"At the Sandpits is perhaps Crawley's first completed work, produced when he was a teenager; Crawley went on to make many award-winning amateur films before turning professional in the 1940s as a producer of industrial films. Employing rapid cutting, trick photography, and imaginative scenarios, At the Sandpits conveys a strong sense of dynamic action in a short film about a family picnic. The film begins by showing the preparation of sandwiches for a picnic; after showing the meal in a few deft shots, the adults are seen relaxing, while the kids and pets, shot from extreme low angle in slow motion, run toward the sandpits. The film continues with short but carefully constructed sequences of the kids pretending to be buried alive in the sand, having a baseball game, and then returning home, tired. Finally, the film concludes with a strange dream sequence, employing trick photography, in which three girls appear decapitated behind a sheet" Tepperman, 173.
See for a discussion of the film in relation to family chronicle films see Charles Tepperman's Amateur Cinema: The Rise of North American Moviemaking, 1923-1960. University of California Press, 2014.
Crawley Films Limited Collection, Library and Archives Canada
Amateur film entitled AT THE SANDPITS. Intertitle: But First Comes the Dirty Work. Woman making sandwiches in kitchen; people of all ages attending a picnic, enjoying sandwiches. Intertitle: Dining Deluxe. Older folks enjoying a picnic inside an automobile. Intertitle: Here's Relaxation. Older man seated on blanket enjoying his pipe; kids running towards sandpits; slow motion filming of kids and dog running into sandpits. Intertitle with title zoom effect: Sand. Intertitle: Buried Alive. Reverse shot effect of boy being buried in sand. Intertitle: A Handicap Race - To the Creek. Intertitle: Let's Build a Dam. Kids building a dam in the sand. Intertitle: Accidents Will Happen - Meanwhile - Back Up the Hill. Kids running back up the hill. Intertitle: Let's Play Ball - Batter Up! Kids playing baseball. Budge Crawley may be at bat. Intertitle: No Man's Land - The High Spot of the Afternoon - For - The Apes. Boys diving into water. Intertitle: Har Sheds Water Like a Duck. Special lens focus on kids swimming. Intertitle: Dulcie's Lost. Girl is found sleeping in grassy area; homeward bound in cars; shot of two girls in bathtub and then off to bed. Girls wake up after having a nightmare where three heads are hanging on a wall and a fourth woman is being attacked by a man. Her head is chopped off and added alongside the three other hanging heads. <9m> Library and Archives Canada