discover the past, understand our world

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Mainspring Narrative Films, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit company, produces quality educational documentaries focusing on art, architecture and cultural history. The company strives to foster a greater understanding of our modern world by exhaustively researching the past, and releasing films that often include previously unknown archival imagery and documentation.

Emmy-winning filmmaker Jake Gorst is the Steven Spielberg of design documentaries.
— George Smart - USModernist Radio


Mainspring Narrative Films has two key objectives:

1.    To re-introduce important history, forgotten in time and by the masses, but integral in shaping the culture of our day.


Example: Antonio Corsi was once known to have the most famous face in the world, due to the hundreds of notable works of art by celebrated artists in which he posed. Today, very few are aware of the epic life story of the man who contributed his figure and face to such iconic works as The Storm by Pierre Auguste Cot, The End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser, and the Pygmalion series by Edward Burne-Jones.

2.    To foster an awareness of important cultural heritage being lost due to neglect or deliberate destruction.


Example: The modern architecture produced during the mid 20th century is endangered due to re-development or decay. Films such as Leisurama (2005),  Desert Utopia: Midcentury Architecture in Palm Springs (2005, produced by Jake Gorst for Design Onscreen), and Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island (2012, produced by Jake and Tracey Gorst for Design Onscreen) not only played a significant role in creating an awareness of this style of architecture, but also fostered a movement to restore and preserve examples of it, resulting in a significant increase in tourism and revenue to regions where it has been preserved.


If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

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It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.

-William Murtagh, first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places