`Photography & Cinematography’ – public lecture by Dr Jim Frazier OAM ACS (7th Sep 2019)

`Photography & Cinematography’ – public lecture by Dr Jim Frazier OAM ACS (7th Sep 2019)


[Wendy Smith] Jim worked with (Sir) David Attenborough for some 30-odd years. He has some wonderful stories to
tell… Fabulous photographer – inventor – and
artist. We’re very lucky to have a display of his work down at the Olde Bridge Gallery. It will be there for about 8 weeks… So please if you get a chance, pop in and have a look at it. And I will hand over to Jim! [Dr Jim Frazier OAM ACS] – Thank you! [Sir David Attenborough] We used to think that if you wanted real drama, you had to go to Africa. Perhaps to film lions – or wildebeests, battling one another. But then – along came Jim Frazier and Densey Clyne. And they showed that just this kind of gripping drama occurred in Australian backyards… Jim, because he had extraordinary ingenuity – in inventing lenses, that made shots like this one possible… And Densey, because of her great and intimate knowledge of small creatures, which enabled us to know what animals like this one, in fact, were doing. And, well – Natural History films have never been quite the same since! [Dr Jim] …What an Introduction-! David is an extraordinary guy – as you all know… And I’m still emotional… Densey Clyne died a couple of months ago… and – Her and I literally traveled the world
for David – filming wildlife, for nigh on 25-30 years. and in the bargain, we made our own films — we filmed for National Geographic – chiefly for the BBC… and we got a lot of joy out of doing our own productions and Densey was such an extraordinary lady with words — (Q) Who remembers her, on `Burke’s Backyard’…? and she just had a way with words – she wrote something like 30 books – and they were
all very popular – and she left an extraordinary legacy to this country. And
Helen and I (my wife) have just packaged up about 270,000 slides (of Densey’s) – to go to the National Archives… and the legacy left, with her writing, and
her pictures – which were immaculate – and also – the cataloging of that many slides, she was meticulous about. And so – when the National Archives get this stuff – all the
work’s been done for it. It’s just extraordinary. Anyway, and I owe a lot to Densey. It happens, one day – I’ve always been associated with wildlife – my dad was a butterfly collector – and so it went. And I went on – I took a very keen interest in reptiles – snakes.
And Densey was traveling around, she was writing a book on frogs at the time,
and she went up to the University of New England, where I worked. And a Doctor there said “Oh, you’ve got to go and see Jim Frazier – he who knows where all the frogs are.” And so she came and saw me – and I took her out and she photographed all these new frogs for a book. And when
I moved to Sydney, and I left Armidale – her husband – then helped me find a place to live in Sydney. And I kept contact with Densey, just because I – it was
one of the few people I knew in Sydney! And so – I was up there one day, and if you
remember, Vincent Civenti and Bob Raymond – – they were doing a film called `Wildlife In The Suburbs’ – and they asked Densey to film for it – because she had a
Hasselblad Masters award. And she was a well-known photographer, way back then. And she said: “No, I know nothing about movie cameras – – I don’t want to do it” – And I piped in and said ” – I’ll do it! – I’ll have a go!” And I knew NOTHING-! At all! So, Densey taught me the rudiments of photography – and I picked up Vin’s camera – and made every mistake in the book – and then Densey said: “Look – we’ll try and do a bit of work for you?” – and this was a film camera, wind-up job – and the first thing we film, was: a
spider called `Deinopis’ – the netcasting spider – and it actually builds a beautiful net – and stretches it out – hangs upside down above a pathway for an
insect – and then it drops over and spreads the net over its victim – and what I filmed
there was absolutely extraordinary… we showed Vincent Civenti and Bob – and they
went ape – and they said “Oh, we want this, this, this, and this!” – and that started a
career, that I couldn’t believe. And it kept me off the streets – of a weekend – and I would work through the nights filming the nocturnal stuff – and then
weekends, when I wasn’t working at the Museum, I would be up with Densey, trying
to film all this wildlife that she knew an awful lot about… So that’s how my career
started. But really – I guess, you have to have an
interest in wildlife, in the first place… And, I did. And at a very young age, I collected – (I think I’ll turn these lights off.) I really did develop a keen interest in reptiles – and for many years I collected for Eric Worrell – – for his program on Anti-Venines. […Photos of: milking venomous snakes…] And now, I got bitten with this one –
and a doctor at the Armidale Hospital gave me an overdose of Tiger Snake anti-venine, and it nearly killed me! The snake would have made me a little bit sore for a day or so – but…. This is a Legless Lizard – eating a spider — And this is a young
