Biography of 'Campbell Harper Productions'

Production company

Established around 1934 in Edinburgh by Alan Harper, Campbell Harper Productions based their studios in a rented attic in Alva Street, Edinburgh. Being a fairly small-scale production company they employed only two young men and a secretary. Campbell Harper Films came into being through Alan Harper’s interest in the possibilities of the teaching-film. He assisted the founder members of the Scottish Educational Film Association, and was soon making educational, industrial and social interest films on a full-time basis.

In 1938 at the Glasgow Empire Exhibition’s cinema, nearly twenty of the company’s productions were exhibited. During the Second World War Campbell Harper was commissioned to make home front propaganda and short information films for the Ministry of Information and the Scottish Office. Thanks to this government funded work during the war, Campbell Harper was able to establish themselves firmly.

In 1946 new premises were bought jointly with Edinburgh Film Guild at Nos 6/7 Hill Street. This building was custom built with offices, camera rooms, cutting rooms and sharing its viewing theatre with the Edinburgh Film Guild. The company now employed four men, Alan Harper (producer), Henry Cooper (cameraman), Bill Fulton, Willie J McLean and two office staff. At the height of the company’s established strength, its full complement of staff numbered ten. Its output covered a range of subjects for a variety of industrial, municipal and national agencies.

By 1955 the company began to win contracts from BBC Scotland and later from Scottish TV. It produced a variety of TV sports, filming football matches for the BBC and providing news footage for both the BBC and ITN newsrooms in London. In 1957, it produced all the film work for the BBC’s news and current affairs programme ‘Tonight’ and shot material for an early edition of ‘This is Your Life’. Work of this nature provided a substantial amount of extra income. Campbell Harper secured a slate of work that enabled it to survive and make a modest profit whilst maintaining a healthy and competitive technical capacity through shrewd investment.

In 1972 the business was sold as a going concern to Douglas Gray of Park Films. He however did not have ACTT membership and consequently, twelve months later, the business folded.

Researcher: Joan Allan

Films associated with 'COCOZZA, Enrico'

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ABBOT'S WHISKY COMMERCIAL [2056]

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Advert for Abbott's whisky.

1968

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'ABERDEEN' thumbnail

ABERDEEN [2320]

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The historical background to the growth of the city of Aberdeen.

Full length video available

1970

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'ABERDEEN ANGUS' thumbnail

ABERDEEN ANGUS [0277]

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A look at the history of the Aberdeen Angus breed, its distinctive qualities and characteristics.

Full length video available

1947

sound

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'ART AND MOVEMENT' thumbnail

ART AND MOVEMENT [1809]

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A film tracing the introduction of movement as a factor in 20th century art. It records various ways in which artists have tackled this development such as Gabo, Calder and Soto.

Full length video available

1965

sound

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AULD TAM McGUIRE [2144]

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The dramatised enactment of a comic poem. [Tam McGuire is played by Duncan Macrae.]

1951

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'AYRSHIRE CATTLE' thumbnail

AYRSHIRE CATTLE [0278]

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The particular qualities of the Ayrshire breed of cattle are highlighted.

Full length video available

1947

sound

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BATHING THE BABY [1346]

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Illustrates how to bathe a baby correctly.

1938

silent

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'CALLER HERRIN'' thumbnail

CALLER HERRIN' [0388]

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Herring fishing off the north- east coast of Scotland ; the film follows the fishing boats from the time they put out to sea to the unloading of the catch at the fish market. It includes shots of fishwives gutting by hand and the process of traditional '

Full length video available

1947

sound

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CATTLE FROM THE UPLANDS [2004]

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Cattle farming in the Uplands of Scotland, from hillside to market.

1955

silent

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CEREMONIAL PROCLAIMING HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN... [3418]

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Ceremony proclaiming Queen Elizabeth at the Market Cross of Edinburgh in 1952. (7 mins)

1952

silent

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'CHILD WELFARE' thumbnail

CHILD WELFARE [1349]

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The local authority's maternity and child welfare service in operation, showing the benefits to mother and child.

Full length video available

1938

silent

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CITY’S FARMS, the [1348]

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Film showing the hygienic care taken of cows before and after milking at farms owned by Glasgow Corporation. Demonstrates the use of sterilising and pasteurisation to produce a "safe" milk supply for hospitals and tuberculosis sanatoria.

