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
From 1956 to 1961, I worked in Melbourne, Australia. I was Senior Film Editor with GTV9 (General Television Corporation) and Supervising Film Editor with ABV2 (Australian Broadcasting Commission).
In 1956 I lodged with an English family at Frankston. This was some months before the start of television in Melbourne and there was no cinema in Frankston, our nearest town. However, I was told that there was a Drive-in Cinema which had opened at Dandenong on May 4th 1956.. I was curious as to what it would be like watching a film from inside a car. Read more
Sometime in August of 1958, Janet and I decided to fix a wedding date. A church wedding had to be performed in the parish of the bride, but, at that time, Janet was living in the heart of Melbourne.
Jim Healy, at this time the film editor at GTV, had taken a rented house with his wife and they offered the address from which Janet would be married. It was in Moorabbin. Read more
When I arrived in Melbourne in June 1956, the rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne was quite unknown to me. In fact, apart from the stereotype Australian depicted in the United Kingdom, I knew nothing about the Australian way of life.
There were strange goings-on in Australia at that time. In brief, the scene was that in both Sydney and Melbourne, three organisations were getting ready to launch television broadcasting, A state broadcaster in each city and two commercial broadcasters in each city. Read more
12 June 1961, Harry Lehrer, a staff cameraman at ABV2 wrote me a letter which, in part said:
“… John, I believe, has already told you that I am no longer at the mercy of the A.B.C. for I had an unfortunate mishap when doing a film on yachting, I fell into the water, and being a Saturday evening when I returned to the studios I did not advise anyone of the accident. Consequent to this, the powers that be deemed me to have been negligent and, as a result, and after a short period of suspension, I was given the bullet. As we are auxiliary staff there was just nothing one could do to stop the injustice, so I am now freelancing”. Read more
In 1957, GTV started a short series on the police. They were trying to show what nice fellows they were. A police sergeant would give a talk to a group of teenagers who would then ask him questions. Most of these programmes had some film inserts which I directed. Read more
Until 1959, ABV2 at Ripponlea did not have a complete Dubbing Theatre. Major Productions emanating from Melbourne would have to be taken to Sydney for re-recording.
Eventually, the fully fitted theatre was installed. It had all we wanted. Rock and Roll magnetic film recording with multiple tracks. It was the latest thing. Read more
At GTV, Channel 9 Melbourne, it was decided to start a 15-minute documentary programme. From time to time, we would receive film for the news service with enough material to make a much longer story. It was felt that these items would be a a good source of material suitable for a news/documentary programme. In addition, there were many subjects that could be specially assigned. Read more
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