Green Tree Snake – would you believe? A Green Python. A Knob-Tailed Gecko. This is the African one – And the good old Goanna – It’s actually a Moloch (Thorny Devil) – you can see it there – it’s not a good photograph – and that was one of the very early Lenses that I built, and played around with – and I’ll show you a bit more on those, later… A Moloch (Thorny Devil)… They’re beautiful creatures, they really are – they’re so docile – they look angry, but they’re not! And these are young ones… And these are – I love – I love Blue-Tongued Lizards…! They’re so quiet, and they’re so personable – and they’ve not aggressive. [joking] – There is a late fee-!!! And Geckos… I just love Geckos!! – They have a character all of their own. And I was the first one to film this – [being chased by a Frill-Necked Lizard] — and I got it to chase the camera – – and I was given the secret by an
Aborigine who said: “If you torment it with the camera – it chase you” …And I was
able to do the classic shot of this, running towards the camera while I backed (away)… Here it is – now I built a special device,
that swung – and I could sit in my arm, like a tripod – but very flexible – and you could run
up and down, and it stayed steady… because you’re hanging, with the weight –
and Jeff McMullen got me to film for `60 Minutes’, I think, at the time – One of the frogs I mentioned Now – here’s 2 mosquitoes – having a feed on this frog – – And this one’s in the (Art) Exhibition [at Olde Bridge Gallery, in Newbridge]. [`Risky Business’ – a frog, with a moth on its back] Now that is a pet frog we’ve had at home for about six or seven years now, and it comes out – and it’ll literally
ask for food – and I’ll catch a moth on the window or something, and hand it to him – and “BLOLLOP” – he takes it! I filmed `Cane Toads – An Unnatural History’ (1988) many years ago for another client – and that really was an awakening for me – and I saw the danger of what was really happening with the Cane Toad – and the wildlife that it was killing – because of the poisonous glands that it has… And this is the the tadpoles of the Cane Toad… Now – this is a classic Densey Clyne shot – I
did not take this shot… [Frog on a tap handle – looks like it’s clasping a steering wheel] I owe it to Densey… – This is the real `driver’ isn’t it, eh? It `steers’ you in all sorts of directions… Now I also had to film Termites, for another client – and I had to get the lenses – like endoscopes – in the nests of the Termite — and these are the Queens… They’re huge. And they are a continuous machine for just producing eggs and young ones. [Shot of a Horsfield’s Tarsier, in a tree] Now Densey and I went to Borneo – and we spent two months there – for David Attenborough – and the BBC gave us a hit list that they wanted for David – and one of them was the most primitive of the monkey family, in the world called the Tarsier – and you can’t see it there – but here but I actually had to put up a net behind it – which was a black
fishing net – to keep it contained… There’s all sorts of characters out there, that just wonderful creatures when you look at them in close-up. Butterflies’ eggs – one of the other jobs we did in Borneo for David, was the Flower Mantis.
Now this mantis has platelets on the legs – And it sits on a flower – and it looks like another flower… It’s quite an
astonishing insect – One of the shots I had to get also, was a shot, looking from the Termites’ nest, out – and this is when I started to use my very special lenses. This is a giant Millipede – it’s all of 8 inches long – Now the BBC sent us to the high plains in Sierra in America – And, someone asked me today, actually – I got an honorary Doctorate… And this was one of the reasons I got an honorary Doctorate –
I never- I failed school – never went to university – other than as a Technician – but I filmed some extraordinary stuff, that I’d solved a lot of biological mysteries
by filming certain things – and so I was awarded with an honorary Doctorate. And this was actually one of them – and I had to solve the mystery – this – there’s a symbiotic relationship between a moth and this Yucca plant. And the moth
is the only insect that can pollinate this Yucca flower. And that’s it there. Now
when we went there – the BBC said: “Look, the Yucca plants are 20 foot high, and you’re gonna have to build a tower up to get up to the flowers… And the moth is white!” – And I wasn’t keen on building that tower, and getting up there – so I consulted an
expert in the States on the Yucca – And he said “Oh well, there is a low-growing one – and it’s a black moth – and a white flower…” – Perfect! And that’s what we ended up
filming. So this moth goes around and around the stamens – and it gathers a
ball of pollen – rolls it into a ball, and it’s got very special mouth parts – and
then it goes down to the base of the stigma – and rams it in. And the
astonishing thing is that – the – growing caterpillars only eat 11% of the seeds.
