Down on the farm
Stewart Pitt, 1935
This is New Zealandʼs first feature length talkie. The sound quality is far from what we are used to today.
The size of the Welsh sound system (invented by Ted Coubray) meant that movement was limited. Actors would unrealistically crowd together towards the microphone. Lighting was also unsophisticated and no indoor scenes could be shot, meaning wind also interfered with the sound. Because the sound was recorded directly onto the picture negative there were many difficulties editing the film. To make sure the picture and sound matched, every scene had to have a long fade in, making the transitions seem very clumsy.
In 1937 the film was taken to England, where it was unsuccessful in securing a release and panned by critics. “The dialogue is a joke” complained Cine Weekly, “the acting amateurish and the photography poor. After this our colonial cousins will be well advised to restrict their exports to mutton”.
The Publicity Department now merged with the Department of
The National Film Unit (NFU) was established in 1941 under