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Drinking tea as they make film
From 'Mail' Sydney representative
THIS week's hectic rush of film-making in Sydney for the 20th Century Fox film 'Kangaroo' gives some idea of of what is likely to happen at Port Augusta when the com pany goes on location there soon.
In odd moments between 'takes,' the actors stagger out from under the lights to sign autographs, giye press interviews, or pose for press pictures. In these breaks someone thinks of re freshment, and at all odd times you see cameraman, director, actors — anyone- drinking tea. Australians may never convert Ame ricans to Australian, cigarettes, but they have already converted them to tea. The first 'take' in this first full length film in Technicolor to be made in Australia, began like this: — 'Action! Camera!' Film star Peter Lawford, dressed as a 1900 migrant with swag on back, walked into the line of the camera. 'Peter,' called director Lewis Mile stone. Lawford turned to the camera, looked alarmed (the migrant had a re cord, and had just seen a policeman), and ran rapidly down the street and disappeared. The time was 5.30 p.m. last Saturday, the place was the historic Miller's Point district, near the southern end of Syd ney Harbor Bridge. The spot was covered with arc lights, crisscrossed with electricity -hose lines, and dotted with vehicles containing all the elaborate equipment needed for an important movie. The camera crew, the technicians, associate producer Robert Snody, and director Milestone, actors * Peter Law ford and Richard Boone, and a crowd of several hundred spectators, had waited for an hour or more as the shadows lengthened and light conditions matured for a night shot. At 5.30 p.m. the last sunlight faded from the sandstone walls of Hickson street, and the first shot was made. Films are rarely shot nowadays in the natural order of the story, but in an rder dictated by convenience. So what
will appear to cinema audiences as the first shot in 'Kangaroo' will not be made until next week. Meanwhile the Fox team has been working 12 hours a day on the filming Shots were made of Lawford running down Hickson street and climbing Wind mill Steps — a long flight of sandstone steps connecting Hickson street with Windmill street. These showed Lawford and Boone running down the steps, followed by Finlay Currie falling down the last flight, and Lawford and Boone going through his pockets. The falls — five of them — were taken by Currie's stand-in, former Australian heavyweight boxer Jack O'Malley. It would have been too much to ask of Currie, who is 72. Another scene was at one of Sydney's most beautiful old mansions — Elizabeth Bay House. Here the Fox team worked for several days, making a dozen or more shots in which Lawford and Boone and 10 extras, clad in bowler-derbies have participated. Shooting a film is one thing; prepa ration that makes shooting possible is another. For the Sydney sequences of 'Kan- garoo,' which take about one-third of the film's running time, the Fox team and their Australian assistants have had to organise props., wardrobes, transport, power supply, catering, police assistance, and a hundred other essential matters. They have had to build elaborate sets at Pagewood and Bondi Junction. On the second day of shooting make up man James Barker became ill, was taken to hospital, and Maureen O'Hara's hairdresser, Miss Fae Smith, and an as ssitant had to do the job for him. Strong winds made shooting of some scenes difficult. Shots had to be re taken, because a train or bus passed by, children shouted nearby, or some other unlooked for noise spoiled the sound track.