So what does that tell you? – The plant is assured of survival – and so is the moth!
It’s a wonderful example of… [mutually beneficial/obligate symbiosis] Now – one of the other jobs we had to do, was to go to Sumatra, and film the largest flower in the world [Rafflesia arnoldii]. – This area’s gone now, by the way – it’s been all taken over by the horrible industry: Palm Oil. And
they’ve wiped out most of Borneo – and most of Sumatra, now, with palm oil. And I urge
you all — don’t ever buy palm oil! They’re killing the environment, like you can’t
believe… So – I wanted to show you this shot, because – there’s lots of tricks in the film game – I had to be filmed with my hand, on this [flower] by Densey at the time – I took my watch off, and she took the shot… And then they
show David, in the jungle somewhere else in the world, coming and squatting down,
and his hand comes in, and touches this plant! …that’s the tricks of the game! And that’s the flower [Rafflesia] open — it’s about 3 feet in diameter… Sea horses! I had to go and film – and I fell in love with these
little creatures – they are just magic! And they have personalities – each and
every one of them! This is – er – God I’ve forgotten the name of it – – A Green Iguana! And a colleague that worked with me at the Museum had a passion for these, and
he had several sent out to Australia here, so he could study them. And so this
was shot in a suburban backyard at Densey’s place in Sydney. Then we spent the two months in Borneo filming – and suddenly after a big effort we went, and we had to go to some
other country and do a bit of filming – and as we flew out, I looked down, out of the plane – and I saw all this rainforest, gone… and replaced by
palm oil – and I said to Densey “My God – – there’ll be nothing left in a few years-?!”
And I was right! – I think there’s 5% left Things like the Orangutan, you’re trying
to hang on to… Then, another first was – filming the birth
of a marsupial mouse. This is a Kawari… And I was given the task of getting this
on film – and I managed to do it by setting it up on a glass plate, and
filming up – because we were told by a biologist that “Oh, they sit up like
a kangaroo, and the little neonates come out, and they crawl up into the
pouch” …and I thought “This is a bit strange?” Because I’d been talking to another friend of mine and – the lady who wrote a paper on this – or had a student
write a paper describing this like a kangaroo birth – We discovered that it
wasn’t like that at all! — In fact, it cocks its tail up – and these little pink neonates come out – and they go and take a downhill journey into the pouch! And they’re little pink things, the size of a termite! – And it’s just
extraordinary… …there they are. And they’re about three or
four weeks old there. Now the only way I could film that – after being told a
`scientific lie’ as to how they are born – was to set the female up on a glass plate, and
film from underneath. Because she didn’t sit up like a kangaroo! She’s raised her rear up and just on the thing – – so you had no choice… This one’s just about disappeared – I wish I could think of the name of half of these – – as I get grayer – I… Do any of you
have the same experience? [JTV] It’s not Civet, is it Jim? [Dr Jim] No, no – it’s a Clouded Leopard. …And I also had to figure out ways on how to get shots of things underground, and things
like that… And shots of plague Locusts… They wanted to see the eggs coming out,
and of course they put their abdomen down into the ground – and so you have to
figure out how to do it! So – you can’t see it there – but it’s actually got a glass plate in front. Honeypot Ants! – That was another challenge! We had to film Honeypot Ants and nobody had ever seen them underground.
