In the 60s, if you were duty cameraman/reporter on a Sunday afternoon in winter, there's a fair bet that you'd wind up covering the rugby league game at the Athletics Oval.
Mick Teys was the sports presenter, and he'd come to the ground to call the commentary for the film. We'd shoot it SOF (sound on film) with the Auricon Cine-Voice camera, for which a 100-foot load of film gave a running time of two minutes and forty seconds.
And bean counters being bean counters, you were allowed one roll of film for the game. (Ordinary news coverage was expected to be two stories to the roll, with eighty per cent of what you shot going to air.)
The trick was to anticipate action so that, if the fates were kind, you might film a try. Of course, you also had to balance out the filming so that each team seemed to get a fair share - very difficult to do if one team was very obviously much stronger than the other.
Sometimes we'd film from the grandstand, but we often found that wind noise in the microphone and exuberent supporters in the stand tended to make sound recording difficult.
The solution sometimes was the 'mobile studio'. Place the camera on top of the news van somewhere on the spectator sidelines where it could cover the action, and place Mick in the passenger's seat, with the van's windows wound up, and thus with a quieter environment.
With headphones on, you could hear Mick mumbling to himself down below you as he followed the play, then usually a quick 'Righto, and you'd roll the camera.
The accompanying photo shows Bob Pounds on top of the news van. With care you might be able to pick out Mick's outline inside, on the driver's side this time. Note also the record crowd.
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