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Posts from the ‘GTV9’ Category

Colleagues: John Jackson – The Remittance Man

One day around 1958, Peter Maund, Deputy Head of News at GTV9, Melbourne, called me to say that he had a visitor who had come in with some film and would I like to see it.  I went down to a projection room to meet this man.  He was a dapper sort of fellow.  He was short but had black wavy hair.  I guessed he was in his mid forties.   He introduced himself as John Jackson.  He was English. Read more

Texas car theft – GTV9

From time to time, we got a slack evening at GTV.  On such a night Deputy News Editor Peter Maund amused himself by sitting at the UPI wire machine reading the stories as they came off.  After a while he shouted through to the cutting room for us to come and see one of the stories. Read more

Jobhunting & the start of television in Australia 1956

Finding a job in the last days of 1956, with GTV was the culmination of considerable effort and frustration.  I had arrived in Melbourne on board the RMS Strathaird, out of London, in June of 1956.

I spent a few weeks recovering from the voyage and getting to know my surroundings, but I had limited funds and I had to pay my way. Read more

Cameraman tales: Peter Purvis: Coca Cola

Like a number of film cameramen who made a name for themselves in Australian Television, Peter Purvis started off as a press photographer.  He worked for the “Herald-Sun” group.

He told me the story of how he would go on location, shoot his pictures and then take them back to the office.  There he would go into the dark room where he would develop his negative and then print out his “proofs”. Read more

The Beer Match: GTV v the ABC 1958

Ian Johnson was the former captain of the Australian cricket team.  He had retired in 1956 and worked as a commentator on the Olympic Games.  He fronted a sports programme for GTV in 1957 and 1958. He came up with a good idea.  Well, he said it was.

He wanted to arrange a “beer match” between us at GTV and the staff and friends of the ABV2, a cricket match that is.  The A.B.C. people agreed and it was set for a Sunday at a place called Eltham, pronounced as El-tham, not Elt-ham.  There were, of course, insufficient numbers that were genuinely attached to each television station, but, we were allowed to bring in outsiders. Read more

Early days of video tape 1958

At this time, the late 1950s, many live broadcasts in Melbourne were telerecorded for use in Sydney.  This was a reciprocal arrangement so that we also received telerecordings  (called kinescopes in the U.S.) from Sydney of their live programmes.  Of course, by today’s standards the quality was poor, but, at that time, it was the best that they could do.

Basically, the system was a film camera facing a television picture. Read more

“Apart from a good idea, what are you going to do?” 1957

At GTV in 1957, those Commercials that were not done live by Graham Kennedy, during “In Melbourne tonight” were invariably brought in from the U.S.A. or the U.K.

What few were left had to be shot in Melbourne.  One of our advertisers asked if we could produce a commercial for them.  It was for a car wash product. I directed and edited it.  It was okay but they had a very low budget, so it was simple. Read more

Pentridge Prison July 1957

I went to Prison.  It was Pentridge Prison, a Victorian style establishment that housed almost all the prisoners convicted in the State of Victoria.  The subject was to be included in GTV9’s “Focus” programme that was broadcast each Sunday.

I directed the film and then edited it.  It was always easy to edit a film that you had directed.  In the first place, if anything did not work properly, there was no one else to blame. Read more

Job interview ABC 1958

After Christmas 1957, I had a phone message left at my flat in Kooyongkoot Road, I was to ring a man named Porteous.  It sounded like a spy’s code name.  When I called the number it was answered by an operator saying “ABV2 Ripponlea”.  The opposition !

I spoke with Mr. Porteous and he asked if I would meet him for lunch in Melbourne.  I agreed and some days later, I met him at the Chevron Hotel.  Kip Porteous was in his early forties and was Head of Films for ABV2 in Melbourne.  He had receding hair and a moustache, he had a slightly bulbous nose and he chain-smoked. Read more

A typical newsday at GTV 1957

In the early days of GTV’s regular broadcasting, which started on January 19th 1957, the film department was hopelessly understaffed.

I was there as Senior Film Editor, with one other editor who had never handled sixteen millimetre film prior to his arrival.  In the beginning, Jim Healy was an assistant rather than an editor. However, the work-load was such that within a few months, he became a proficient editor. Read more