The Aborigines knew a lot about them because they used to dig down, and get
them and eat the honey. An Aphid, giving birth. Butterfly’s egg. Flies eyes. Damselflies – and spiders. Now this is the eyes of the Deinopis I told you about earlier – the netcasting spider – and it has vision like you can’t believe – it sees in almost pitch dark! I’m the victim here – I had to – in order to get my finger in the right place in the vision – and see the thing, sucking my own blood. There it is in much bigger Close-Up… Now, one challenge I had was the Riflebird – an amazing bird… Anyone here familiar with Riflebirds? Or – up in Queensland? – Yeah? We got a couple of hands there… I sat in a Hide for two months, to get this thing mating. I built a Hide, about 50 feet up in a tree – and he would sit on a stump in the rainforest – and the females would fly in – and they were very wary of the Hide, believe it or not – and he got used to us, and so he’d `display’ – and we felt sorry for him, because the females would come in and take fright, and fly off again – and he
would go through his whole display motion, 20 times a day! And, not get his rocks off. So – then we had another huge experience – this is a Crested Hawk – and we were given
a story where we were told that the hawks imitate frogs – the frogs respond,
and then the hawk hones in on them. And that still hasn’t been filmed… Anyway we thought we’d have a go – so we were doing this for the BBC and
David Attenborough at the time – and we noticed something else going on — and this is
peering out of the Hide, at the nest – and this is 90 feet up! Now – there we are, up there – And I tell you what – climbing rope-ladders is damn hard work, it really is!
It’s no good getting three-quarters the way up, and running out of energy, let me
tell you! Now – to give you some idea – that’s one of my tree climbers up the top there. This is another system we used – one that
we could erect in a particular place, in this case it was on a Wedge-tailed Eagle’s
nest – Then I developed all these different skills, that came to the attention of various people – and Dr. Carl Wood – if anyone remembers, he was working
on the In-Vitro Fertilization program. and I was invited to Melbourne to put it
all on film – and that was an extraordinary experience. There are
certain things that still make me quite emotional, which I’ll talk about in a minute… But here I am filming cells under a microscope – and these cells are alive – and
this is human a human cell, and male sperm flying around – and I actually
got a shot of the sperm breaking through the membrane, and fertilizing the cell.
And that is a chance in a million. Here is the development of the cell that I
had to cover. And there I am filming the- in the (IVF) process, they have to implant the fertilized cell into the woman, and so that’s actually Doctor Carl Wood behind
there, looking in – and I remember him saying, because they had to put an extra
trocar in, for me to film inside – and when he looked in his endoscope [seeing my bright camera-light], he said: “Christ – that’s nearly blinding in there – I’ve
never seen so much light-!” and it was just one of those things. Anyway, I had to- I was handed- and this is where I get a little bit emotional – I was handed a Down’s Syndrome baby, taken from the woman and handed to me on a tray, and I had to film it, record it, as if it was part of the main story of human development. And then – because of that – I had to film all sorts of other animals – in this case, this is a
young crocodile. And I always prided myself in the fact that, I could drill a hole in the egg, and put in my endoscope, or the right lens, and film the
activity – and then seal the egg back up again, and put it back in the wild. And I
was very conscious like that, you know? – There it is at a later stage, developing. And now that was the same one you saw, to begin with. Now here’s the man – David and I had quite a lot of discussions about a range of things, and that’s when
I started fiddling with optics – and I was telling David about it – and we trialed a
prototype on him – and this is actually in Dural, in Densey’s back yard. He was visiting there – and had his crew, and I rigged up this strange device – and I told David
