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Posts tagged ‘Film’

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

Podcast: The Movietone Years – episode twenty nine

“Cleopatra and the Christmas Bonus 1963”

British Movietone News were owned by 20th Century Fox (along with the Daily Mail) and the ever growing budget of their film, Cleopatra – starring Elizabeth Taylor, had an effect on all parts of 20th Century Fox and their subsidiaries.

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The Encyclopaedia Britannica Awards 1962

In the autumn of 1962, I was invited by Encyclopaedia Britannica to be a member of their jury on the EB Newsfilm Awards.   I went to a meeting at their head office to get a briefing and to see if, after the briefing, I still wanted to do it.  I agreed.

There were a variety of categories which included Hard news and Feature news. Read more

Podcast: The Movietone Years – episode sixteen

“Only one eye, but what an eye”

This week’s podcast refers to my attempt to become a Movietone cameraman in the 1950s and the opposition I was confronted with, which led me to think of moving on.  The title is a quote from Kip Porteous, the Head of Film at ABV2 in Melbourne talking about me, a few years later when I left Movietone and London for Australia. Read more

Time capsule – Rank Hovis McDougall 1969

In 1969, we were approached by the company of Rank Hovis McDougall, the flour and bread company.   They were building a new high-rise office block in Vauxhall and they wanted a short film to place in a time capsule. Read more

ABV2 Film Department – A Centre of Excellence 1958

While researching articles for this website, I read an account, on the internet, of the early period at the ABC at Ripponlea. The article was written by an Australian film maker, John B. Murray.  In his article The Naked Bunyip Essay about Australian filmmaking he refers to the early 1960s and making the tv series Alcheringa with Frank and Betty Few, in 1962.   In the article he states, “There was no film department as such at Ripponlea, except that which facilitated the gathering of news”. Read more

A shot in the dark

When a script calls for darkness or night, it always causes problems for the film maker.
In the days of the great studios, they were able to construct whole street scenes and light them accordingly so as to make it look real.  However, when the scene was wider and larger, out in the country for example, it was necessary to do something else. For most of the time, “Day for Night” was the answer. Read more

Colleagues: Charles Ridley – Movietone

Charles A. Ridley joined Movietonews before the Second World War.  He was an editor and an expert in the art of manipulating movie film negative to produce a print that was totally different in its action from the original negative.  The most famous of his creations was that of the German Army on parade in front of Hitler marching to the music of the Lambeth Walk. It was released by Spectator Films as “Germany Calling” and distributed by the Newsreel Association and is known today by several names, as a result.  At Movietone it was titled, “Hitler Assumes Command – German Troops Do The Lambeth Walk”, and ‘Hock Der Lambeth Valk‘ in the Pathe Gazette. This has been described as “Possibly the most famous piece of newsreel of all time”. Read more

“Sprite on top of the world” 1971

In June of 1971 I was off on another job for Caravans International.  This time it was to the Sierra Nevada in the deep south of Spain.  I flew into Malaga Airport with Tony Ellis, the P.R. man.  We hired a car and he drove us to Granada which, at that time, did not have an airport of its own.

At Malaga, we had picked up Bill Greene, the UPITN American cameraman based in Madrid.  In the car, Bill sat in the front as a guide for Tony, Bill knowing the way. Read more

On to directing at ABV2 1958

On arrival at the Australian Broadcasting Commission, Ripponlea, as Acting Senior Film Editor, I found that the editors at ABV2. were not required to participate in the planning of any filming that they would have to edit.  They complained to me that they were having to “rescue” too much material.  One producer had belonged to a 8-mm cine club while most of the others had been radio producers. Read more