They Shall not Grow Old

They Shall Grow Not Old

Every now and then you see something that is truly mind-blowing. A film, a TV show, a play or even a musical. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does you revel in it. One such thing, that I implore you to seek out and watch, is Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old.

If you’ve not heard about They Shall Not Grow Old, it is a 90-minute movie that Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings trilogy & The Hobbit) has created. But this isn’t a new film. No, what Jackson and his team have done is truly astounding.

Employing state-of-the-art technology to transform audio and moving image archive footage more than a century old, Peter Jackson brings to life the people who can best tell the story of World War I: the men who were there. Driven by a personal interest in the conflict, Jackson sets out to explore the day-to-day experience of its combatants.

I watched it recently on the BBC iPlayer and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a must watch film. If you want to watch it then I suggest you hurry as it’s only available on the iPlayer until 18th November 2018 (11:05 pm).

They have taken archive footage from World War 1, mostly from the Imperial War Museum archives, and turned it into an authentic colour movie. Easy to say, not to easy to actually do. The lengths that Jackson’s team went to in order to create this masterpiece are amazing.

How they made They Shall Not Grow Old

This video from the BBC explain how Jackson created the movie. It not simply a case of casting a colour hue over the back and white footage. They cleaned the footage first, then painstakingly colourised it frame-by-frame. To ensure a truly authentic visual experience they even obtained uniforms and other items from the period to ensure the colours were accurate. In addition to the colour they also corrected the speed of the film too, this really does make a difference when viewing.

But they went a step further. They recorded audio to go with the footage. They recorded people reloading rifles, boots in mud, field guns being fired. It’s incredible!

Commemorating 100 Years

This film is tremendously powerful and breathtaking. The journey that it takes you on will leave you in awe at what these young men went through in the theatre of war. We all seen this kind of black and white, silent footage before where people seem to be walking unnaturally quickly and it, therefore, doesn’t feel real. Jackson has somehow has been able to bridge that gap in reality and it hits home – hard! 

He was driven to accomplishing this project through is own interest in the conflict and that fact his grandfather fought in the war. For me, this surpasses everything he has ever done. In all likelihood, it will surpass anything else he ever creates too.

Go watch it. Go watch it right now. I beg you.

4 thoughts on “They Shall Grow Not Old”

  1. oh my goodness this is amazing, thankyou so much for bringing my attention to this, I had no idea this had been done (and no idea it was on Iplayer!) I’m glad I haven’t missed out on this, two of my biggest interests combined, history of filmography and world wars. Im not as well versed in world war one as I am in world war two. Though I’ve been to lots of places across Europe with memorials and interesting world war one story’s. I think because my family had a lot to do with world war two, I just hear more about it. Again thankyou so much this so up my street!

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