THE UNDERWATER WORLD of RON TAYLOR (1967)

 

Ron Taylor Union Theatre

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SEA SAFARI – under construction

Poster designed by Roy Bisson.

Poster designed by Roy Bisson.

When home video rentals were a new idea in 1983, we made this 90 minute documentary film as a test. Original footage was super8. The more professional 16mm film was too expensive at the time. Other film makers were using the technique before me. (The Leyland Bros had a TV show that was all Super8 footage transferred to 2 inch video tape – with noticeable splices that were not professional yet no worse than the nightly network news). Some dive shops were using Sea Safari as part of their training. It was a collection of short stories. A bit of fun separating the more serious moments.

 

Lindblad 1981

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Skindiving Paradise was an excellent ten-minute short film by Ron Taylor with out-of-date music in that era but acceptable today.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.