Newspaper clipping, 'Novel Australian Film', paper, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 1955, Australia, 1955
Film made by Malcolm Otton, b Devon, England 1917. Documentary film-maker with the Commonwealth Film Unit (now Film Australia), since 1946.
Notes re the making of the Wirritt-Wirritt film:
Introductory screen to the film reads: 'WIRRITT-WIRRITT' An Australian Legend. This legend comes from the Northern Territory of Australia. It tells how the Aborigines first won the secret of making fire. The paintings are based on authentic Aboriginal art. Roland Robinson'. Produced by Malcolm Otton using 16mm format on a Bolex camera with Kodachrome film. James Cant did the rock paintings on the spot. There were problems with the sun/shadows coming over the paintings when filming as the film used natural light. The weather was also a problem. The film was shot in bits and pieces on weekends over about 10 days as Roland Robinson was working as the greenkeeper at the Rose Bay Golf Club at the time. Film filmed at Roseville Chase in deep bush. Sold to the Film Board for 500 pounds (split 3 ways between Malcolm Otton (the film maker, Roland Robinson (the author) and James Cant (the artist). It then became an Australian National Film Board production (Previously called Commonwealth Film Unit and now known as Film Australia) for the Department of the Interior. The film originally had an Aboriginal voice but felt by the Department of the Interior that it should be Anglicised. Aboriginal music provided by Professor Elkin of the University of Sydney, anthropology Department. Radio World voice eventually used on the film. The author of the film, Roland Robinson spent many years in the Northern Territory collecting legends. Malcolm Otton thinks that wirritt-Wirritt, the legend of the firebird was told to Roland Robinson by Percy Mumbler, an Aboriginal man of the Wallaga Lakes district in Southern NSW.
The film, 'Wirritt-Wirritt" made in 1955 and released in 1956.