National Film & Sound Archive

How much film gear can you fit into a fiat 500? Quite a lot as it turns out. Seen here in my driving outfit (not my directing outfit) I recently set off on a road trip to our Nations capitol, Canberra where I was joined by my trusty cinematographer Joanne (who flew up) for a day and a half filming at the National Film and Sound Archive.

So much to see and talk about with curator, Sally Jackson that I wasn’t sure we’d fit it all in. But after a great interview we were truly honoured to inspect a nitrate roll of film making up part of all that’s known to exist of the worlds first dramatic feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906). To fragile to project or even handle much I was consoled by the fact that it had been safely copied both photo chemically and digitally. As Sally carefully unrolled a segment over a light box it gave me chills to be in the presence of something so old and so precious but even though its storage place is temperature and humidity controlled Sally noticed new bands of red colouring near the core indicating its chemical decomposition was still in progress. I felt helpless as does she. There is nothing that can be done but watch as it quietly slips into oblivion.

Equally as awe inspiring was the chance to inspect the NFSA’s print of Fritz Langs’ Metropolis (1927), a film that holds a particularly warm place in my heart. As a film crazy teen, Metropolis was ‘that’ film that I always read about but never thought I’d ever get to see and then one day, low and behold as I browsed through the movie section of the Sun - there it was! I immediately skipped class and raced into town to sit alone in Village East End no. 1 to absorb Metropolis for the first time, accompanied then by its astounding contemporary score by Giorgio Moroder. It still stays with me as one of my favourite films and soundtracks - along with Brigette Helms’ incredible gaze of course.

Next up, Sydney and the beautiful Ritz Randwick.

By the way you may have noticed, we're still a long way from reaching our crowd funding campaign goal to film in the United States. If you’re unfamiliar with crowd funding; a minimum amount is set for the campaign and if you don’t reach that goal - all funds raised are deleted. It’s an all or nothing model that protects people from giving to a partially funded project that can’t be finished without the full amount.

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Thanking you in advance :O)

Rob (Bert)

Bert Murphy