about it, and so they decided to do a sequence on it. And – this was the kit of lenses that I built, to film certain things. I had great difficulty getting my lenses on the ground – and in the film game, you have to dig holes in the ground
to get your cameras at a low angle – you have to fight with depth-of-field, and I
did go and consult a CSIRO physicist, I told him, I said, you know: “I want to get more depth-of-field.” And he said to me: “Forget it mate, you can’t.” And he said something about The Inverse-Square Law of Optics… And I went away, and I thought, “Well, what the hell does he know?” And I went away and fiddled, and I found a way, eventually… It took a while, and a lot of patience – but I
got there – and then – See, the top one has a right-angle bend on – I could
sit that on the ground, and it had great depth of field, without digging the camera into the ground. And then, the other lenses did different things…
Basically, all with the deep-focus. And I built these in my own workshop. And I did
pull thousands of lenses to bits to get the individual bits of glass out, and
played around: “No, that’ll work – this one will, – this one won’t…” and I’ve still got a
box of lenses at home like that. And this was one of the first times that I used it on David – and we went up to Queensland and this is the Green Tree Ants, up there. – They bite like the Hell! And David saw the results that I was getting with it, and he planned this whole sequence, just to accommodate the lens,
and this sequence about the Green Tree Ants up there. There’s me, filming the Moloch (Thorny Devil). And this is the sort of deep field that I would get. So this is my finger in the foreground,
and the trees and the house in the b.g. There’s Densey in the background, with a microphone. Densey and I established a company called `Mantis Wildlife Films’ – and this is the team! It gives a whole different perspective
doesn’t it? And it sort of – to me – it really shows, the environment these
things live in… It’s not out of focus in the background, so that you DON’T see where it lives – with these lenses, you see where it lives. And this is just a few examples
of the lens… That one went on the front cover of a
golfing magazine – And, my wife [Helen] sitting in the back there – I’m running up the
driveway, chasing these pair of courting butterflies – and I said “Quick, turn around!”
and she did – and I got another shot which is in the Exhibition… I think – or in
one of the books I’ve got – where she’s facing the camera – and I’ve got another shot with butterflies. Now this is the Panavision Frazier Lens that was built – and this is the lens that got me into big trouble, actually.
Panavision saw what I was doing with lenses, and they contacted me and said
“We’d like to talk to you about these?” and I thought “Well, you know – it’s about time I got a good lawyer!” – and I did – and the lawyer wouldn’t let me go to the States
to see this – he said, “They’ve got to come to Singapore, you’ve got to be on neutral
ground.” And so, I went to Singapore, and, long story short – Panavision was so taken with my optics, that they put their
top optical guy over there on it – and came up with the Panavision Frazier Lens.
Now it looks weird at the top – it actually swivels in all directions, without the camera moving – you can look up, down, sideways, backwards – however you want – However you want to swivel it… And, to boot – behind just there – there’s an image rotator. And so, a Director can walk up and say: “That’s the Dutch (tilt) I want, there.” That’s when you angle your camera – and
he’s done it! A Camera Assistant didn’t have to angle the tripod. …Do we have Sound on this? I’m not sure. [A short sequence from the movie `MOUSE HUNT’ (1997) plays…] I used to have a lot of fun doing some
of these things – and I had the opportunity to do this, only because I
had these lenses – and you saw the deep focus in that, operating quite well – And, a few times in your life, you get shots like this! This is a silhouette of a Sugar Glider against the moon. And – you try and get that shot! You know? This is like – for me – it’s like winning the lottery! This moth – it’s actually – there’s a shot I think Wendy’s got, in the Exhibition – It actually sits on its wing edges, and
that’s the way it sits all day! Hair-tensors on a butterfly. That one’s called `Risky Business’.
