Dr Frank Gray’s research is dedicated to the use of primary sources in the generation of new histories. It concentrates on the detailed study of surviving lantern slides, 35mm films, business records, family records, catalogues, programmes and apparatus (eg cameras and projectors).
This emphasis on the ‘artefactual’ has had a direct bearing on the archival development of Screen Archive South East and its dedication to the systematic identification, collection, preservation, digitisation and public use of screen artefacts, for example the lantern slides, films, videotapes and digital files found in the South East. Frank Gray’s historicisation of archived objects found within the Screen Archive South East collection has also generated an understanding of the work of particular screen practitioners and media organisations such as the Church Army, their ideologies, their uses of screen technology and their engagement with audiences in a variety of public contexts.
These approaches have also nurtured the genesis and on-going development of Cinecity - Brighton and Hove’s film festival. Cinecity’s curatorial strategy expresses these inter-relationships through the careful crafting of research-informed programmes that blend the contemporary with the historical, including the festival’s commitment to its production of ‘live cinema’ events where performances fuse silent film with live music.
These research-informed cultural institutions, Cinecity and Screen Archive South East, have provided a powerful cultural presence within the screen culture of South East England and across the UK.
They continue to attract and influence an ever-expanding community of researchers, producers, film-makers, artists, curators and audiences. Television producers regularly select films from Screen Archive South East in order to create news packages and documentaries on many aspects of British life in the twentieth century.