Seawards the Great Ships (clip 4)
Scotland's First Oscar Winner
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The Oscar-winning documentary about shipbuilding on the Clyde, directed by Hilary Harris from a treatment by John Grierson features artistic and cinematographic camerawork that has inspired many modern documentary filmmakers. This clip talks romantically about the 'birth of a ship' and features footage from the preparations for the launch and the launch of the motor vessel "British Trust" from Scott's shipyard, Greenock.
Questions & Activities
- How would you describe the tone of the narration and the use of visual and verbal metaphors in this film?
- How can something made of metal float?
- Does the film present a positive or negative image of shipbuilding?
- Why does the big boat need the tugs?
- What is the atmosphere like at the launch?
Research how long it took to make a ship, the different stages of production, and the number of ships made on the River Clyde each year.
Write a description of the launch from the perspective of one of the workers, spectators or dignitaries. Or write a newspaper report about the launch. Describe the main moments and the ritual of the launch.
Study the forces involved in the launch of a ship and how displacement works to keep a ship afloat. Use footage from this and other ship launches on the Scotland on Screen website to make your own science documentary about the science of ships and shipbuilding.
|Resource Rights Holder||National Library of Scotland|
|School Subject||Business Studies, Media Studies, English, Science, Technologies, Geography|
|Subject Matter||Creative Writing, Rivers and Coasts|
|Who||Central Office of Information (sponsor), Clyde Shipbuilders' Association (sponsor), Films of Scotland (sponsor), Hilary Harris (director), John Grierson (writer), Templar Film Studios (production company)|