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THE CAMERA IN THE CROWD: FILMING NEW ZEALAND IN PEACE AND WAR, 1895—1920
The book playfully incorporates a sequence of thumbnail images on each page that form a flip-book film of a mounted parade in 1914.
Author Chris Pugsley, well known for his military histories, has a long-standing passion for film and film history, and it shows. He writes engagingly of the first 25 years of filming in New Zealand, the cadre of professional cameramen and the fierce competition between ambitious theatre owners keen to cash in on the new craze.
Along the way he throws up many arresting facts. Who knew, for instance, that the Salvation Army was Australasia’s pre-eminent film producer in the early 20th century?
The book’s 500-odd pages are laden with images and, in another thoughtful design element, margin icons indicate where to access a film online at Nga Taonga Sound and Vision, allowing readers to pause and view what they’re reading about.
Comprehensive chapter notes, bibliography, chronology of films and indexes complete the picture — and that’s a wrap!
- Gerard O’Brien is an ODT photographer.