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AUSTRALIAN FILM

Problems of Equipment

ABORIGINALS AS ACTORS

Mr Frank Coffey has heen engaged un assistant camera mau for Mi Charles Chauvel* production of .. Un civilised.'' Until recently Mr Coffey was at (he Cinesound studios. Re has taken part in the photography of a number of Australian films, including "The Hayseeds," "Grandad Kudd," "Strike Me Lucky,'' anil "When the Kellys liode.'1

Tho klaff of Expeditionary Films l.td is now in a preat elate of activity. The art director of "Uncivilised" (Mr .Tames Coleman I is despatching from Sydney to the Cape York Peninsula a weird and varied assortment of native gunyah?, weapons, totem poles, and ceremonial. ohjocts, slates the «* S.M. Herald." The film will bring about various repercussions in the normal life of the aborigines. For example, the Aborigines Protection Board lias telegraphed to the settlement at Palm Island, off the Queensland coast, giving orders that the inhabitants are not to nev» their hair cut during the next few weeks, as Mr Chauvel requires them with wildly flowing locks for some of hi« scenes. The expedition will carry wireless equipment to the island. It will thus bc able lo communicate at any time with its camp headquarters on the mainland, whence supplies will

be drawn.

For the first time in an Australian dramatic film, powerful photographic flares will be used to obtain night scenes. These flares, which were im- ported from America, have already been employed in news reels. For example, they came into play when Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was taking off from Gerringong Beach on hi» flight to New Zeeland laBt year; and on that occa- sion they almost caused a serious acci- dent by dazzling the pilot,

Mr Chauvel will use tho flares to il- luminate an aboriginal corroboree. It occurred to him that perhaps the flare» could be made in Australia, instead of being brought from overseas. Accord- ingly, he had a long conference with a manufacturer of fireworks. A Bcries of experiments was carried out; and as a result magnesium flares have been produced which are said by Mr Chau- vel to be an improvement on the kind which is used in Hollywood, because they make no glare, and cost consider- ably less. Some of these flares hum for as long as five minutes without re- plenishment.

Another sort of equipment which is now being made in Australia in thc smoke bomb. When the camera has to record an explosion, a fire, or some such phenomenon, it is often necessary, for the sake of Illusion, that the amount of smoke be artificially in- creased. A small armament of these bomba is being transported to the vari-

ous locations.

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