four times during the shooting, if you like the footage and can’t pay, send a present.” The night before the film shoot, he explains, Vietcong disguised as Marines attacked an outpost only a quarter of a mile from the location. Hunter also references the bombing of the US embassy less than two months earlier, which his crew also documented. “Ghastly. Truly ghastly.” He writes of the embassy: “We now have safety glass in our office windows, and they have bricked up the library downstairs. Come back to Saigon…”

See the results for yourself. Click here to watch Eulogy to 5:02 in its entirety and then explore the materials related to the film in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Enjoy.

Shakespeare’s Plays Direct to Your Desktop

Pepperdine has licensed streaming video of the 37 BBC Shakespeare plays through Ambrose Digital Video. The plays are chaptered by acts. Ambrose Digital Video is a streaming video service that allows students and faculty to watch content online. Ambrose Video 2.0 is 100% closed captioned and streams are viewable directly through browser to all mobile devices, including iPads and iPods.  Closed captioning can be turned off by clicking on the CC in the upper right corner of the screen.

The BBC Television Shakespeare is a set of television adaptations of the plays  of William Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985.  “For many collections, the BBC Shakespeare series was among the earliest and
most significant acquisitions. At Berkeley and many other institutions, the series has come to be regarded as the canon against which other Shakespeare
performances on film are measured and compared…”
-Gary Handman, Director, Media Resources Center, UC Berkeley

Happy 200th Birthday to Charles Dickens!

Today is the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth, and events to celebrate his legacy are taking place in his native UK and in the US. According to an article in today’s LA Times, Dickens has inspired more TV, film, and stage adaptations of his works than any other writer. Check out this list of Dickens DVDs in Pepperdine’s library collections.

If you’d like to see how some of Dicken’s works first appeared, the Special Collections and University Archives department in Payson has a first edition of The Cricket on the Hearth (1845) and two serial editions of other Christmas stories, from 1863 and 1865 (pictured below). Stop by room 326 in Payson Library to see them or contact Melissa Nykanen at (310) 506-4434 or at melissa.nykanen@pepperdine.edu.

Rare film of George Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

A bit over three decades ago, Helen Pepperdine, wife of our institution’s founder, donated a small film canister to the Pepperdine University Archives. Browned with corrosion, the five-inch canister contained a short reel of 16mm black and white film. Handwritten on the white leader tape was the simple description: “Mr. Pepperdine, 1951.” Boxed away for years, the film came to light once again during our preparations for Pepperdine University’s 75th anniversary. Our interest piqued, we digitized the film for preservation purposes, unveiling the contents of the film for the first time in decades.

The film turned out to be a brief promotional film for Pepperdine College produced in 1951. The film centers on a two-minute speech by George Pepperdine that outlines his Christian vision for the students at the college, which he had founded fourteen years earlier. The film begins with a shot of Pepperdine standing on the roof of the Auditorium, surveying the Administration Building and central fountain of the Los Angeles campus. Due to the degradation of the original audio, we’ve added subtitles to help clarify the words of Pepperdine’s speech.

Audiovisual recordings of George Pepperdine speaking are very rare, so we’re pleased to share this little gem with the Pepperdine community. Most of us are familiar with Pepperdine’s dedicatory address from 1937 (available only in print). This little film is something of a sequel, distilled to the essence, and delivered in his own voice. Enjoy.

Click here to view Mr. Pepperdine.

New Historic Pepperdine Films digital collection

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the release of the Historic Pepperdine Films digital collection, which features moving image materials produced by and about Pepperdine University throughout the history of the institution. Drawing from the University Archives audiovisual collection and the holdings of Integrated Marketing Communications, films in this collection range from home movies to professionally produced promotional films. What was student life at Pepperdine like in 1984? How about 1958? The answers lie in these fascinating archival treasures. The collection includes films of campus activities, sporting events, television shows, and community service programs. Included among the gems is a rare 1952 promotional film in which George Pepperdine himself lays out his vision for Christian education. Follow this link to visit the collection and view the films.