1940

silent

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'CONSTRUCTION OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE' thumbnail

CONSTRUCTION OF THE FORTH ROAD BRIDGE [2222]

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The engineering work-in-progress of the construction of the Forth Road Bridge. [See also ref. 2208 for alternative version]. (48 mins)

Full length video available

1965

sound

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'COUNTRY HOMES' thumbnail

COUNTRY HOMES [1345]

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How "country homes" for needy children were run, recounted through one child's experience.

Full length video available

Onsite only

1938

silent

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'COUNTRY OF THE BLIND, the' thumbnail

COUNTRY OF THE BLIND, the [2002]

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The work of the Scottish National Institution for the War Blinded.

Full length video available

1968

sound

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'COUNTY CLERK, the' thumbnail

COUNTY CLERK, the [1351]

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The role of the County Clerk in a small Scottish town. Shot in and around Stirling.

Full length video available

1950

sound

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'DAY IN THE HOME, a' thumbnail

DAY IN THE HOME, a [0017]

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The every day chores and idealised family life in an early 1950s Scottish home.

Full length video available

1951

sound

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DISTANCE NO OBJECT [2044]

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The Cable Belt rope driven conveyor at work.

1959

sound

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'DUNBAR - THE A1 RESORT' thumbnail

DUNBAR - THE A1 RESORT [1815]

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A promotional film for the holiday resort of Dunbar it shows holiday-makers arriving by train, visitors exploring the harbour and castle, amusements and sports available and nearby Tantallon Castle.

Full length video available

1970

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'EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 1964, the' thumbnail

EDINBURGH FESTIVAL 1964, the [0459]

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Documentary on the Edinburgh Festival 1964 including excerpts from plays, opera, ballet and the military tattoo.

Full length video available

1965

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EDINBURGH SCHOOL OF CHIROPODY, the [2917]

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A promotional film for the Edinburgh School of Chiropody, made for showing at the Empire Exhibition.

1938

silent

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EDINBURGH TATTOO, the [2206]

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The first colour film of the Edinburgh Tattoo. (25 mins)

1958

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EPSTEIN: The Memorial Exhibition in Edinburgh [2011]

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Footage of Edinburgh and the Epstein exhibition of sculpture as part of the Edinburgh International Festival.

1961

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EVERYTHING BY DESIGN [2054]

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A demonstration of how we as individuals are responsible to some degree for the appearance of everything in the world in which we live. It seeks to create awareness of design as something which affects us all.

1971

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'FARM IS RECLAIMED, a' thumbnail

FARM IS RECLAIMED, a [0490]

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How, with government help and his own good farming sense, a Scottish farmer puts a derelict farm into good heart in one year.

Film clip available

1945

sound

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'FIBRE WEB, the' thumbnail

FIBRE WEB, the [2040]

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The processing of the raw materials required for paper-making and some of the end products.

Full length video available

1964

sound

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'FIFE' thumbnail

FIFE [0885]

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A look at the agriculture, industries and the towns of Fife.

Full length video available

1950

silent

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FIFTEEN TO SIXTEEN [1818]

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A look at the work both practical and recreational, undertaken during the extra year at school to hold the interest of pupils, with the emphasis on individual pursuits.

1972

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'FIRES IN TENEMENT BUILDINGS' thumbnail

FIRES IN TENEMENT BUILDINGS [1353]

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Various methods of fire fighting in tenement buildings in Edinburgh. This film provides detailed views showing how construction of older tenements affects access for firefighting and encourages the progress of fires.

Full length video available

1945

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'FISH AND THE SEINE NET' thumbnail

FISH AND THE SEINE NET [0276]

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A demonstration on how to use a Seine net for trawling. This film was planned by the Marine Laboratory Aberdeen, as part of their research programme on the efficiency of fishing gear. "Grateful acknowledgement is made to skipper John Watt and the crew o

Film clip available

1952

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FITNESS FOR BOYS [2399]

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Aimed at boys just about to leave school, the film promotes a healthy way of life involving regular exercise and sports. Film includes shots of Boys Brigade company performing body building exercises.

1953

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'FITNESS FOR GIRLS' thumbnail

FITNESS FOR GIRLS [2400]

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Aimed at girls about to leave school, the film aims to promote the best way to live a healthy life including keeping fit, dancing, sports and the Girl Guides.

Full length video available

1953

silent

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'FITNESS FOR WOMEN' thumbnail

FITNESS FOR WOMEN [2398]

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A demonstration of how women can keep fit and healthy through exercise, keep fit classes and dancing. The Margaret Morris dance technique is included.