[A moth on a frog’s back] Filming an emerging caterpillar… These ones really do stink! [Short sequence of: Caterpillars on railway tracks, with Densey as the railway controller] Sorry about that. [Short sequence of: Caterpillars on tiny Model-Railway tracks, with Densey as the railway controller] [Dr Jim] Yeah – Densey said: “Back to the drawing board – I guess we all go off the rails sometimes!” – which is absolutely true! When we
did that sequence for `Burke’s Backyard’ – They never had so many requests for a repeat, in all the programs that they’d done over the years… And it was the most popular one ever presented. And I actually had fun doing it, but, now, I’ve got to tell you something – these were- the Processionary Caterpillars have what’s known as erticacious hairs. They really itch! And for weeks after, Densey and I scratched and itched — and I would never do that sequence again! And, always asked to get shots for various
magazines and covers, and things like that Now, this one – there’s a little story
attached to this – I shot these [butterflies] mating in midair – and I sent it to United Airlines
with the title “We fly United!” – I never got a reply from them-?! Didn’t they miss the bandwagon? Now I – all the years I spent devising
methodologies, and different ways of doing things… Every shot I ever saw of a
butterfly, was sitting on a flower… I thought, “No – there’s got to be a way to
photograph them in flight?” So like the lenses, I figured out a way to photograph
them in flight. And it does enter a little bit into the realm of special effects – But nevertheless – it’s photographing butterflies in flight. And this is one of the favorites – My wife picked the name for this, and called it “Ministry of Moths”… Now – one little secret I’ll tell you all, you budding photographers – you put them in
the fridge for a little while. And once you cool them down – and don’t DARE put them in the freezer – I’m saying: the fridge. You cool them down, and they become very inactive – and so you can take them out of the container
you have them in, in the fridge – and sit them on the leaf – or wherever you want to sit them – and they’ll just stay there till they warm up and fly off. This is the Horny Goat Moth. Same trick, `in the fridge’ job. This is “Now Show Us YOUR Pink Bits!” This is 2 moths…! The `eyes’ on butterflies and moths always
amaze me… and it’s purely a strategy to get predators thinking that they might
be dangerous. Butterfly scales! When you look at a butterfly, and you rub their wings, and you get these tiny little furry bits on
your finger – are: the scales! And that’s what they look like in close up. Now – the crystals! Painting with crystals. And I wanted to put this shot in – – I didn’t bring it tonight, but all my
Crystal Art is done on glass plates. And if you’re familiar with a very simple
thing like: dissolving sugar in water… and you let the water evaporate – the sugar
crystals re-form… They disperse into the water, but they have to coagulate again,
and come back as a crystal form. And so this is the same. Now I don’t use water I use certain solvents and other things and certain crystal – crystals that
perform fairly well in the solvent and so the solvent dries out fairly
quickly – it’s more volatile than water is, and so the crystals start to form quite
rapidly… Along the way, you can fiddle with it – and you can do all sorts of
things to manipulate the crystals and you work hand-in-hand with them – so you
get them to develop in the way you want to do it. Now there’s a million different
ways you can mix the crystals up with different amounts of solvent, and a drop
of this might change it radically – and a different solvent might produce an
entirely different result – so there is no end to the variety of crystals that you
can form. But it’s basically all done with a lot of meticulous work, and they’re at a very small scale. Now this is called `The Mandrill’ – and they always start at a certain point of growing and branch out from that. And
they have a lot of symmetry when they do that. This one I call `Atom and Eve’. Now the crystals actually start at this point – – and then grow outwards – and you can
stimulate that point of growth – You stimulate that point of growth by
touching it, with a little wooden skewer – and what the wooden skewer does, is take
that last little bit of volatility out of the the mix – and the crystal will actually be stimulated to grow there – Now I like this one, because it’s got `eyebrows’! But it started growing at that point – and as it grows it expands, and creates the
sort of shapes that you get… And again – this is touching with a wooden skewer – to get these star-like effects. And it is painstaking, and when you’re looking at a tiny little area like this! Now what I did- What I normally do, is I’ll just go back a couple – to get a
landscape-type effect – I do a brushstroke and the brush – like the wooden skewer – starts the crystallization process at a certain stage – and you let the foreground grow up taller than the background – and that puts perspective, and – like a landscape – “distance” into the picture. This one – similarly – but I’ve put a drop of alcohol, like methylated spirits on there – and it’s dispersed – and
created that hole – when the alcohol dried out, there were still remnants of the original formula, that was pushed aside… Now, Coloring… As they’re silver-white
in color, the crystals will only pick up light, at
