In Education

As I come to the end of another year I tend to get all reflective. Its not been an easy one personally. But from a business point of view, my best video of the year must surely be “A Year in the Life of Kingham Hill School” which features below. The only thing is, that I started the production almost 40 years ago in 1979-80. In those days it was a film; one I originally shot on Kodak Super 8mm and then edited by physically cutting and pasting clips from the film together.  It was a silent movie. I used to play music on my Tandberg reel to reel tape recorder whenever I showed it.

I subsequently lost the film. Every time I moved house I would look through the box of old cine films that I had kept for posterity but never had the means to watch. But no joy. Then last year, as I was coming up to complete my teaching career, I thought again about that film of my first year in teaching. I decided to ping an email to Kingham Hill School on the off chance that they had the old spool of Super 8 film; that would have been lying around for 37 years. I couldn’t believe it when I received their positive reply.

A  month later the cine film was digitally converted to an mp.4 file which and uploaded  to my Adobe Premiere Pro editing software.  I subsequently re-edited and colour corrected  the film and then added a soundtrack. A former pupil of the school, Patrick Pearson Miles, now a professional voice over artist, gave of his services for free and brought to life my script. I should acknowledge the help I received with this from  my former KHS colleague and English teacher Andrew Sinclair.

Kingham Hill School recently promoted the film in their former pupils Newsletter “Old Hillians”  and has resulted in me getting back in touch with some of the boys I taught all those years ago. A number of them have gone on to fame and recognition and I was delighted to hear back from them. One of the respondents was Malcolm Brecht who was in my original Thursday afternoon film makers’ club and shot some of the film – particularly those clips that I feature in. He is now Air Vice Marshall. You can’t get any  higher than that in the RAF! Another lad /gentleman – RJ Ellory, is a crime fiction writer and a very good one at that. He got in touch. Thankfully I was able to report that I had read three of his novels and I highly recommend him. Lord Andrew Adonis – always in the news and on a mission to thwart BREXIT – dropped me a line and shared his  appreciation of the video as well.



So why is it my best video? Well it is unique. It has been resurrected from the dead. And many former pupils from all over the world have enjoyed watching and sharing it with their families. That is the power of film and the video.

One of my resolutions for 2018 will be to transfer and restore many of my other super 8 films so that they can see the light and be enjoyed again.

A Happy New Year to you.


  • Martyn Moore

    Oh my goodness, Mark. This is wonderful! I found your film through one of those strange but magical internet journeys that started with us both working with Polly Winder. I was searching for a photo of her, which led to your site.

    Like me, you seem to like sharing your work and experiences and this gem from the past is great. My work doesn’t go back quite as far but over the Christmas break I did get round to transferring my first professional production credit from VHS (it was in the loft with the decorations).

    Don’t feel you have to watch, of course: It’s too long and doesn’t even have a narrator. But for those passengers on the ship and an aging film-maker it has a warm glow of nostalgia to it.

    But I’m so pleased you were reunited with your film. You must have been absolutely thrilled!

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