Item 2005.002.06.002 - Search for the Titanic / Grimm Expedition Titanic: Orson Welles Part 1 and 2

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Search for the Titanic / Grimm Expedition Titanic: Orson Welles Part 1 and 2

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  • Moving images

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International Expeditions, US : Titanic 1980.

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  • 1980 (Creation)
    MacInnis, Joseph B.

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2 videocassettes: VHS

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Dr. Joe MacInnis, C.M. MD. FRCP. (Hon) LLD. (Hon), earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and was awarded a research position at the University of Pennsylvania to begin what would become his pursuit for the following three decades: the study of the physiology and psychology of men and women in undersea conditions. Between 1964 and 1970 he worked as the medical director of Ocean Systems Inc., the world's largest diving and underwater engineering company. In 1970, Dr. MacInnis participated in the research and writing of Canada's first national ocean policy. During this time, he initiated the first of eleven diving expeditions to study the systems and techniques needed to work safely under the ice in the near-freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the next decade, his team would make more than 1,000 dives and construct the world's first undersea polar station, the Sub-Igloo.
In 1978 Dr. MacInnis led the team that discovered, explored, and filmed the HMS Breadalbane, a three-masted British barque crushed by the ice in the Northwest Passage in 1853. Located in 340 feet of water 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the HMS Breadalbane is the world's northernmost known shipwreck. Shortly after the discovery of the Breadalbane, Dr. MacInnis turned his attention to the most infamous shipwreck of all - the Titanic. He made two dives to the bow and stern of the Titanic between 1985 and 1991, and was co-leader of the two million dollar project to film the ship in IMAX format. In 2005, he joined James Cameron on a dive that produced a 90 minute live broadcast from some of the last unseen rooms of the ship.

Dr. MacInnis is involved in a number of community service projects that reflect the wide range of his interests, supporting both scientific and artistic ingenuity and the protection of the environment. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, the Queen's Anniversary Medal, the Admiral's Medal and the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. He regularly lectures on topics of leadership and teamwork, and continues to publish on his underwater discoveries.

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Scope and content

A documentary account of the expedition: Titanic 1980. Using sonar & other modern scientific instruments, scientists, oceanographers & film makers battle the forces of water & wind in their first attempt to locate the resting place of the Titanic and film the ill-fated ship. The primary focus of the documentary is the technology involved in locating and hopefully recording the ship. However, the film includes: a biographical account of the ship, an account of the search operation for those who persished, a grave marker for an unclaimed child, interviews with survivors, and other lesser known facts surrounding the Titanic legacy. Of interest is Orson Wells report of a lesser known late 19th century author who wrote a fictional story of a ship named Titan that perished one starry April night by colliding with an iceberg; a story that foreshadows that of the Titanic. This 1980 expedition to the Titanic is the first of two, the second is: Titanic 1981, where the team has plans to take submarine dive down to the Titanic, if it can be located.

The Titanic, a passenger ship, sunk during her maiden voyage in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15,1912, two hours and forty minutes after a collision with an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Over 1 500 people perished. The shipwreck was discovered by a team led by Robert Ballard and Jean Louis Michel in 1985.

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Digital copies only. Original records are not accessible/viewable using the equipment in the reading room. Digital copies may be viewed onsite

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Notes from initial viewing:
Part 1: b&w still image of Jules Verne trip to moon
/Orson Welles in dark suit introduces Titanic; b&w film footage of construction of T. In Belfast, IRE (May 1911); b&w film footage of T. Leaving Southhampton, ENG (April 10, 1912); color video of icebergs; b&w film footage of passengers aboard ship
/title screen - 'Search for the Titanic' - featuring Orson Welles, opening credits
/press conference with Mike Harris - discusses plan to search for T., Jack Grimm - Texas investor, William Ryan - scientist
/team with be on 'HJW Fay' research vessel for 6 weeks; 'Aluminaut' the submarine with depth of 3 miles; crew prepares equipment
/OW has video interview with T. survivor Frank Goldsmith with model of T.; speaks on recovery of bodies from North Atlantic
/cook on board making veg. and lobster for ships crew
/side scan sonar unit fails at night - repairs in Bermuda; video of stingray, crab; underwater camera on video sled
/crew pours water on cook on deck; crew places bets in lottery for where T. will be found (latitude and longitude); animation of transponder signals; launch of 'blue fish'; animation of side-scan sonar; analysis of sonar readings
/hoisting 'blue fish' out of water - erratic magnetometer readings, fin torn off by bad weather
/b&w film footage of launch of T. - country western style song about T. plays

Part 2:country western style song about T. Continues
/crew reading radio signals - hurricane/gale heading towards ship; crew member checking readings; magnetometer signal fails
/closing credits

Executive producer: Jack Grimm
Produced and directed by: Mike Harris
Written by: Karen C. O'Malley
Cinematography: Nik Petrik, Jack Cosgrove and Jose Luis Mignone
Music: Dale Schacke
Sound: John Pritchett
Presented by: Orson Wells

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