Army Film and Photographic Unit (04:45)
Among the 150,000 Allied soldiers who landed on the beach in Normandy were 20 British army cameramen, charged with documenting the operation. These photographers were trained to record footage for newsreels, historical purposes, and propaganda material.
Cameramen at Normandy (05:06)
Each cameraman had less than 15 minutes of film for the Normandy operation. They were told to always film in a narrative structure and keep in mind what could be shown in newsreels. They stayed close to the beaches so footage could be sent back to Britain.
Veteran Photographer (03:42)
Peter Norris was with the film unit in France after D-Day. He was a trained photographer, who worked with the war office before transferring to the film unit. Having a stronger photography background than others in the unit, Norris thought about each photograph he took and tried to compose the best shot.
Veteran Sound Engineer (03:49)
John Aldred joined the film unit in 1942 as its first sound camera operator. He recorded the sounds of fighting, which had to be matched to the images by the sound editor at Pinewood Studios in England. There was no sound recorded on D-Day.
Film Veteran (05:03)
Robert Baker was transferred to the film unit in Sicily and Italy once he finished fighting in North Africa. As a film cameraman, he was paired with a still cameraman and given a vehicle to travel. He went into the entertainment business after the war and worked in film and television.
Filming Styles (02:58)
Historian Richard Holmes explains how individual memories captured by the cameramen have been used to create a collective memory of the war. Each cameraman had his own style and brought something unique to his footage.
D-Day Newsreels (06:55)
Footage of the D-Day landing aired as in Britain. The first set of footage used music to enhance audience emotions and the second was a detailed account. The British film unit had strict rules about not filming dead Allied soldiers.
Historical Documentary (05:49)
Filmmaker and historian Patrick Rottman explains the dangers of treating newsreels as historical documents. Though they were shot by eyewitnesses, the films were edited, and sound was added to create a narrative. German newsreels usually used older footage to present a sense of order and control.
Media Censorship (03:40)
Newspapers on and around D-Day showed how the military and war reporters controlled the information the public received. Though there are photographs of preparations and the fleet, there is nothing about fighting or causalities on the beach.
Kieffer Commandos (07:55)
Hubert Faure and Leon Gautheir landed on the beach on D-Day as French volunteers fighting with the British. British cameraman Sgt. George Laws captured their interactions with French civilians.
Credits: Memories of D-Day (00:42)
Credits: Memories of D-Day
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