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Still image from Camera Makes Whoopee via the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.


  • 1098 (Source: National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive)

Date produced: 1936


Norman McLaren

Violet Anderson

William J. MacLean

Production credits:

Country of Production:










Sound Notes:



National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive list of titled amateur films
Scottish Amateur Film Festival, 1936 - Prize Winner


"The Annual Fancy Dress Ball at Glasgow School of Art: 'Something New Under the Sun'. Includes two ballets, 'Hungarian' and 'Machine Age' and animated sequences." National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.


The film is held by the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive. It is also included in the DVD collection Norman McLaren - The Master's Edition.

McLaren discusses the film in "Experiences of an Amateur Filmmaker" (The Photographic Journal, Feb. 1937 - reprinted in Journal of Film Preservation [Nov. 1996, 31-33]):

The film took about nine months to make and had a very fluid script. We shot about 900ft, 700ft of which we used, so that we had a 30 percent scrap, due to a much less tight script. We also tried out sound effects for the first time on sound discs, built our own recording apparatus and cut our own records. To cut final sound discs we used three channels, fed simultaneously by a microphone and two turntables.The theme of the film was the Christmas Carnival Ball, at the Glasgow School of Art, a subject specially chosen to justify extravagant use of trick work. All the superimpositions, dissolves, bisected frames and effects were done in the camera. We were to a certain extent working blind. In many of the shots we superimposed about seven or eight times and had to plan it all out very carefully before taking the shot.


  • Glasgow, Scotland (Filming)

Club Affiliation:

Glasgow School of Art Kinecraft Society






National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive


  • Screened in competition at the Scottish Amateur Film Festival in 1936: Glasgow, Scotland

Viewing Notes:

"title and credits (1.45) Shots compasses on drawing board, timber, saws, fabric, scissors, wire, paint and brushes; hands superimposed with measuring tapes (3.07) c/u hand writing calculations for a "platform"; c/u using compass, set square and rule (3.24) montage of tools used for construction of decorations (4.58) c/u calendar: "December 1st"; preparation, hanging decorations with tacks intercut with accidents, tripping over buckets, etc. and c/u shots of calendar as days go by until 25th (6.41) shots of posters for "Annual Fancy Dress Ball, 21st Dec 1934, 8pm to 3 am, 'Something New Under the Sun'" each in a different style (7.07) c/u package, animated sequence of instruments unpacking themselves; montage of musicians playing (9.12) dancers in fancy dress with imposed patterns and animation (10.35) Hungarian Ballet fantasy sequence, 'Hungarian' dance; applause (12.19) c/u sections of band playing intercut with card musical notes and dancing couples (13.58) shots of buffet; food being "eaten" intercut with c/u masks (15.00) shots down length of female dancer, shots of costumes (15.31) dancers with animated notes superimposed (15.58) Machine Age Ballet gvs same; c/u applause (17.13) c/u band members; dancers appear to dance in a desert landscape (18.40) c/u buffet, soda, glasses; drinking; animated sequence with food and drink (19.28) blowing up a balloon (19.57) c/u band, dancers; c/u applause; dancing (23.27) student falls asleep; animation of instruments 'packing up' (24.14) animation: cine camera goes to bed (24.37)." Via the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive.