This week we take a look at three classic SSVC productions made for the British military during the Cold War. SSVC or Services Sound & Vision Corporation were a production company formed in 1982 which oversaw the creation of training films and documentaries for the British Military. These productions are fascinating not only from a historical point of view providing a window onto how training was carried out, the development of military doctrine and changes in tactics and equipment but also from a cinematic, filmmaking perspective too. Many of these productions, some of which we’ve covered previously, convey major scenarios and do so in a highly engaging way with probably minuscule budgets.
In this special we examine a 1982 documentary which reconstructs the Brunneval Raid, one of the Parachute Regiment’s first major operations, Fighting Patrol (1985) which shows how a platoon would launch an attack on a Soviet position – the film showcases considerable brand new equipment including the then new SA80 rifle. And finally, Oil Safe (1980) a film detailing the SBS’ procedure for retaking an oil rig which has been seized by terrorists. Check out the links to watch each of the films.
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Here are some stills from some of the films we discuss: