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Real footage of the Titanic sinking

Discussion in 'Titanic Puzzles Solved and Unsolved' started by Carl Van Baelen, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone. (I don’t really know where to put this topic, so a apologies if its in the wrong section)

    but a few days ago, there was a documentary of the Titanic on National geographic. About unknown bodies, that where found.

    And through the documentary there where some real footage of the Titanic leaving port. And when they reconstructed the sinking there was a little peace of footage (It was not that long) taken from in a live boat, you could see the Titanic, and an otter lifeboat that was lowered in to the water. This looked like real footage. It was really short, but I’m kind of sure it was real.
    I could be wrong.

    But haze there been filmed during the sinking?

  2. Dan Cherry

    Dan Cherry Guest

    Hi, Carl,

    I haven't seen the documentary you're speaking about. However, here is some insight...
    The only moving picture footage of Titanic is her being towed into the outfitting wharf at Belfast in February 1912. A clip of Lusitania leaving port has often been shown as a substitute for Titanic's maiden voyage commencement, including the 1958 film 'A Night to Remember'.
    No known footage of Titanic leaving Southampton is known to exist.

    Secondly, there is no known footage of the actual sinking. Simply put, it wouldn't have been practical to have done so. The equipment was cumbersome and motion picture and ordinary photography in 1912 required large amounts of light to produce a useable image. Despite what the movies depict, there would have been little on-deck light. Setting off magnesium flash powder would have undoubtedly been noticed, and no one mentions anything of the sort happening during the sinking.

    Oftentimes, these documentaries make what we call "recreations" where they film re-created scenes to add drama to their documentaries.

    >But haze there been filmed during the sinking?

    There was no haze, or fog, mentioned during the sinking.
  3. Thanks for the information Dan.
    But through the documentary the recreations was not the same (Like it wasend in black & white) as that peace of footage. but I believe you, so it probably was a recreations.

    So there is no footage of the Titanic on board (while he was sailing) at all?
  4. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member

    To my knowledge there are no known photographs of Titanic at sea. There are some from the trip from Southampton and Queensland and Cherbourg, but there is no movie footage at all, and I have never seen any pictures of her during her voyage from the coast of Europe until she met her demise.
  5. Dan Cherry

    Dan Cherry Guest

    there was at least one person on board with a moving picture camera; Lawrence Beesley noted that he observed the individual filming the "New York incident", but neither the man nor any pictures he shot made it to the other side of the Atlantic.
    Nor, at this point, did any en voyage pictures that may have been taken survive, either. Passengers left with little more than the clothes on their backs, and most left under the impression that they'd be back onboard for breakfast.
    Fr. Browne's photos and the Odells' album are the only two sets of photographs known today to show en voyage pictures, but only from Southampton to Queenstown, where both parties disembarked, and took their film with them.

    Film, coated with gelatin emulsion, quickly becomes victim to the bacteria and micro-organisms in the sea, so there is little chance anything of unprocessed images or film reels would exist almost 93 years later.

    As far as the recreations - Hollywood has many capabilities to bring a sense of realism to what they want to show on television... that's the magic of TinselTown....
  6. >>I could be wrong.<<

    As the others so ably pointed out, I'm afraid you are. An honest enough mistake to be sure. Motion picture photography was very much in it's infancy then and required large bulky equipment as well as substantial amounts of light to get a usable print, even in broad daylight. I scarcely think any such could have been brought into a boat without a few (hundred) people taking notice.

    As Dan said, Hollywood can make some very good recreations, and in a documentary, all it takes is fast work with stock footage from existing films to make something look a lot more real then it actually is.
  7. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Guest

    Motion Picture photographer referred to was a motion picture producer of note Mr. Harbeck. I had posted last week a post about discussions with MIT and Eastman Kodak about film possibly being salvageable. Opinion from both was that if Mr. Harbeck put his exposed film in cans and taped them closed then they would have remained watertight for a time and by the time they reached the bottom the pressure of 6,00o pounds per square inch would have compressed the film especially near the core so tightly that it would have remained dry. To recover though pressure would have to be maintained but again both said IF it could then there was a 60 percent chance some images might be recovered nearest the hub of the reel. It was nitrate film by the way.
  8. Jeremy Lee

    Jeremy Lee Member

    >>It was nitrate film by the way<<

    Luckily it couldn't EXPLODE!

    I don't know how to describe the possibility of finding flim at the wreck site, one in a million is not good enough.....
  9. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Guest

    > [Nitrate was indeed a bit flammable many a theater had overdone popcorn because of it I guess Mr. Harbeck was a non smoker, plus I doubt he took any of the film to the Titanic's darkroom to process as that was not set up for movie film. Cheers Jeremy, Jon]
  10. Dan Cherry

    Dan Cherry Guest

    If someone DID take a camera into a lifeboat; IF they rested it on something and did so perfectly still; and did a timed exposure from out in the water, PERHAPS at BEST this might be what you'd get, AT BEST with no boat movement or drift; and all this would have been near or virtually impossible to accomplish...

  11. G' Morning (ATTN PLEASE Mr. Marschall)

    In regards to nitrate film. In his brilliant contribution to USA TODAY periodical (See: Nov. '95) Ken Marshall shared in part:

    "A camera has been retrieved, one of surely dozens on the ocean floor and still within the hull. Several years ago, scientists at Kodak looked into the long-term stability of nitrate film exposed to decades of seawater under great pressure with, I understand, promising predictions."

    Any furthur follow-up to this matter would be greatly appreciated Ken.

    Michael A. Cundiff
  12. Paul Lee

    Paul Lee Member

    OT: I recall talk of this USA Today article on the old Titanic Mailing List. No details were posted, but people did say that it was controversial. What was in the article?

  13. Hi Paul:

    I am afraid no controversy whatsoever...just Ken Marschall at his best...not a particular pro nor non salvage vote...just summing things up as they stand ('95).

    Defacto...one paragraph heading: "The benefit of the doubt". Also a open minded summary of his feeling toward RMS Titanic Inc.

    Peoples said this and peoples said that...

    Michael A. Cundiff

    If you have access to EBSCO and your source just happens to date back to November of 1995, you can base your own opinion. SEE:

    "A TITANIC TASK: Confronting the controversy of salvaging artifacts"

    ...you may be surprised to read of Ken's feelings in regards to salvage of LUSITANIA and EMPRESS OF IRELAND.

    Good Luck,
    Michael A. Cundiff
  15. Alicia Coors

    Alicia Coors Guest


    That's a nice picture. Was it exposed for more than a second? What film was it shot with? Was 1912 emulsion was that fast?
  16. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Guest

    > [Been There Done That if you check somewher I wrote recently about discussion with MIT and Eastman whereas they both agreed that some imagery close to the hub of the reels of film stood a 60 percent chance of recovering images. BUT the 6,000 pound pressure down there is the protector keeping the inner core tight and dry. How do you bring up the film without losing the protective pressure and keep the film dry until you get to the lab. That was our big discussion. Best shot would be Harbecks movie films and if they can find a newspaper or business cards down there or even the pencil (in private hands) and the pen that still had ink in its RUBBER bladder and still wrote then a film can should not pose a problem in spotting it]
  17. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Guest

    > [Just looking at the picture I would say it was AGFA colour at probaby 1,000 ASA, I use the same film photographing smoke from fireflys]
  18. Pardon me Jon...

    ...perhaps I should have asked the "Rattail Fish"
    (Currently co-resident of RMS TITANIC)

    Such a sad fate awaited a specimen retrieved from an equivilant depth of 12,500'...I realize what your saying about this protective pressure. Same one that protects the deep submersible viewports. 9" plexiglassed vortex shape enhances their safety all the while pressure is of a continueous increase whence the sub is under descent.

    Michael A. Cundiff
  19. ...sure Jon...and the skin cream still retained it's 1912 fragrance...oh and the purfumes!!

    Is'nt it just wonderful...these recovered relics?
    The magnificant beauty of them all. Our papable connection to this cherished past.

    We are so fortunate to have had George Tulloch grace our lifetime.

    Michael A. Cundiff
  20. Jon Hollis

    Jon Hollis Guest

    > [Did you know that one of those jars of cold cream still had a ladies fingerprint in it according to George]