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Date produced: 1933


Walter Mills




200 ft





Sound Notes:



ACL Ten Best 1933
Third International Contest - Second Award, 8mm "Documentary" Class


"Design, by Walter Mills, ACL, is an expository film study on 8mm. and shows to fine advantages the possibilities of this medium for serious cinematic undertakings. In this 200 foot reel, the story of a day at the Kendall Art School, in Grand Rapids, Mich., has been told coherently and instructively. The picture represents real skill in planning, selection of viewpoint and photography. Naturally, most of the sequences in the film called for interior shots and the maker is to be commended highly for his lighting arrangements, which give perfectly normal effects in the film without the usual glare and unevenness. Angle shots and unusual camera positions are used with restraint but with most happy results when the situation calls for them. The technical quality is of uniform excellence and the cutting is done with particular care." Movie Makers, Dec. 1933, 522.


Design was the first 8mm film recognized by the ACL Ten Best.

"If and when some misguided person tells you that really effective things cannot be done on 8mm. film, just mention Design to him, a film by Walter Mills, ACL, of Grand Rapids, recently reviewed at League headquarters. In it, Mr. Mills has portrayed the activities of students at the Kendall Art School in his city and he has done it with the creative selection of an artist. Classes and students in still life, drawing from the cast, architectural design and drawing from life are shown in vivid and colorful detail. The sequencing is smooth and thorough, so that you know what is going on all the time. But even more important than this quality is the unfailing artistry of Mr. Mills's lighting and selection of camera angles. Not only were they attractive in themselves, but in many instances it seemed that he had chosen just the right treatment to heighten the dramatic feeling of the action to follow. That this sort of thing can be done on 8mm., as well as on 16 or 35, ties in with the hunch we long have had that it's what is behind the camera that counts." Movie Makers, Sept. 1933, 356.


  • Grand Rapids, M.I. (Filming)






  • Screened at the ACL headquarters in 1933: New York City, N.Y.
  • Screened in competition at the Third International Contest for the Best Amateur Films in 1933: Paris, France

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