Cameras In The Trenches - The Next Four Years

on January 08, 2014

We are just about to see the centenary of the First World War. From August of this year to November of 2018 we are going to get periodic reminders of the events of the twentieth century - spaced out as manufacturers, film producers, and politicians cash in on the thing. I have a number of predictions for the photographic side of it.

1. There will be an ANZAC camera - in fact several of them.

Someone will package up a film disposable with images of ANZAC cove and an Australian...and possibly New Zealand... flag printed on the cardboard outer sleeve. it is likely that the RSL will sell them from street stalls at the appropriate time of the year - it is absolutely certain that they will appear on eBay from Hong Kong.

There will also be a commemorative waterproof camera produced by either Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, or Olympus with some sort of ANZAC marketing. Perfect for capturing pictures at dawn on a beach.

There will be a professional ANZAC video camera developed by the ABC. It will be issued to film crews covering various commemoration ceremonies. The most interesting feature of the device will be the incorporation of the "reptile-recognition" button. Whenever this is pressed the camera will automatically focus upon a state or federal politician with a sombre expression on their face. It will hold this focus until the politician's rating in the Gallup poll rises by 2%.

2. The Leica company will re-issue a re-issue of the Leica O camera with a digital sensor inside. It will not function, but this is not viewed as a problem - indeed it can't be vied at all - the entire production run will be sent directly from Wetzlar to Hong Kong and will disappear into the interior of China.

3. The Reica company of Guang Zhao will issue a re-issue of a re-issue of a camera that looks really very much like a...Oh...whatever was I thinking?

4. Kodak will invent a new film format, then cancel it, then go broke again.

5. The Ilford company will issue anti-Zeppelin film for use in 35mm cameras. We will stock it here at Camera Electornic and can confidently predict that the city will not be attacked by Zeppelins. We do our bit for Australia.

6. LOMO will make something out of plastic that exposes film through a plastic lens. It will resemble a camera. It will be packaged in 115 layers of propaganda and cost as much as a small digital camera. It will be themed upon WW1. In 2017 it will be repackaged as a revolutionary product. It will be manufactured in China.

7. ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT will be re-filmed with aliens and pirates. It will star Angelina Jolie in the role that originally used Ernest Borgnine.
Will Smith may star as the Kaiser if contractual arrangements work out. If the Japanese buy into the financing there will be Hello Kitty in a stahlhelm with a Mauser rifle as a sniper.

8. The Department of Maintenance will take take the opportunity of changing and cleaning the carpets in Parliament House in Canberra during April 2015. All the federal politicians, advisers, secretaries, and ABC camera operators will be fact-finding and commemorating in Turkey during this month and it will give time to let the carpet glue smell dissipate. A large mat will be put out the front door to get the beach sand off when they came back...

9. Camera club presentations nights will feature military and naval subjects. The local re-enactors will be seen from every angle. Someone will fall over on parade and appear on the front page of the local paper.

10. Four good movies will be made of the conflict - one will involve airplanes and will be filmed by Peter Jackson. One will be of trench warfare and will be filmed in Yugoslavia.
If it is paid for by the French they will show more people sitting around eating than fighting. The American film industry will craft something around Belleau Wood.
The Swedes will make something gritty and depressed and the Germans will help them do it but it will pale into insignificance with the spectacular that the Russians will make in 2017 to celebrate being revolting. The theme of the 2017 Russian film will be " We were right - really we were. Honest to Putin, we were."

Put on your tin hats and look for a better 'ole...

'Ol Uncle Dick