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Image from Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 596.


  • 94974 (Source: National Archives Catalog)

Date produced: 1938


Kenneth F. Space




400 ft (10m 35s)





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1938 - Special Class


"A milestone in the pedagogy of personal movie making, How to Use Your Camera, produced by the Harmon Foundation and photographed by Kenneth F. Space of that organization's staff, is a simple and straightforward exposition of the fundamentals of camera operation. This picture, reel one in a forthcoming series of releases to be entitled You Can Make Good Movies, is marked by attractive and technically superior photography. The remarkable restraint exercised in planning and directing the picture is its outstanding virtue because, although the principles of camera manipulation covered are elementary and brief, they are crystal clear. It would have been easy to have covered too much ground in a one reel film of a technical procedure, and, in restricting the scope of the picture, the producer showed astonishing understanding of both the movie medium and of the technique of teaching movie making. The photography is beautiful, the sequencing and editing exquisite gems, in themselves examples of good technique, and the titling is excellent. Movie Makers will be impatient to see the companion reels in the series, and the Harmon Foundation deserves acclaim for its pioneering work." Movie Makers, Dec. 1938, 618.


Produced by the Harmon Foundation, as part of the You Can Make Good Movies six lesson series.

The film is a part of the Harmon Foundation Collection held by the National Archives.





Harmon Foundation Collection, the National Archives


  • Screened by the Rockford Movie Makers in 1940, Rockford, IL
  • Screened by the Cine Group of the Schenectady Photographic Society in 1940, Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Albany Movie Makers in 1941, Albany, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Tri-City Cinema Club in 1941, Rock Island, IL
  • Screened by the Movie Makers Club of Oklahoma City in 1942, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Screened by the Brooklyn Amateur Cine Club in 1944, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Screened by the Winnipeg Cine Club in January 1947, Winnipeg, MB
  • Screened by the New York Cine Club of the Deaf in 1949, New York City, N.Y.

Screenings Map

Viewing Notes:

"A variety of pictorial scenes open the film to show the type of material that can be obtained when the camera is correctly used. Fifteen essential principles are then presented, beginning with the loading of the camera and continues step by step to the exposure of the first roll and the unloading of the camera. Concluding sequences stress simplicity of backgrounds, the expression of an idea in the film and sequencing." Educational Film Guide, 1953, 781.

"Instructional Film: On camera techniques. Illustrates, in close-ups, correct methods of operations from film-loading, tripod use, and film sequencing to re-loading." via National Archives.

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