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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » In Birdland

In Birdland  (1907)

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A groundbreaking production from renowned natural history photographer and filmmaker Oliver Pike, In Birdland was the first British wildlife film to be screened to a fee paying audience. Premiering at London’s Palace Theatre of Varieties in August 1907, the film proved hugely popular with over 100 additional prints being made, so the film could be screened in cinemas across the UK. Sadly all copies of this pioneering production seem to have been subsequently lost or destroyed.

Photographers Oliver Pike and Armytage Sanders risked life and limb as they took their cameras over coastal cliffs, hanging from ropes in order to capture an insight into the lives of Britain’s seabirds. Footage, rarely seen before, of the private lives of kittiwakes, gannets, cormorants and puffins required construction of a special silent cine camera and a great amount of skill and adventurous spirit.

In Birdland marked Pike’s break into the cinematography industry and in a career spanning over half a century, he went on to make over 50 films and publish 25 books about natural history.

Film credits

Photographer: Oliver Gregory Pike
Photographer: Henry Armytage Bradley Sanders

Related links

Oliver Gregory Pike
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