Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Flying the Foam and Some Fancy Diving - 1906

Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Director: James Williamson
Stars: 'Professor' Reddish
Filming Locations: Palace Pier, Brighton, East Sussex, England, UK
Production Co: Williamson Kinematograph Company
Genres: Short
A stunt cyclist is seen jumping off Brighton Pier, from multiple angles and in multiple directions(!) Some more mundane high-diving footage follows, in the same style.
James Williamson, one of the pioneers of the British film industry, produced this shot of Professor Reddish, a water clown that used to be called a 'tumeler' in the Catskills -- he rides a bicycle hither and yon and does some basic dives, albeit from a great height -- one of them looks to be from a good twenty meters into the water.
Williamson attempts to enliven a rather straightforward performance by running some of the sequences backwards, so that the Professor seems to leap from the water back to the several times, but by 1906, that was rather old hat. The record is a bit sketchy, but he would seem to have largely gone out of production within a year of this work, with one or two later efforts.

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