Percy Smith was a much loved naturalist and producer born in 1890 who had a passion for bringing to screen the most underappreciated aspects of nature. His black and white films left audiences enthralled at a time when little was widely known about the intricacies of nature and the public was left fascinated by his use of micro-photography. The eccentric British naturalist often felt frustrated by the need to entertain as he merely wanted to educate, however as a skilled producer he clearly realised the importance of making a documentary that engaged audiences.
Director Stuart Staples and producer David Reeve are behind The British Film Industry’s Intimate Bodies, they wanted to create a montage of the best parts of his work, and had music composed specifically to complement the film, the effect of which is hypnotic and compelling. The producers wanted to edit his films to be as consequential as possible, so you can watch the transformation of a tadpole to a frog in fast motion, the behaviour of an amoeba and the growth of a bulb until it blooms and is left dancing and entwining with other flowers to music.
Percy Smith wanted to enthuse others with his love of the smallest workings of nature and this 55 minute film succeeds in capturing the essence of his work. The audience is left wanting to know more about this unique, intriguing man who viewed the world in such a thought-provoking way.
Director Stuart Staples
Producer David Reeve
Composer Christine Ott