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  • Edinburgh


  • Birds
  • Employment, industry and industrial relations
  • Fish and fishing
  • Ships and shipping
  • Water and waterways


  • Experimental


  • HARPER, Alan James


  • 1960s

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Reference number: 3675

Date: 1966

Director: d. Mark Littlewood

Sound: sound

Original format: 16mm

Colour: col

Fiction: non-fiction

Running time: 10.38 mins

Description: Beneath the Skyline concerns scenes of industrial, urban, and country life in the Edinburgh area. However these aspects are represented by buildings, machinery, and birds rather than through the people who live there.

Recipient of the Kodak award in colour photography, Movie Maker "Ten Best" competition 1969.

Digitisation funded by British Film Institute 'Unlocking Film Heritage', awarding funds from the National Lottery. View the film on BFI Player at [last accessed 18/05/2021]

This film was used as the opening to the 1972 Eurovision Song Contest held in Edinburgh's Usher Hall. See [last accessed 28/10/2015]

Credits: p. Alan Harper
p. ass. Michael Alexander

Shotlist: Pan of Edinburgh at sunrise (.28) Beneath the Skyline Edinburgh to Music (.37) Pan across some trees to factory chimneys (.46) C/u sparks from metal being cut (?) (.55) Men feeding a furnace, some c/u of their faces and the white flames of the fire (1.18) White hot liquid metal being poured into a cauldron (1.29) C/u of workers faces (1.32) Pan up of the hull of a ship under construction (1.37) C/u of welder's face (1.39) Hot sparks from the metal plates being welded together (1.45) Vertical shot of the construction crane and ship (1.52) Zoom out of welders at work (2.02) Zoom down the ships hull to the reflection in the water (2.13) Zoom out from the sea to fishing boats tied up in the harbour ( 2.20) Boxes of iced fish being lifted on to the pier (2.51) Bow of a fishing boat heading out of the harbour cut into scenes of fishermen working with the boxes of iced fish (3.05) Three men on a raft beside the hull of a ship [ready to paint it(?)] (3.18) C/u of crane buckets moving (4.15) Calton Hill Monument (4.40) Edinburgh Castle silhouette (4.49) Church (5.02) Edinburgh skyline from Princes Street (5.11) Zoom out of the Bank of Scotland Headquarters (5.35) St Giles Cathedral (5.56) Sir Walter Scott Monument (6.07) Statue of Robert Burns (6.25) Gvs of architectural interest mostly in silhouette (6.55) Art gallery on the Mound (7.13) Gvs of architectural interest (7.23) George Square buildings at Edinburgh University ( 7.42) Duddingston Loch (8.13) Gvs of tree branches in the different seasons (8.48) Cauldron of white hot liquid metal (8.53)Sunset in the countryside (8.57) Loch (9.03) Gvs of town buildings (9.11) C/u of iron decorative railings (9.25) Zoom out from rusty industrial link chains to the ship construction (9.34) Wild flowers (9.40) Talking head of a fisherman on his boat (9.42) Swans (9.46) Shipyard cranes (9.48) Swan (9.51) Crane head (9.54) Swans in flight (9.59) Geese landing on a loch (10.05) C/u of a people at dusk walking along a street (10.14) Long grass blowing in the wind (10.19) Produced by Alan Harper and Mark Littlewood (10.24) Production Assistant Michael Alexander (10.30) Directed and Photographed by Mark Littlewood (10.38)