Harvard Film Service Makes And Shows University Movies

Maintains Complete Studio and Laboratory; Now Filming Harvard Forest

Beneath the Biological laboratories lies Harvard's bit of Hollywood. Here a group of rooms with a curious assortment of movie equipment houses the Harvard Film Service. Founded after the four-year-old University Film Foundation, an organization separate from Harvard, folded, the Service moved into its present location in 1934.

As Director for the first time this year, James R. Brewster '25, has been conducting a regular self-sufficient studio, which sells 200 reels of film to schools like Chicago's and colleges like Ohio State all over the country. Seven full-time employees and one-part time student perform still work and copying, make slides and enlargements, and take pictures.

All the still picture work for the Fogg Museum is done by the Service, some for other museums in Harvard. During the Tercentenary a photographic survey of the University was made, with 700 pictures of its buildings turned out for the achives and as publicity for the News Office. Summer tourists can buy postcards, made from these views, at the guide booth in the Yard.

Complete Movie Lab

The basement rooms comprising the Service contain a complete movie laboratory with equipment for projecting, editing, titling, printing, and developing both 16mm, and 35mm. film--sound as well as silent. About 650 reels are projected each year for the University, especially in scientific courses like Biology, Engineering, and Psychology. In addition, the Services shows the French films and those of the Harvard Film Society, and handles the evening shows for the Geographical Institute.


In 1937-38 the Services has had, like the big studios, to curtail its production schedule. Work on a film was done (for the Fatigue Laboratory) to be shown this summer at the International Congress of Physiologists at Geneva.

The Service also printed and edited a film on tropical diseases taken in Peru by Richard P. Strong, Professor of tropical medicine, at the Medical School.

Film on Harvard Forest

Now in the making is a film on the Harvard Forest, which the staff of the Petersham Forestry School will use to supplement its teaching and in lectures to county agents, state foresters, and owners of timber land. Contemplated are a series of short films on Harvard activities outside Cambridge to show alumni the geographical extent of the University.