log, transcript & treatment


documentary films / styles

et cetera





making 2-column documentary paper edits comes with sample exercises so you can get used to the format before using the template. This file is downloadable as a Word file in the traditional 12-point Courier font. For Mac, Option+click to download as Word file; for PC, right click. This is Freeware written in 1989 by Peter Thompson. It also incorporates transcript material from a film by Michael Rabiger. Thank you, Michael. Feel free to pass this template on to other filmmakers.

Template for 2-column paper edit documentary script

Paragraph & Format Symbols

For those interested in documentary process, the following suggestions concern handling documentary materials from the transfer of the field master tapes to the beginning of a paper edit.After you download this file as a Word document, if you cannot see two paragraph symbols (¶) between this line and the dotted line above, select "Show ¶" under the VIEW menu, and they’ll pop into view. I strongly recommend that you activate this "Show ¶" mode when writing a script. With it activated you will have wealth of format information at your fingertips and will therefore know how to correct a format mistake (more on that, later). So, that being done....


First, Make a Computer Database of your Footage

Use any computer database that you like (I personally use Panorama II by ProVue Development Corporation). Include in the database the categories of information that you think important. I use the following categories: time code in, main persons in scene, where scene is located, brief descriptor, main objects in scene, complete description, type of shot, rating, field master reel, edit master reel.


Now Make Entries into the Computer Database while Transferring from Field Masters to Edit Masters

Here I’m assuming that you will transfer the video field masters (or film) to video edit masters. If so, assemble all your film or video materials in chronological order. Now simultaneously play and transfer them, and at the time enter the database information you want into the categories you previously set up on your computer. You will probably be pleasantly surprized how easily you can keep up with the footage as it transfers. If you fall behind, by all meansdon’t stop the transfer, just skip ahead to the next scene and continue your database. You’ll fill in the missed parts after the transfer.

So, at the end of the transfer process, you have a magnificent computer database, one that you will be able to query to your heart’s content to find specific shots or specific contents, or shots with a particular person and a particular object in them, etc., etc. Having your documentary footage on database will save your sanity if you are working with many hours. Logging by hand is quite simply, retro. You might as well shoot yourself now and spare yourself (and everyone else) your own future headaches.


Now Export the Computer Database as a Text File

Our object here is to link up the database with the transcript you’re going to make. The transcript will be handled by a word processing application, so the database must be exported as a text file for the word application to be able to use. To export:

1. Select "Save As" under the FILE menu.

2. Select "Options" in the"Save As Dialog Box.

3. Your database will probably have a selection of formats you can save your database to. It might say something like "Save File as Type".
In any case choose "Text" with tab delimitors (rather than commas) and save.

4. Give the new file a name, such as "My Project Database/Text File", and save.

5. Quit.


Now Import the Text File Database within Microsoft Word

1. Open the Microsoft Word application program.

2. Select "Open" under the FILE menu.

3. Find and open your exported file entitled "My Project Database/Text File". It will come into Word as an untitled file.

4. Give it its new name.

5. Save.


Now Digitize your Transcript

You’ll want to digitize your transcript so you can take advantage of the enormous flexibility of working on it with a word processor. There are two ways you can do this: transcribing it all yourself, or hiring a court stenographer.

Digitizing it Yourself

To safeguard your edit masters, make audio tape dupes of the synch sound scenes and then transcribe them sentence by sentence onto the computer as you listen to the tapes. (Sony and other manufacturers make special cassette players activated and stopped by a foot pedal for maximum transcribing speed and convenience).

Digitizing it Using a Court Stenographer

To do this, make audio dupe tapes of the synch sound scenes and give them to a court stenographer because they are used to working as fast as anybody can talk and they can hook their little steno machines into computers and do it all on disk. (I use McCorkle Court Reporters in Chicago [312] 263-0052). Ask whatever court reporter service you use to make an ASCII copy of the tapes onto a flexi-disk. You don’t need a hardcopy. It’s expensive and you can print it out yourself from your own disk. This transcript service is expensive, but speedy.


Now Import the ASCII File

If you use a Mac:

1. Open Microsoft Word from the application.

2. Close the open worksheet.

3. Select "Open" under the FILE menu.

4. Select your ASCII file and open. The file will come up as a Text file.

5. Rename it.

6. Save to your harddrive.


Now Archive the Original

By whichever means--cottage labor or court steno’s-- you have chosen:

1. Save the entirety of the transcript in one enormous file.

2. Close the file and select "Quit" from the FILE menu.

3. Click once on the file ikon and select "Get Information" under the EDIT menu.

4. At the lower left corner of the Get Info Dialogue Box, click inside the "Lock" box. This locks the file as your Archive Master File.

