1970 – AQUARIUS – “John Harding’s Aquarius – people and wildlife of the sea”

Camera & Cine Magazine

Camera & Cine Magazine

Script, Screen and Art was printed via letterpress - very expensive for color, so we loaned them the blocks that had been used by a skindiving magazine.

Script, Screen and Art was printed via letterpress – very expensive for color, so we loaned them the blocks that had been used by a skindiving magazine.  The camera on a tripod  underwater was not associated with Aquarius – just an example of marine photography, in this case it was from The Belgian Expedition to the Great Barrier Reef, 1967, where the author participated as an observer and guest for several weeks.  Aquarius was later re-cut  and a new print made to become “Queensland Seafari”.1-certificate1

 

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AQUARIUS – People and wildlife of the sea

35mm still picture used for Aquarius poster.

Original 35mm still picture cropped and  used for Aquarius poster.

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Original poster - designed by Roy Bisson.

Original poster – designed by Roy Bisson.

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‘Aquarius’ had several screenings in California and Hawaii in 1970 – back in Australia the film was re-titled and advertised as Queensland Seafari (which capitalised on Northern Safari while appealing to patriotic Queenslanders).

Skindiving Paradise was an excellent ten-minute short film by Ron Taylor with out-of-date music in that era but acceptable today. (The Great White Shark film offered was not made available in time at the last moment).

The real  ‘people of the sea’ still pictures taken when the 16mm footage was being recorded for Aquarius is now at Aquarius – People of the Sea (The Polynesians)

QUEENSLAND SEAFARI

Queensland Seafari

Queensland Seafari was booked into BCC theatres by John W Smith (below) initially for one-night only in each city.  Full houses guaranteed a return with three nights and daily school matinees at the same venues the following year.  A lot of money was taken at the box office and repeated the following year with even better figures and extra shows for schools at the same venues.JWS2 QSeafari1

Dangerous sea snake

Dangerous sea snake

Surf girl, 1977 "Australian Seafari"

Surf girl, 1977 “Australian Seafari”

Comedy scene - running in reverse. Tight wet suit requires help.

Comedy scene – running in reverse. Tight wet suit requires help.

John Harding (me) in 1976 at The Strand Theatre, Newcastle NSW. The last showings of Queensland Seafari.

John Harding (me)  1976  The Strand Theatre, Newcastle NSW. For the last showings of Queensland Seafari.

 

A new print with new scenes was trialed as 'Underwater Seafari" in NSW for a short time.

A new print with new scenes was trialed as ‘Underwater Seafari” in NSW for a short time.

Centre, former Crest Cinema manager, Rt Hon Paul Neville MP with JHH (left) and John W. Smith at Parliament House, Canberra.

Former Bundaberg Crest Cinema manager, Paul Neville  (centre) entertains JHH (left) and his former BCC boss, John W. Smith

Footage shot at 64 frames per second off Cooktown, Queensland allowed reasonable still pictures.

Footage shot at 64 frames per second off Cooktown, Queensland allowed reasonable still pictures.

The original if two different Queensland Seafari posters. Designed by Roy Bisson.

The original of two different Queensland Seafari posters. (Designed by Roy Bisson who had helped with Shark Fighters poster in 1965). The pattern in Queensland was BCC Theatres would book the film for Tues-Wed-Thursday in each of their cinemas.  This allowed for screenings at independent cinemas each Friday and Saturday. Sunday and Monday was reserved for traveling and promotion at the next city.  For example a show at Rockhampton allowed for independent shows at Gladstone and Yeppoon.