|Title ID||8424||Collection ID||1191|
|Title||Oyster Fishing at Whitstable|
|Theme||Early film in the South East Working Life|
|Keywords||Workers Food Sea Fishing|
|Format||Black & White Silent|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
Released through Charles Urban's postwar cinemagazine Movie Chats, but made much earlier, this film charts oyster fishing, packing, preparation and feasting in Whistable in around 1905.
"Oyster fishing at Whitstable England" opens the film, "Charles Urban Movie Chats" can be read in the bottom left corner. Men walk down the shingle beach to boats in the water. The boats are pushed out and rowed off shore to the fishing boats, three men per rowing boat. The fisherman are seen rigging larger boats. Footage of the sailing boats is taken from another, producing dynamic moving shots. The fishermen throw oyster tongs over the sides of the boats and haul them back in, shaking their catch onto the deck. These are decanted into baskets and emptied into sacks, which are loaded onto the rowing boats and taken to shore.
"Sampling oysters on the beach" follows. Men in overcoats are handed oysters by a fisherman on the beach, who opens the shellfish with an oyster knife. Oysters are cleaned and sorted through in "Packing the daily supply for London". In "Preparing for an Oyster Feast", chefs prepare the fish by slicing open the shells before men are seen with plates of oysters and glasses of champagne at a grand table. The film closes with "The End".
Charles Urban established the Warwick Trading Company in 1898 and began producing English films and marketing his own Bioscope projector, developed by Walter Isaacs. He later directed George Albert Smith to work on Lee and Turner's two-colour additive process Kinemacolour in 1903. Urban established the Charles Urban Trading Company, which supplied documentary film, and the Natural Colour Kinematograph Company, to exploit Kinemacolour. Urban published a manifesto in 1907 titled The Cinematograph in Science, Education and Matters of State and catalogues of educational films under the Urbanora trademark.
The Kineto Company of America was established after the First World War, producing the cinemagazine Urban Movie Chat. The magazine ran between 1919 and 1922, mostly releasing prewar footage. He moved to Irvington-on-Hudson, New York in 1921, where he established Urban Motion Picture Industries Inc. He returned to Brighton after his business collapsed in the mid 1920s.