Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy on 16mm

Posted on September 3, 2016

I had occasion to copy three films that were made in the 1970s. One was 16mm the other two were Super 8mm. The interesting thing was that they had a soundtrack that had been recorded separately and mastered onto Audio CD.

The films were captured at a frame rate of 24fps for 16mm and 18fps for Super 8mm. This odd frame rate was used to stop frame jitter.

I then had to match the sound to the pictures. This was done by adjusting the speed of the film, not so much a problem with the Super 8 as the 16mm. The 16mm was a film based on a meeting between Gustav Holst and Thomas Hardy and had several parts where the sound matched the picture… not an easy task!

7 Replies to "Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy on 16mm"

  • John Petley-Jones
    September 12, 2016 (3:17 pm)

    Thank you so much, Robin, for your dedication and tenacity in striving to get these tricky little devils right and giving them a new lease of life. I particularly valued your patience and sense of humour when dealing with my demands and I’ll certainly not forget the collaborative and fun spirit wiith which we produced (by telephone!) a final “director’s cut” to get the timing of the 16mm “Egdon Heath” just right.

  • Bob Cooper
    October 14, 2016 (1:10 pm)

    Re: “Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy”. Brilliant! Hope to see you soon with some more of my old films and am hoping I’ll be able to do a similar thing with some reels with synchronised sound on tape….1972 Chinon system which was pretty poor, btw…..but I’m going to have a go when I have your EXCELLENT transfers.
    Bob Cooper.

  • Bruno Lima
    December 19, 2019 (5:00 am)

    Greetings, I am a big fan of Gustav Holst, and I collect many rare things from the composer, such as photos, video and more. How can I get access to this film?, I was very curious. I have no interest in publicizing, I am interested only for my personal studies.

    • John Petley-Jones
      March 27, 2020 (4:53 pm)

      To Bruno Lima
      Re: “Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy”.
      Hello Mr Lima, I have just seen your message and thank you for your interest. This was an amateur project on 16mm which had to be shelved when the arts subsidy scheme collapsed. Later I was persuaded to re-edit the available rushes to the accompaniment of a complete performance of Egdon Heath (LPO Sir Adrian Boult). The result was premiered by The Thomas Hardy Society who were very kind in their appraial of it. With Robin’s expert help, we have saved it on to DVD, but not being “techno-savvy” I am not sure how to disseminate it online yet. You may not wish to divulge your email address but if you do, I can send you the original programme notes I wrote for the Dorchester screening in 1981. Best wishes
      John Petley-Jones

  • Anna
    April 19, 2020 (3:06 pm)

    John, this is indeed an amazing accomplishment! I would love to see the film as I am a great fan of Gustav Holst- would it be possible to send me your program from Dorchester screening as well? Much appreciated –

    Best regards from Prague. Thank you.
    Anna V.

  • John Petley-Jones
    August 11, 2020 (9:15 pm)

    Egdon Heath: Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy – update

    Hello again Robin,

    Thanks in part to Bruno Lima’s encouragement, I have managed to upload “Egdon Heath” (which you transferred so well from 16mm for me) to YouTube. Here is the link for anyone wishing to view your transfer:

    The title is “Egdon Heath: Gustav Holst meets Thomas Hardy”

    YouTube Channel: john petley-jones
    2 subscribers 3 likes 64 views so far (6 days)

    My YouTube Introduction:

    Gustav Holst is inspired by Hardy’s Egdon Heath, accompanied by a complete performance of his tone poem. Filmed in Dorset in 1972.

    Back in the 70s, this project fell victim to a collapsed Arts film initiative, with only half of the intended footage filmed. I was persuaded later to adapt the existing rushes into this shorter impressionistic study complementing Holst’s music. The film received its first public screening in 1981 in “Casterbridge”, under the kind auspices of the Thomas Hardy Society.

    Bruno has been sent the link and I hope it helps him with his forthcoming documentary on Holst.

    Many thanks again, Robin and I will shortly be adding the other two productions you helped me with to such pleasing effect.

    All good wishes,

    John Petley-Jones

  • Phil
    November 20, 2020 (2:00 pm)

    Are you the John Petley-Jones that went to Shoreditch in the 60’s?

    Phil Tweddell

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