Full length video available

1953

silent

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'FORTH - POWERHOUSE FOR INDUSTRY' thumbnail

FORTH - POWERHOUSE FOR INDUSTRY [1820]

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A look at the development of sources of power, the industries, and new towns along the borders of the River Forth.

Full length video available

1968

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'FREEDOM OF ABERFELDY' thumbnail

FREEDOM OF ABERFELDY [0107]

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The town of Aberfeldy during wartime when the women provided a 'home' for Dominion troops on leave.

Full length video available

1943

sound

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'GATEWAY TO SECURITY' thumbnail

GATEWAY TO SECURITY [2025]

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A promotional film for the Dunfermline Building Society showing how it can help a young couple buy their own home.

Full length video available

1953

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'GEORGE HERIOT'S SCHOOL, EDINBURGH' thumbnail

GEORGE HERIOT'S SCHOOL, EDINBURGH [1621]

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The activities and facilities offered by George Heriot's School, Edinburgh.

Full length video available

Onsite only

1938

silent

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'GEORGE IV's EDINBURGH' thumbnail

GEORGE IV's EDINBURGH [2210]

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A reconstruction of George IV's visit to Edinburgh in 1822 drawing a contrast between the old town and the New Town which the King was able to see in development. (15 mins)

Full length video available

1960

sound

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'GLASGOW - OUR CITY' thumbnail

GLASGOW - OUR CITY [0062]

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Glasgow old and new, with shots of contemporary street life and local industries. The film is interspersed with illustrations of 17th and 18th century Glasgow.

Full length video available

1949

silent

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GOLDEN WEDDING - NEW DEER, 27TH MARCH 1939 [4064]

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A film about a family celebration celebrating a Golden Wedding at New Deer, Aberdeenshire.

1939

silent

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'GOOD SERVANT, the' thumbnail

GOOD SERVANT, the [2211]

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The story of the Clydesdale horse, from foal to champion at the Royal Highland Show.

Full length video available

1958

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'HAWICK COMMON RIDING 1953' thumbnail

HAWICK COMMON RIDING 1953 [1644]

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Footage of Hawick Common Riding in the Borders including the procession through the streets, the Cornet on horseback, the flagbearer receiving the sword and the Cornet and others being carried shoulder high through the streets of Hawick. [Shot on Kodachr

Film clip available

1952

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'HERIOT WATT COLLEGE, EDINBURGH' thumbnail

HERIOT WATT COLLEGE, EDINBURGH [1862]

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A guide to facilities showing students learning diverse techniques at Heriot Watt College, in its Chambers Street buildings, Edinburgh. Subjects include Pharmacy, Optics, Mine Rescue and Engineering.

Full length video available

1938

silent

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'HIGHLAND CAPITAL' thumbnail

HIGHLAND CAPITAL [2213]

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Inverness as a focal point for Highland life past and present: from St. Columba and King Bruce to the Loch Ness Monster and the World Pipe Band Championships. (20 mins)

Full length video available

1968

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'HIGHLAND LADDIE' thumbnail

HIGHLAND LADDIE [0274]

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A look at the life, crafts and industries of the Highlands including crofting, fishing, forestry work and tweed-making. [Filmed to try to dissuade people from the Highlands emigrating south].

Film clip available

1952

sound

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'HILL SHEEP FARM' thumbnail

HILL SHEEP FARM [0280]

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An account of the life and methods of a Highland hill sheep farm, showing the adaptations the hill farmer must make to a landscape left derelict by depopulation, and the care of his flock.

Full length video available

1948

sound

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'HOLIDAY SCOTLAND' thumbnail

HOLIDAY SCOTLAND [2631]

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A scenic tour of Scotland taking in the Borders, Highlands and the Hebrides.

Full length video available

1966

sound

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'HOME MADE BREAD' thumbnail

HOME MADE BREAD [4149]

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New film record

Shows the process of making home-made bread. Includes intertitles.

Full length video available

Onsite only

silent

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'HOW OUR CITY IS GOVERNED' thumbnail

HOW OUR CITY IS GOVERNED [0315]

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Local Government election procedure and Glasgow Corporation committees in session.

Full length video available

1949

silent

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'IN GOOD HEART' thumbnail

IN GOOD HEART [2215]

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The story of the farming year in Scotland, told through the eyes of four farmers in the Highlands, the Borders, Ayrshire and Angus. (21 mins)

Full length video available

1961

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