Originally published in New Zealand TV Weekly February 19, 1968
Get cracking on colour planning before it is too late. This is the advice of Harry Reynolds, go-getting Auckland independent film-maker, recently back from Australia where he was checking up on technical deve1opments in TV film production.
All the laboratories and TV stations there are gearing their production to colour, he said.
They think colour TV will come sooner than most people expect. Apart from that, they’ve got a far better show of selling their films overseas if they are in colour. Reynold’s own studio has just installed colour processing equipment, and the team is justifiably proud about that fact that virtually all the gear was actually hand-crafted in their own workshop. Apart from the time factor, colour processing on the spot will be an overseas-funds saver ....Just reminds me that the NZBC really boobed when it had the Tongan Coronation world rights sewn up and proceeded to shoot the show in black and white. Understand screams came back from world-wide outlets.... Lester Kidd, erstwhile Dunedin journalist and later with telly news in Auckland, now carrying the PR banner for the Port of London Authority in Australia and also doing some part-time chores for ABC News.... Singularly appropriate that Rae Pritchard has had the job of putting together the script for this year’s Foundation for the Blind film. Rae’s mother is blind-a quite remarkable woman with tremendous courage who has never let her affliction keep her back and has had tremendous pride in the success scored overseas by daughters, Rae and Noelene ....Keen interest in the way Town and Around shapes up this year. Producer John Holdsworth has an unenviable task and just about everybody will be prepared to hack at him if it isn’t new and vital, yet they’ll be equally ready to grizzle about any radical change in format. In short, you can’t win! ..... Don’t be surprised if Barry Crump’s contributions to T. &. A. are considerably less this year. Some of the Good Keen Man’s efforts last year were so thin in con- tent that they showed up as transparent twaddle . . . Plenty of eager applicants for The late Show dancing jobs.
The Japanese demonstrated their TV skill in "The Samurai" series. Now they have shown Wellington viewers they are equally skilled at compiling documentaries. An NHK production, What Happened Up There? was an enthralling examination of the crash of a Boeing 727 aircraft into Tokyo Bay, with the cameras following the official inquiry from the time the first parts of the plane were recovered until the probable cause was found. If this is the standard of Japanese documentaries, then let’s have more . . . . Another memorable programme was The Greatest Dancer in the World, which recreated the life of the American dancer, Isadora Duncan. The producers broke away from the usual techniques to present a brilliant, yet sad account of this amazing woman’s amazing life . . . . Another Town and Around romance: Reporter, Keith Aberdeen and production secretary, Joy Rodgers. They have just been married after meeting on the pro- gramme. The new Mrs Aberdeen has been with Town and Around since its inception. Her husband joined it last year and will again be before the cameras when the show resumes next month . . . . While Auckland may be planning drastic surgery for its Town and Around programme, there is likely to be little change in the Wellington format. Producer, Maurice Smythe, has kept it high in the local ratings and there seems little reason to chop and change around just yet. But perhaps during the year it might be wise to stand back and take a long look at the programme to ensure that the familiar format is not beginning to pall . . . . At long last a firm date for the smash BBC comedy series, Till Death Us Do Part. It has been scheduled for late night screening on Mondays from tonight on WNTV1, other stations later. Now New Zealand viewers will be able to see how this programme managed to offend so many people in Britain, at the same time as it has brought laughter to millions of others . . . . And for parsons and priests: The NZBC plans to re-screen at a later date the clerical comedy, All Gas and Gaiters, which has been shown at the unecclesiastical time of. 7 p.m. on Sundays. Amen to that.
Further evidence that TV does exert some influence-and not always good-on viewers came just six days after The Avengers were involved in turning round signposts to confuse the enemy. A Christchurch man ended up miles from his destination having followed Automobile Association signposts. He set out for Peel Forest in South Canterbury, took the road sign-posted
6 miles to Peel Forest but never reached it and ended up instead on a closed, washed-out road. His comment:
I’m sure Emma Peel must have been down there. About the same time several "twisted" direction posts, were reported in Christchurch .... TV might fill the bill when there is no live entertainment offering, but when there is a live show at hand the box goes by the board, if the experience of passengers On a recent Wellington- Christchurch inter-island steamer express voyage counts for anything. A group of Maori lads returning to their Christchurch hostel after a North Island holiday trip, complete with guitar and some first-class harmonising, quickly had the entire smoking room tapping toes and joining in the choruses while the two TV sets relaying CHTV3 failed to draw even one ardent viewer. As one elderly passenger put it:
I like the box, but who wants it when you can have this? .. . . Some of this city’s regular Sunday night churchgoers resenting the fact that they must miss that other clerical programme, All A Gas and Gaiters, simply because it comes on at 7 pm. Many people feel it would not have done much harm to show The Egyptians early and recast Sunday night overall. After all a good laugh does everyone a bit of good, although NZBC programme planners evidently don’t agree . . . . On much the same topic: Why, oh why, must viewers be told not to miss a documentary detailing what happened when a Japanese airliner with 300 people aboard (so she said) crashed in Tokyo Bay. It certainly was interesting to watch but hardly the sort of thing deserving of so much pre-show publicity. There are plenty of other programmes that people should be advised not to miss, but aren’t.
Dunedin’s annual Festival Week has come and gone. in the usual flurry of excitement, and DNTV2 staff were among those most involved with the celebrations, both in the studios, conducting visitors on a tour of behind-the-scenes activities and at many functions throughout the week. The radio Breakfast Session was conducted one morning from the Moana Pool, with the regular staff, as well as several TV personalities, including George Speed, Maureen Little and Noel Robson, taking part in some highly amusing events. As far as television coverage of Festival events went, one which was especially worthy of mention was the Festival Procession. Understandably a difficult subject to cover, the programme only just escaped becoming tedious, but a witty and relaxed commentary by Chief Announcer, George Speed, more than made up for what the eye didn’t see .... If poor weather conditions made driving hazardous during the recent Teretonga International meeting, it by no means enhanced the task for DNTV2 staff who did a fine job covering the, event for local viewers .... Seems there’s a shortage of radio announcers in Timaru at present. Dudley Scantlebury, who only recently joined the Dunedin staff, will be, relieving up there for several weeks and is expected to return to the local scene sometime in March .... One frequently hears viewers lamenting the loss of yet another favourite television personality and it’s not often the situation is reversed. Such was the case a couple of weeks ago, however, when Colin Lehman was, welcomed back to Dunedin. Colin, who has spent approximately two years in Australia, was particularly popular with the younger set before he went overseas.