Bringing it back to life
This new donation featured two famous cricketers, Ranjitsinhji GCSI GBE (also known as Ranji) and CB Fry. They played for Sussex and England in the early 20th century. Footage of these legendary sportsmen is so rare, that our experts decided to create a device that would allow them to replicate the mechanism of the original Kinora player, and photograph each of the 465 frames. These could then be animated to create a film.
NFSA Curator Jeff Wray explains that the Conservation team's solution was to adapt a film winder to replicate the Kinora mechanism, using a metal ruler to hold the images so they could flick through the reel without damaging them: 'Our custom-made device allowed the reel to be viewed, and held the images in place to be photographed, one by one.’
Yes, one by one! Our experts are not only skilled, but also very patient and managed to capture every single frame. These photos were then animated and stabilised using advanced compositing software, to produce a moving image close to the original. The resulting film shows Ranji and CB Fry in batting action, and you can enjoy it here: