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Posts from the ‘Documentary’ Category

The Emirates in 1976 – Sheik Khalifa Rest House and Al Ain

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Dining out

On the road to Al Ain, about eighty miles from Abu Dhabi, was situated the Sheik Khalifa Rest House where we checked in.   Mike Matthews, our camera assistant, and Sid Squires, our sound recordist,  were allocated rooms on the first floor, the top floor. Tony and I were given rooms outside the hotel. In the grounds outside, there was a raised and covered swimming pool. Beneath the pool, placed all around, were rooms with accompanying toilets. Read more

Movietone at War: Martin Gray at Stalag X1B

Movietone‘s sound crew of Paul Wyand and Martin Gray had spent a year and a month in the front line of the Italian Campaign.  They were driving their camera car throughout the period.   It was a Humber Imperial.  It had been purchased after Movietone lost two cars in the evacuation of British forces from Northern France.   It was second hand and was   purchased from a retired admiral who had kept it in pristine condition.  With all their equipment on board, it weighed two tons. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – Dining out

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – The trees in the desert

I had always realised that eating in the Middle East could be dangerous if one wandered into the back alleys.  We had to take precautions.  The crew itself was one that allowed versatility.  Tony Mander, the cameraman, could operate the sound equipment and Mike Matthews could operate the camera, so that should any one of them go down with some local bug, we could still operate.  We still had Osman and Siqseq in reserve. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – The trees in the desert

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – An evening at the Ministry of Information.

On the third day of our visit to The United Arab Emirates, I wanted to get something shot just to get us on the way.  Fortunately, I had made an arrangement to meet Les Bailey from the English Nursery, Les’ company had been commissioned to plant thousands of trees into the desert.  I was to go with him to one of his work locations in the desert. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – An evening at the Ministry of Information

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – arriving in Abu Dhabi.

The day after we arrived in Abu Dhabi, Peter Hellyer, our researcher and scriptwriter, had a meeting with The Ministry of Information.

By five minutes to seven, in the evening, Peter Hellyer and I were in the office of a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Information.  The place was packed with people seeking an audience with the man. Read more

Movietone at War: Sir Malcolm Campbell – Seer

In the 1930s, Sir Malcolm Campbell was a well-known figure.  He had established nine land-speed records from as early as 1924.   He reached 301 mph on Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.  In August 1939 he set a water-speed record of 141 mph on Coniston Water in Lancashire.  He had been a pilot in the Royal flying Corps and, maybe, if someone had provided him with an aircraft he might have had a go at the world’s air-speed record as well. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – arriving in Abu Dhabi

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Doing the deal.

When Yasar Durra, our Middle East Representative at UPITN, told me what was required, in the Emirates, I started some planning.  I estimated that it would need six weeks shooting.  I was not prepared to go to U.A.E. for six weeks, partly because I would have been most unpopular at home and also I had too much to do with other productions. Read more

Colleagues: Douglas Cameron

I am told that Douglas Cameron, an original newsreader at LBC, was called back to read the news today.  The occasion is the fortieth anniversary of the news station’s opening.

From that time, I was making frequent use of his services as a film commentator, a voice-over. Read more

Editing news and documentary film at GTV9

By the winter of 1957, I was editing most of the twice nightly news service, at GTV-9 in Melbourne, as well as the Focus documentary shown on a Sunday.

The early evening news would include around four or five stories that need complete editing while another three or four would need partial editing.   For the second news programme of the night, there would be an additional two or three stories to edit, stories that had taken place during the late afternoon or evening.   For some time, I was the only film editor in the studio.  My assistant had had no experience of editing and was in the process of learning. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – doing the deal

In the Autumn of 1976, Yasar Durra, our Middle East Representative at UPITN,  obtained a commission from the United Arab Emirates to produce three films.  One was on the Villages that had been built to house their Bedouin people. This was an attempt to deter them from moving into the towns which were booming with the growth of the oil industry. Sheikh Zayed did not want the untrained, and, at that time probably uneducated, Bedouin doing menial jobs in the new industries. Read more