5. Make 3 backup copies of the Archive Master File onto separate disks and slide the plastic square on each disk so it looks like a little window. This prevents any changes being made to the disk..

(I keep two disk copies in my studio, and one in my office--I’m not paranoid or nothin).


Now Clean up the Copy

1. Make a duplicate of this archive file.

If you are working with a converted ASCII file, you will notice that it has scads of weird symbols at the head of the file and at the margins. Get rid of these by doing global search-and-replaces using the "Replace" selection under the EDIT menu. To learn how to do this:

1. Select "Help" under the WINDOW menu.

2. Scroll alphabetically to "Finding and Replacing Text".

3. Open, and scroll to "Finding or Replacing Text or Formats", and then "Specifying a Special Character as Search or Replacement Text".

4. Read.


The single most important hint about doing these kinds of cleanups: always save your file before doing any kind of search-and-replace. Then if you mess up the file by entering some wretchedly wrong replacement order, all you do is:

1. Close the file without saving the mess.

2. Open it. It will be the previously saved version.

3. Start the latest replacement procedure over again.


Now Break the Transcript into Sections

So, now you have a new, clean transcript file. Now:

1. Open it and go through the transcript to break it into paragraphs that make sense to you. If, for example, you break Mrs. Mitchell’s interview into sections in which she is talking about a different thing in each section....

2. Place the heading "Mrs. Mitchell" at the head of every section and--IMPORTANT---connect that heading to the following section NOT by a hard return but by a soft return (Shift+Return). What does the soft return do? It connects the heading to the paragraph which means that as you cut and paste Mrs. Mitchell’s words, or drag it around using the Outline function, you always know who is speaking because the heading will never get separated.


You can also attach more information to this heading such as reel number, field master number, edit master number, time code, etc. To do this:

1. Open up the text file of your computer database.

2. Resize it to the top half of your screen.

3. Open up your transcript file.

4. Shorten it and place in the bottom half of your screen.

5. Cut the first database heading you want, and paste it at the top of the corresponding section of the transcript, followed by a soft return.

6. Repeat. Voila.


Now Make your Paper Edit using "Tables"

Now let’s pretend that all the above was the path that got us to the transcript below entitled "Renmants of Feudalism". You now want to make a paper edit. A useful form for a paper edit is the 2-column documentary script form.

Here’s how to proceed with this form:

1 Open a new worksheet.

2. Select "Table" under the INSERT menu.

3. Next to "Number of Columns" type "2"; next to "Number of Rows" type "10"; next to "Width" type "3 in."

4. Press "OK".

The table will now insert into your new worksheet. If you need to make space above the table to type the name of your project, hold down the Option key and Comand key at the same time, and then hit the Spacebar. The entire table will shift down one space so you can type your project title.


Two things to be mindful of when working with tables:

1) The more words you enter into a table cell the slower the scrolling of the script will be. Therefore, break up your speeches into a few sentences per cell.

2) Do not let words in a cell spill the cell over from the bottom of one page to the top of the next page. It will read OK on the screen--but when you print it out, you will find that much of the contents of the cell will have disappeared.

To prevent this from happening:

1. Place the cursor in the top left of the next lower cell.

2. Choose "Table Layout" under FORMAT.

3. Select both "Row" and "Insert".

4. A new blank row will be inserted in the row above your cursor.

5. Now select some sentences in the overflowing cell.

6. Cut them and paste into the new cell.


Using "Strikethrough"

you’ll notice that parts of the transcript in the sample 2-column script below are struckthrough. This is because I will edit these words out while at the same time keeping the words in their original places so I don’t get lost when doing the off-line edit. There are two reasons you want to use "strikethrough" instead of cutting the words out:

1) You might change your mind in tomorrow’s editing session and decide the words really should be included.

2) You always want to know what you are choosing within the context of the whole speech. That is, if you start cutting and pasting too liberally, it is very easy to forget where the words came from as you are doing your off-line edit. You get "Strikethrough" by selecting those items you want to get rid of, then holding down the Shift- Command + "?".


