Never-before-seen footage of The Beatles “mucking around” in a make-up studio ahead of a television performance, shot more than half a century ago, has been released by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA).
The 49-second, black-and-white, silent video clip was filmed with an 8mm camera belonging to Australian dancer and make-up artist Dawn Swane, who was working at Granada TV in Manchester, UK at the time.
The footage, from November 1, 1965, shows the four members of the legendary band having fun in front of the camera as their make-up is applied.
PHOTO: Ms Swane has kept the programme’s original call sheet, with autographs from the Beatles and Henry Mancini. (Supplied: NFSA)
“I was in the make-up room. And so we were having some champagne,” Ms Swane, now 83, said in a statement released by the NFSA.
“And anyway, I don’t know if it was John [Lennon] or if it was Ringo [Starr] but they took the camera off me and said: ‘This is no way to use a camera’, and they sort of jiggled it upside down and inside out a bit, and everybody was just mucking around.
“But that was great. I mean they were a nice group of people. They really were.”
The clip was donated by Ms Swane’s daughter, Melinda Doring, as part of a collection of home movies and video recordings.
The collection documents Ms Swane’s career and begins in 1957, when she was touring Europe as a dancer with the London Festival Ballet.
Ms Swane returned to Sydney in 1958 after injuring her back, where she worked for ABC TV and the Nine Network in various roles, including head of Bandstand’s make-up department.
She filmed the footage of the Beatles after returning to London in the 1960s, where she regularly took her camera to the Granada studio.
Ms Swane’s footage also featured other famous musicians, actors and directors, including British actor Michael Caine.
Ms Swane also kept the original call sheet for the television program the performers were preparing for, The Music of Lennon & McCartney, which has on it autographs from all four Beatles as well as legendary American composer Henry Mancini.
Footage ‘significantly rare’
PHOTO: Ms Swane’s footage featured several famous musicians, actors and directors. (Supplied: NFSA)
“We don’t have anything as significantly rare in the collection in terms of a home movie,” NFSA assistant film curator Tara Marynowsky said.
“[To have] something so high-profile is just quite incredible to have, especially when our client, Dawn Swane, held onto it for quite some time.
“Years and years later, we get to uncover this and make that available to audiences … it’s really, really rare actually.”
Ms Doring said she first saw the footage as a teenager, but came across it again four years ago and realised it was starting to have “vinegar syndrome”, a chemical process which causes film to deteriorate.
“I knew there was stuff there that needed to be preserved, so I knew it was the right time to ring up the archive and get it stabilised and preserved before it would have been lost forever,” she said.
After touring the world, a collection of animatronic movie monsters has finally come home to south-east Queensland.
The How to Make a Monster exhibition features the creative works of Gold Coast-based award-winning special effects master John Cox.
The exhibition brings together art, science and engineering for a behind-the-scenes look at creatures that either melted movie-goers’ hearts or made them jump in their seats.
Mr Cox’s love of monsters started when he was 14 and had just seen the movie King Kong.
“I said ‘I want to make giant gorillas and dinosaurs’,” he said.
“And that’s what I did.”
He went to the local library and soon discovered the art of what was then called special effects cinematography had a steep learning curve.
“Not only did you have to know how to make what you wanted to shoot, you actually had to know how to shoot it,” he said.
“You had to have all the camera background, know all about film stock and lighting and all of that sort of stuff.”
But by 19 he went out in the world and started making movie monsters.
Displays show the simple techniques used to control complicated movie creatures. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
A career in the movies
Over his career Mr Cox has worked on blockbuster films including Babe (1995), Pitch Black (2000), Racing Stripes (2005), and Nim’s Island (2008).
He won an Oscar for his work on Babe.
“Within 12 weeks he was silver,” he said with a laugh.
“Everybody had grabbed hold of him and all of his gold plated had rubbed off, so he was a silver man.”
The exhibition also features interactive activities to encourage kids to explore their creative sides.
“Just to unleash it, so that their imaginations can take flight for a while and they can see the practical side of actually doing this stuff,” he said.
How to Make a Monster is open until June 12 at the Gold Coast City Gallery.
Animatronics film monster-maker John Cox won an Oscar for his work on the film Babe. (ABC Gold Coast: Nicole Dyer)
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Mr Cox made the monsters from the Vin Diesel film Pitch Black. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
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The How to Make a Monster exhibition features interactive activities for children to express their creativity. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
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The exhibition displays the process to create a movie prop gorilla head. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
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Mr Cox created full-sized animatronic turtles for the movie Nim’s Island. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
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Mr Cox is a regular contributor to the Gold Coast Swell Sculpture Festival, which featured his whale sculpture in 2015. (ABC Gold Coast: Damien Larkins)
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GALLERY: How to Make a Monster: John Cox’s animatronic movie magic
One of ABC Tasmania’s longest-serving cameramen has been remembered for his intelligence and love of his craft.
Peter Donnelly, 79, died in a Hobart hospital on Thursday after a protracted illness.
He worked for the national broadcaster for 40 years before retiring about a decade ago.
His interest in cinema began when he saw a neighbour’s lantern slide and movie collection.
Trained as an industrial chemist, Donnelly’s passion for photography led him to buy his first camera in 1960, the year television came to Tasmania.
He began his career as a freelancer for ABC News when the rate was seven guineas an assignment.
He was hired as the first assistant to renowned cameraman Neil Davis in 1962 and when Davis was posted overseas in 1964, Donnelly was promoted to cameraman.
Over decades at the ABC, Donnelly worked with film formats as they evolved, from 16mm reverse black and white film, to colour in 1975 and digital formats in the 1990s.
“Generally we were all self-taught,” he told the ABC’s Backchat several years ago.
“We had to get the right shots to construct a story and you either had it or you didn’t.
“The third roll of PX reversal film that I ever loaded into my new Bolex camera got a run on the 7 PM News.
“What a magic feeling that was, to see my first story appearing on the 21-inch black and white Astor,” he said.
His career included working on Australia’s first current affairs programs, Line Up, This Day Tonight and Landline.
“I loved working in the field and being a yachtsman,” he said.
“They assigned me to any yachting stories, which I loved.”
Fellow ABC cameraman David Brill remembers joining the ABC as Donnelly’s assistant in the 1960s.
“He was very, very kind to me,” he said.
“He was trained as an industrial chemist but his great love was cinematography and story telling.
“He was a very, very smart man – he should have been a barrister or a historian.
“His knowledge of the world, his writing skills, he was very, very clever.”
Donnelly is survived by his wife Katherine.
Ali and David have uncovered a suburban Adelaide classic movie buff
Everyone meet Arthur from Athelstone.
He has over 1000 VHS tapes and just so that he will always be able to watch his movie collection, he also owns 3 VCRs.
To celebrate Arthur and his lifelong devotion to film, Ali and David are giving you the chance to get along to the Drive-in to watch most voted movie – The Dish.
Thank you to everyone who voted – please check your email to see if you have won tickets!
We look forward to seeing you at the Gepps Cross Drive-in on Thursday 29 November at 7pm in time for Peter Goer’s Evenings show live from Mickey’s Candy Bar.
There will be raffle prizes on the night, plus you could win popcorn/drinks vouchers too!
Come and join Arthur at the Drive-in with Ali Clarke and David Bevan….And of course Peter Goers couldn’t resist the opportunity, so you will find him broadcasting his Evenings show 7pm-10pm live from the Candy Bar.
Voting has closed but you still have a chance to win tickets – simply listen to Ali Clarke in Brekky from 6am, David Bevan in Mornings from 9am or Peter Goers in Evenings from 7pm for the chance to win tickets.