A Day in the Hayfields (1904)

This early ‘actuality’ film captures the process of haymaking, from the cutting of the grass to the gathering and stacking of the hay.

Stills must not be reproduced, copied or downloaded in any way.

Film details

  • Country

    United Kingdom

  • Year


  • Genre

    Actuality film

  • Type


  • Category

    Non Fiction


A Day in the Hayfields (1904) merges two of the most popular non–fiction genres of early cinema, the ‘industrial’ and the ‘scenic’.

The industrial film comprised a series of shots following a particular process from beginning to end, whether an industrial process, such as the blasting and shaping of slate, or a more rural subject like this one. Industrial films were well suited to the simplicity of non–fiction filmmaking as producers didn't have to write a story or cast actors.

The scenic film presented a view or series of views of a place or event. The pleasure of the scenic for the audience lay in its evocative images, at a time when urban audiences didn’t necessarily have the opportunity to travel to the countryside.

The film was released by the Hepworth Manufacturing Company, which had a reputation for photographic excellence. The company’s owner, Cecil Hepworth, had a love of pictorial painting and photography which he hoped to emulate in his films, and he almost certainly directed the film himself.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top