Using Font Sizing

I‘ve reduced the size of the struckthrough words to get them out of the way, visually. To do this:

1. Select those items you have struck through.

2. Press the Shift-Command+",". To enlarge the selection, press Shift- Command+".".


Using "Hidden Text"

There is a slightly wavy underline under the parts of the transcript that I have struck through. This means that the selected text is hidden if I make a printout of the paper edit in order to gage the flow of the edit decisions. To do this:

1. Select the text to be hidden.

2. Select "Character" under the FORMAT menu.

3. Under the Style options on the left, click the "Hidden" box.

(The shortcut: select what you want, then press Shift-Command+"X").

This means that when I print out a copy of the paper edit the parts I have selected out will not be printed unless I specifically choose "Print Hidden Text" at the lower left of the Print Dialog Box that comes on the screen when you print. This allows you to print out your updated version while still being able to access those parts you have edited out. A very handy tool....

Here are two samples from a paper edit using "tables", strikethrough, and differing font sizes. Notice how long it takes to scroll down the beginning of the first entry, and how it speeds up at the end of the cell. I purposely extended the entry in this cell to give you a feel for how many words you want in any particular cell in order to scroll smoothly. (You know what to do to correct the situation if the scroll is too slow--see "To Prevent This From Happening" under "Now Make Your Paper Edit with "Tables", above).


("The Arrival")



CUT TO: Black screen.

CUT TO: Yucatan road from car, at night (1 second)

CUT TO: Black screen.

CUT TO: Yucatan road from bus, at night (1 second)


VO: He told me of when he first arrived in Yucatan...

...the bus ride at night...

CUT TO: Slide #6

(Chillo's yard at night, 2 seconds)

CUT TO: Black screen.

CUT TO: Photo #1

(hut, chicken framed in open doorway, morning [1991], 1 sec).

...landing at don Ponzo’s place and living in the shed with the bulls....


CUT TO: Photo #2

(hut, closed door, afternoon shadows [1991], 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Slide #2

(BH in hammock, late afternoon interior), 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Black screen.





CUT TO: Video footage

(walking through jungle undergrowth at Don Ponzo's, 1 second.--or photo of 2 men with machetes [1991] 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Photo #4

(corn growing, [1991] 1 sec.)

...and working in the woods...




...and in the cornfields....

CUT TO: Still frame

(from 360º pan from Oxkutcab market, 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Still frame

(from 360º pan from Oxkutcab market, 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Still frame

(from 360º pan from Oxkutcab market, 1 sec.)

...and in the market.

CUT TO: Slide #10

(chair and hidden child), 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Slide #1

(women inside Santos Cantreras house), 1 sec.)

CUT TO: Slide #14

(men inside Santos Cantreras house), 1 sec.)

...He told of when they handed him the new baby and said he was its godfather...


...when he first met Lori, who became his wife...

CUT TO: Slide #28

(DC behind tree offering 5 gourds of sakab barefoot and shirtless. 5 sec.)

...when he first met don Chabo, who became his teacher...



CUT TO: PAN DOWN plastic shower curtain painted with yellow jungle foliage to BH's feet turning in circles in the water on the white tile floor. Then PAN UP to BH's face as he speaks.


BH: "and I poke my head into the kitchen area which is where he keeps his altar and he's sitting there on a stool shaving, right? He's shaving with a single razor


blade in his fingers, double edged--you know, the old Gillette kind, a single razorblade--shaving, dry, with no mirror, shaving like this. It was hair raising to watch.


It was unbelievable. And he looked up and he goes you know Hi, I haven't seen you in a while. And I said who is this guy, there's this guy in your house and he told me that you've gone to the market, and he laughted and


said, "I went to the market and when I came home I slipped back in to the house and I didn't say anything. I'm just sitting back here listening while I sort of shave. While I shave my little face, or something like that he said in Mayan, .


And so we sat there and talked for a few minutes, and I'm trying to divert my gaze from him because I'm sure that he's going to split his lip with this crazy naked razor blade to his face. No mirror, anything. Dry, really amazing scene. And uh, anyway I talked to him and we went gently.


I spent the whole day with him actually. And I must have been there five hours, sitting with him, just talking about old times, and seeing how he's doing and everything, before I even bring up the possibility thatwe might want to do something--you know, us--because I really wanted to get a sense for what was going on, who this person was in his house that I didn't know and all that. .


1013300 BH Shower/water DC/finding Feet/BH

BH: Finding DC's family CU b 1 1A 2


So, that’s it for working with documentary materials prior to the paper edit. Now, let’s turn to:


Paper Edit materials from
"A Remnant of Feudal Society"


Make a two column paper edit script from these elements as follows:

1. Open a blank worksheet.

2. Insert 2 columns of tables as described above.

3. Return to this file and choose your first "Remnant of Feudalism" element or section.

4. Select it.

(Be careful NOT to select the ending paragraph marker. If you can’t see the paragraph marker, select "Show ¶" under the VIEW menu. The paragraph marker "¶" will now be visible at the end of every paragraph selection. For a shortcut, press Command+"J").

5. While the element is selected, copy it (don’t cut it because you need to keep all the elements in their original place so you know what you’ve taken and where it came from)

6. Strikethrough the selected element by pressing Shift-Command+ "?".

7. Now return to your tables window.

8. Paste what you copied into the appropriate side of the table--visuals on left, audio on right.

If you made a mistake and selected the ending paragraph marker, your entire selection will trail down the left side of the cell one letter at a time! If this happened:

1. Return to the original element.

2. Recopy it, taking care not to include the paragraph marker.

3. Continue as above.

With this method, you will always know exactly what you have chosen, where it was chosen from, and exactly what remains of the original elements as you proceed with your paper edit.

Good Editing!



Paper Edit Material

"A Remnant of Feudal Society",
a Film by Michel Rabiger



Lord Digby (12th baron)

Digby: Later on, when the cinema came in, my father used to show Charlie Chaplin films and others...

DIGBY: Well of course inherited resonsibiblity and wealth don't fit in with modern ideas. But I think one loses a certain amount. Of course I'm very blessed. I've been lucky for that point of view. But if you don't have anyone inheriting wealth and being brought up in the sort of atmosphere I've been brought up in, you don't get people with a disinterested idea of public service. I do a lot of government work, the same as my ancestors and I think we can say that we haven't had any axes to grind. We've been very well off and therefore it wasn't necessary. And I think that to get a proportion of people who have privileges--provided they stand up to the resposibiblities--I personally don't think it is such a bad thing. Most people wouldn't agree with me..

DIGBY:When I was being brought up I remember only too well that my mother thought she was economising very much with only sixteen indoor servants. And of course the discipline and life below stairs was much more formal than anything we would know.

DIGBY: Hilaire Belloc wrote: "It is the duty of the wealthy man to provide employent for the artisan." And these estates were built in order to employ a large amount of labor, and if people were...well, you were never out of work on a place like this because something was found for you. In bad times, walls were built.....

DIGBY: When Admiral Robert Digby first bought this house [in 1765] he visited it and wrote in his diary and said, "The estate is compact but naked, the trees not thriving and the house ill-contrived and and ill-situated." Now he quickly set about rectifying this, I've got records of acorns which were put in the corners of fields, and now you see a tree a hundred and twenty feet tall. Then of course his nephew, Admiral Henry Digby, carried it on. And his so, the 9th baron was a grandson of Tom Coke of Norfolk [farm inprovement pioneer] so there was a big feeling of improvement of the land, improvement of forming. Then came my grandfather who started the rhododendrons, which were very much improved by my father. So what you've got here is a valley about which people say, "wonderful natural beauty'. In fact of course it;s all man-made, and made by a whole series of people.

DIGBY: I think the good thing is to feel that other people are interested in you and what you're doing. I always say that you can kick a man up the backside as ling as you do it to his face. And if you give him a present and do it behind his back, he won't like you.. And I'm sure this is true and certainly it's very true of my family who gave alway lived here and centered their whole life on this valley.

DIGBY: I think the things that make for happiness are an identity of purpose, enjoying the same sort of things, and feeling the same sort of achievements, which you do in the country. Every time a good crop comes up everyone is pleased. And the harvest festival at the end of the season-- this is an exciting time, everyone is relaxed and happy.

DIBGY: I think we are the remnants of a feudal society here. Originally everyone was dependant on a feudal overlord. Aren't we still dependent on other people?


(Village postmistress and wife of the odd job man)

MRS. MITCHELL: I like the old ways you know, myself. There was a little village hall there, you know, where we used to have our whist drives and our dances, and sale of work and jumble sales, and that sort of thing. And ..but in the big house they did have a dance every other Friday. That was for the stall and outside members if they cared to come.

MRS. MITCHELL: Well, we had to respect them. (very emphatically) That was Lord Digby.

MRS. MITCHELL The Lord and Lady would visit the dairy--and the door steps would have to be whitened and while it was wet the crest would be stamped in the middle.

MRS. MITCHELL: Of course, the elder servents, the upper....the head housemaid and the butler and that sort of thing, they had the authority over them [junior servants] to keep the others, you see, just right.

MRS. MITCHELL: Well I think we had more respect for one another than we have today you know. And I think we was more easily satisfied.

MRS. MITCHELL: There was the governess of course, then you come down to th kitchen where there was a chef. And then there was his wife afterwards, and another kitchen maid. And a scullery maid, and a between-maid, a still-room maid, and then there was the head gardener and garden foreman and several gardeners under them. And then there was the coachman and the head groom and all the groom and all the grooms under him.

MRS. MITCHELL: In the nursery there was two nurses on that top floor and a children's maid.


(Gnarled old gardener, formerly a farmland and militant member of the farmworker's union, a very rare and risky thing to be)

G. OLD: I covet no man's goods. But these kind of people [the landed aristocracy] those days had the money and they wanted to put the working class and they wanted to put the working class just where everything fit their convenience. And --and if they was doing that, they thought you would-- they were doing you a good turn. You wre just held down. More or less held down. And I resented it very much.

G. OLD: I think those people in those days... if they were hiring you they were doing you a great honor, on top of the wages, for hiring you. And they expected you to do a lot of it for the love of the thing, and say, "Yes milord, thank you milord, I'll do that milord." But I don't come to that I never have.

G. OLD: Lord Digby was fair. He wouldn't have no hanky panky business. If he wanted you, you had to be there at that moment and the right time; if you didn't, well you could hear him all over the village. That's the whole truth about it. He paid, but he only paid what the agricultural structure was. And [it] didn't matter what [skill] compartment they were in. they only had agricultural wages. Soon as ever the wages go up you might get a bombshell, and might....he hight sack half a dozen blokes, and Bob's your uncle; you had to go on.

G. OLD: The whole family was allowed to go [to previous Lord D's film shows], and let someone come in there and cough a couple of times when the old man was working his box. He'd holler like hell, "What's that man doing there?" And then a little kiddie might start crying. "Take him out, take him out!" and you'd hear someone say, "The old man's not in a good mood tonight, is he!" (LAUGHTER)

G. OLD: The real truth about it, the only thing I didn't like way the domineeration. I'm not saying anything for his Lordship that was then, or against him. Personally I suppose he was a gentleman, and we always accepted that. And I think the gerneration before that was a little bit lower than us. They accepted more.

G. OLD: I respected the man [previous Lord D] and he had his honors and I respected those honors. But why should you have to say "Good morning milord, good evening milord, afternoon milord"? Milord in the morning and finish (with the whole business) And why should he call me Old and I have to call him "milord"? Can you tell me that?

G. OLD: I think that class of people in certain ways respect you more today in a way than they did then, but still they've got that instinct in 'em that they're lord and lady of the manor.


(Mother of present Lord Digby. Speaks with a huge dog at her feet, great house in background)

LADY D: It was funny, I was talking to my son's bailiff this morning-- he was originally our cow-man down here, and he puts it all down [Minterne people's liking for her husband] very much to my husband-- that anyone who had anything to do with him was always happy, which is perfectly true. He was Chairman of the County Council etc.,etc. and I think everybody loved him. I mean we were employer and emplyees, I suppose, but there was really a great friendship and affection between us.

LADY D: When my son was married in London, my husband sent up an enormous sort of bus to take people from Minterne-- and my son was very anxious to have some from Cerne because he used to go down and buy sweets from the bader's wife, Mrs. Dubben, etc,etc.,and they all went up together, they had lunch on the way, they enjoyed themselves enormously, but the Cerne people said to me, "Do you know, the Minterne people were quite nice"
-- and the Minterne people said to me, "And you know, the Cerne people were quite nice!" and honestly, they hadn't sort of mixed before.

LADY D: Really nobody ever left, you know. I would have been very surprised if anybody ever gave notice. You know, we just... there was stability. But I think well, it came from mutual respect and affection on each side.

(Estate carpenter, interviewed in his shop)

G. KING: And we don't ...you see we don't do it intentionally [pay respect to their betters]. It's just force of habit. It's so drilled into us over the years going back that one automatically does it. Well when one's in the Army one always salutes one's officers, doesn't one.

G. KING: It was a close community. Everyone knew on another for years. There was father to son to son again, all through the ages. Everyone got on with their job and was quite happy doing so. When the man left off work here--Saturday night was their ritual. They'd walk down to Cerne, down to Mrs. Pawley's "Elephant and Castle" [pub] to play bagatelle, and there they all met. And if they could win a pint or half a pint of beer off one another it made theeir day. they came back really...really they'd had a wonderful evening. Now that was the life of those days.

G KING: If you've got a good employer and you're happy, I think that's all one needs. Obviously they've got to have money to live and all the rest of it, but if you're fair to him he'll be fair to you.

G. KING: I can remember the time going back before I came to Minterne when I was on another estate when the girls met the Lady and the girls curtsied, and the boy stood upright with his hands beside him and bowed. Now that--you was taught to do that.

G. KING: Going back to those days (1920's,1930's) many farmers went bankrupt--when you knew if you worked on an estate you were safe, and provided you was a good worker, behaved yourself and all that sort of thing, I don't think there was any fear of anything going wrong. Oh, absolute security working on an estate.

G. KING: Nursemaid and girl's maid, and of course we had the laudry and ther were four working in the laundry.

G. KING: A butler, two footman, hall boy, odd job man, four housemaids including the head housemaid, lady's maid....


(Henpecked farm bailiff, retired, and his garrulous wife)

MRS. BATTEN: they were really wonderful [Lord and Lady D]

MR. BATTEN: Well, they treated us wonderful--we was treated all right, well we looked up to them and give'em their place.

MRS. BATTEN: I don't think anyone could say a word against the because they were so good.

MRS. BATTEN: Lord and Lady were so just and nice. I mean you were very pleased to be working for them. They never found fault. they just hoped you were happy and they make things happy.

MR. BATTEN: They made you happy.

MRS. BATTEN: You never met them without there was always a nice kind word, you see, I think that goes such a long way, doesn't it , really. But...they seemd to want to help. they never came out and interfered, you see. Well I mean these days people seem to interfere so much which makes things a bit more unhappy, doesn't it . But they didn't. they were so sweet, both of them, both her ladyship and his lordship...they were always addressed as that you see. I mean they were the Lord and Lady and you gave them their place naturally because they were so sweet.

MR. BATTEN: I was as happy in those days when I was up at Minterne as I ever was.

MRS. BATTEN: Oh, Mrs. Cheesman, she was the organist at Mintern and she used to always play the piano, we used to have ...not the old time dances, we used to have the schottische and waltzes and one steps and quick-steps, quadrilles and lancers. We always had to have those because of course they were a happy dance really, so many was in the sets that you was all happy together. And they always has a wonderful spread laid on for us all to have refreshments, you see. And they always said that they hoped we had a nice evening. Sometimes they used to come and look, you know, now and again to be exact, to see if we were being happy.


(the six are seated around a table out of doors at night eating a picnic and reminiscing)

MRS. COPP: We had very, very little money. Do you remember you and I ---you remember I used to come in and I used to say to you, "Here Gwen I've got twopence left this week. I'm well off!" I felt a millionaire nearly, I did truly, having twopence left after we's paid everything.
Well hire purchase, you couldn't have stuff on hire purchase, you knew jolly well you didn't have the money for it. There was six of us in the family, and mum and dad, eight of us altogether, and we would have perhaps two slices [bread] cut for out tea, and there was no good asking for any more, because there was no more to be had.

MRS. CURTIS: We was like that too.

MRS. COPP: During the First World War I remember very well, the baker never come till half past eleven one night...mother promised us, and we all went to bed and she promised us when the baker ome, you know, she would bring some up, and she did, you know, at that hour of night.

MRS. LAKE: I've had to queue, my sister and I lived together, three mornings a week, the two of us. You couldn't have no more, twas no good, you couldn't have it. That was awful, they days.

MRS. CURTIS: Course, there was nine of us in the family. There was five girls, five girls and four boys.

MRS. COPP: And mother and father.....

MRS. CURTIS: And dad and mum. He was the shepherd, and he used to go....

MRS. COPP: And anybody that says 'tis the good old days, they can have them.

FRED COPP: You wouldn't see a man sitting in an arm chair like Walt there, NO..OH..NO..you had a hard stool to sit on...

MRS. COPP: We didn't have carpets on the floor...scrubbed floors...scrubed staircase...no stair carpets, nothing like that.

FRED COPP: Running about like a head of a cabbage with patches all over it.

MRS. COPP: That was right...and in those days you always had a patch...

FRED COPP: A patch was honorable...you see, a patch was honorable and a hole was awful.

MRS. COPP: Of course the butler was the big man wasn't he....his name was Butler wasn't it....Mr. Butler was the Butler.....

MR. LAKE: Sir, you had to call him...

MRS. LAKE: What, the butler?

MRS. CURTIS: Tell the what you had to do for the butler. You now what you had to do for the butler, Frank.... Go on Frank, tell them...

FRANK CURTIS: I can't say that....

MRS. LAKE: Bad as that eh?

MRS COPP: They thought, they used to think they was just that bit better tha anyone else, didn't they...There was always just tjat much differnce.

MRS LAKE: There was the shrubbery man. Yes, he was a bit...

FRED COPP: He was a bit up.

MRS COPP: Yes but we were the poor little underdogs, weren't we. Well I suppose really and truly, look, put all joking aside, they had that bit much more money than we had and there you are, they could afford to think they were high and mighty....

WALT LAKE: Well, they used to get their uniform and all.....

MRS. LAKE: ....that's right, and we didn't

MRS COPP: Well that's right you see, they can't get no servants can they, not now, not to live in or anything like that.

FRED COPP: No, not these days..no, they're not going to go down and curtsey, "Yes, m'lady".

MRS. CURTIS: ....No, none of that.....I had to be in at half past eight.....

MRS. COPP: You were lucky, I had to be in a eight!

MRS. LAKE: During the First World War I had to be in at half past eight every time I was out--every other Sunday.

FRED COPP: It was the War that changed it all.

MRS. COPP: (re 11th baron) He was always so good with the kids.... yes...

MRS. CURTIS: We used to have a lovely time. We used to have a lovely Christmas tree, didn't we.

MRS. COPP: And what was Captain Eddie, Lord Digby as it is now....when he was 21 we had a big party, didn't we......fireworks and all that.

MRS. CURTIS: Remember when we went to Lord Digby's wedding, Mabel. That's the best day we ever had in our lives---we started from here about half past five, in our best clothes, didn't we Fred. Lord Digby have us a marvellous lunch just before we got in to London, wasn't it, in a huge big restaurant. We had a wash and a brush up, and we went on to this lovely wedding in St. Margarets, Westminster.

MRS COPP: Nothing to drink only she ...Champagne

MRS. CURTIS: And Lord Digby came out and he waved us off, and he got up in the coach and he said to us, "Are we all here?...and he ran along beside the coach youknow didn't he, and he waved us, "Bye, bye. Bye bye."...marvellous he was....

MRS. COPP: .....And he went straight on to his club.

MRS. CURTIS: That was... I think...the most enjoyable day I had in Minterne....

MRS. COPP: And you had that in London! (LOUD LAUGHTER) You're supposed to be eating not giggling....


(L.S. is a thin , sick-looking man with a deformed hand. They are sitting in the garden of a pub)

OLD: (re 11th baron) He used to like his shooting all right didn't he.


OLD: I mind (recall) down in one part of the cover I was shooting with Charlie Clark and we had to jump in this brook. His Lordship was out in the cover just outside in the shooting ride....walking down...he could see a lot of us all down throught...old Charlie was running back and forward. "God", he said, "I can't jump". "What the hell's the matter with you man", he [Digby] said , "Jump!"...well, Charlie jumps right in the river. I jumped across and pulled him up t'other side and Charlie marched on the rest ot the day soaked to the skin. (LAUGHTER) Afraid his Lordship was going to grumble to him again.

OLD: You might get a rabbit when you'd finished.

SQUIBB: And you might not...all depends...

OLD: Or do you might not. All according to what sort of mood he was in. He was a real general on parade when he was shooting.

SQUIBB: Yes, he was that.

OLD: Just make one--one false move, didn't matter what part of the cover was in. He knew.

SQIBB: Yes, he knew.

OLD: I think Lew can tell you about the meet when you was hunting, you had to be there at the right moment and the right time.

SQUIBB: Yes, and I had to have right horse ready, where you knew whether it was that one or no, you had to have them all ready. And his Lordship was never late to a meet. And when he hunted to Cattistock hounds he was never late moving off. He always moved off by eleven o'clock. He enjoyed his hunting and shooting.

OLD: He made you do the work for to have it.

SQUIBB: Yes, that's a fact he did. Miles I've rode home at night. You had to keep your horses pretty fit to that too. that's how I come by that, (HOLDS UP DEFORMED HAND) holding the reins in all winds and weathers. You couldn't expect much different.


(Taken by the family between 1924 and about 1945)

OLD FILM: Line of children run in slow motion towards the camera.

OLD FILM: Lord Digby (57) and his sister crawling over their mother, Lady Pamela.

OLD FILM: Digby (47) and sister on bikes.

OLD FILM: Children with ponies.

OLD FILM: Large dog and small dog.

OLD FILM: Kids with a pet goat.

OLD FILM: Row of hunters.

OLD FILM: Sequence of a hunt setting off.

OLD FILM: Sequence of people arriving in 1920's cars and then playing polo.

OLD FILM: Sequence of 1920's upper class people and kids having fun tobogganing.

OLD FILM: Harvesting using a primitive horse-drawn reaper.


PORTRAIT: Edward, Lord Digby (11th baron)

PORTRAIT: Edward< Lord Digby (10th baron)

PORTRAIT: Edward, Lord Digby (9th baron)

PORTRAIT: Admiral Henry Digby.


PHOTO: Lord Digby (12th baron) and bridal party at their wedding.

PHOTO: CS Bride and groom.

PHOTO: Lord Digby (12th baron) at age 21.

PHOTO: Edward, Lord Digby (11th baron) at about 60.

PHOTO: Lord Digby (11th baron), wife Pamela, girls and dogs. Zoom in on Lord Digby.


Small village hall (corrugated iron)

WS "Elephant and Castle" pub.

CS pub sign.

CS George King's hands folding and unfolding his ruler.

WS of the nighttime picnic group in back of Curtis house.

Zoom in close on Lewis Squibbs deformed hand.

Night shot of the Curtis house.

CS Lady Pamela Digby's hound at her feet.

WS Cerne Abbas village.

WS Minterne House from front.

WS Sheep pen frames standing outside carpenter's shop.

Minterne House seen through ornamental gate.

Stable yard, empty


Old chimney with a fern growing out of its side.

Minterne House from low angle.

CS Bell in tower used for summoning workers from fields.

A field of waving corn.

Road through trees, camera pans

up to sun glinting through boughs.

WS Valley, pan and zoom into Minterne House nestling among big trees.

WS Harvester at work, tractor passes to reveal Lord Digby and Bailiff Frank Holmes.

Lord Digby mounts harvester and speaks to driver.

CS of Digby on harvester.

CS of reaping action of harvester.

CS Digby feeling grain.

Two farmworkers with backs to camera looking at field.

Digby talking to Bailiff Holmes in field.

Minterne churchyard where Digbys all buried.

The stocks (punishment device) in Cerne Abbas.

Minterne village water pump.

CS the Digby arms carved in stone.

Another shot of Minterne House.

Ws many roofs and chimneys of Minterne House.

Road sign: "Minterne Magna"

Baby pigs running up a lane.

Cat stalking along in front of ancient cottage.

Ducks in procession with Minterne church in BG.

Minterne House seen through dense trees.

Road running through trees.

"A Remnant of a Feudal Society"


(Optional--you can use these or write your own)

NARR: The present Lord Digby and his sisters.

NARR: The Digby passion for outdoor sports involved a good deal of support from their servants, like George Old who was a woodman for 12 yeas, and Lewis Squbb, a groom. His family were on the estate for three generations.

NARR: Of the 40 or so Minterne staff, only a handful remain. The Lakes, the Copps and the Curtises began work half a century ago.

NARR: And all of these servants looked to Lord and Lady Digby for their livelihood.

NARR: The estate carpenter George King first came to Minterne as a boy of eleven.

NARR: Mrs. Mitchell came to Minterne in 1914 to be the wife of the odd-job man.

NARR: Behind this enviable way of life stood a supporting army of retainers.

NARR: Nowadays big estates have to earn their keep, but in the previous Lord Digby's day they really existed for the pleasure of the family.

NARR: Three miles long and two miles wide, the valley belongs lock, stock and barrel to the Digbys, who first settled here in 1765.

NARR: Managing an estate means not only running machinery but has always meant getting the best out of the estate workers.

NARR: In a small rural community, happiness depends on good working relations.

NARR: the 11th baron died in 1964. He was succeeded by his son who now runs the Dorset estate as a modern farm. The 12th baron was educated at Eton and Oxford, and was a captain in the Coldstream Guards. He is now Vice Lieutenant of Dorset, a Justice of the Peace, and a keen farmer.

NARR: Lord Digby, his wife Lady Pamela, and their family. In 1924 Lord Digby the 11th baron bought a camera and started a record of estate life.

NARR: Minterne is a tiny village in Dorset. Its life revolves round Minterne House, the seat of the Digby family since the 18th century.

NARR: Like many of the family estates, Minterne followed a way of life which grew up hundreds of years ago. That way of life has quietly banished in the last forty years, and now exists only as a memory.