R.Marlin Perkins – host of TV show in USA “Wild Kingdom” at Saumarez Reef in 1971. Cameraman Ralph J Nelson hired me to pick up 16mm underwater shots (cut-a-ways). We worked The Swains and then Saumarez. Sea snakes and sharks were the agenda. Almost did a night dive with a 22 foot Tiger shark under the boat. Ralph called it off at the last-minute – we were all geared up with tanks on our back, in the dinghy and ready to drop over the side into the darkness. Maybe Ralph was playing chicken to see who’d crack and complain first? He called it off at that point. Fortunately.
R. Marlin Perkins in The Coral Sea at Saumarez Reef (1971) for “Wild Kingdom” © John Harding.
Ron Taylor (1934-2012) at home in 2005. (© John Harding)
Back by popular demand. Theatre had 624 seats. Full house every night. Simple poster at left tested demand. Better poster (at right) was for return showings. Ron narrated his 16mm films live while I played background music from records borrowed from radio station 2UW (who did our advertising). Slide show was excellent quality 6×6 medium format shots taken with a wide-angle Rolleiflex. Film being projected was 16mm Kodachrome ORIGINAL footage and very sharp and colorful. Picture filled the screen top to bottom.
I paid Ron 75% of the profits. We were both happy with that.
For other future shows where the film was sound-tracked and not requiring any live narration by Ron, the split would have been 50-50 after expenses.
Val and Ron Taylor share a moment with a penguin. Montague Island, New South Wales 1966. (Photo © John Harding).
Ron Taylor filming with his 35mm movie gear. (1967)