90 degrees to the angle of the light source. And so I put the glass plates
that they’re on, on a special machine I have, and back-lighting them, I have about
six or seven lights. And on those lights I can change – and I have literally hundreds and hundreds of different filters – in different colors – which used
to be common in the film game, and I had a huge collection of them. So I can mix
and match any color – and get any color combination into the finished
crystalline form that I wanted. And so I can tell you here, now – because of this – only picking up light at 90 degrees to the angle – I’ve got a yellow filter, here… I’ve got a
purple filter here – (whoops, I did it again!) Here we go..! …I think it’s time for a 2-minute break – and I’ll get us down to where we were. And start thinking up the Questions you’re going to ask me! [screechy door opening] [screechy door sound] [screechy door sound] [Dr Jim] What’s your last name, Laura? Ticket Number 22 – by Laura Fellows – and I’ve gotta sign it [the Butterfly book] for her – I promise! Do not dare leave, till I put my signature to it! [Dr JIm] …And I can shift those lights around, to get the exact effect that I need. Now this one, is one of my favorites – I call it `The Walrus’. And believe it or not, there’s male – and female… Aren’t they
delightful creatures? And I see them as creatures – you know, I’m drawn into this
world… – This is my Crystal Art – it is fascinating! The Sydney Opera House… – and I did this, with the title: `Setting The Night On Fire At The Opera House’. Now this particular one – there’s – you’ll see one up there Hillary Clinton has a copy of this. And when I sent it to her, I wrote on it – she was going up for elections, and I put on it: “Hillary, I hope this shows you the way through!” (…She lost!) There is just no end, to the variety that you can get with this system… And in Sydney – an office had some rather big prints of some of these. This is called “Crystal Dancer”. – and the crystals were filmed in time-lapse, here… So that was a `trial film’ – we just wanted
to play around with our knowledge of Special Effects, and my knowledge of the
Crystal Art – and Jamie Robertson (Director) came up with the idea that we do `Crystal Dancer’.
And entirely, a five-minute Experimental film, that we shot at Film Australia – and it won quite a few awards, actually. Now – the title of this, is: “Listen –
The Earth Is Crying”. – and the `Butterfly’ book, that is down there
is there, for a good reason… Because I wrote it, to raise funding for a
massive big film I want to do, to change the conscious thinking on this planet. I
said earlier: The politicians worldwide are killing this planet.
It’s far deeper than that. Traveling for Attenborough, across the globe – filming
wildlife, and going to all the different countries… I’ve seen the devastation
happening – at the environmental level, that distresses me greatly – and it
disturbs me – extraordinarily – for future generations, and what they are inheriting
from our generation. And, at the end of the day – for most big companies on this
earth – it’s all about the money. They’re like politicians – they don’t give
a damn about the environment – so long as their bank-balance is healthy! So, I actually
did this shot, for another wonderful lady of mine – who died a few years ago, called
Mary E. White. And she believed in the Gaia Theory (see: James Lovelock) – and I told her about my concept of `Symphony Of The Earth’… And ever since talking to her about that – I sat down, and I strategized a way: How we could get out of the mess
that Humanity’s in. …And – there is a way… And I have spent years now,
strategizing a way… I’m currently looking for AUD$38 million dollars, to do a feature
film – of proportions, and so different from, any other film that’s ever been
made, in the world. To try and assist future generations, to have some reasonable existence on this planet… [Dr Jim Frazier] My knowledge of the film industry led me to believe that: If you really want to put bums on seats in the theater,
you use the most popular people in the world – who are: Celebrities – Singers – and
Musicians of the world – the highest-profile ones. So I’ve got plans to put Oprah Winfrey in there – and people of that caliber. And when you amass all
these people – in one `Big-Bang’ Show – it will put bums on seats – on a level like
never before. Now I’m planning to do something else – I’m always a left-field thinker – and having traveled the world, also – I’ve heard
animal sounds out there, that sound like every instrument you’ve ever heard
in the Symphony Orchestra. It’s out there in the wild! I plan to send 35 to 40 of the world’s best wildlife cameramen out there, to film animals making sounds. It
has to be visual – I will give it to my head musicians, to compose all that
music into: music that we understand – but it will be all: animal music! I’ve been in Borneo, where I’ve heard a Cicada, like you can’t believe, that sounds just like
a trumpet… In fact, over there, they call it: the Trumpeting Cicada! …I’ve got Jane Rutter interested to do the Pied Butcherbird… Are you familiar with the call of the Pied Butcherbird? And, how flute-like it is? Well, I’ll be sending another cameraman
around Australia – filming all the regional calls… What that does is, it puts enough material in front of someone like Jane Rutter, and my head musician, to
piece it all together. So she can do the counter-melody, and another flautist to do the second counter-melody – along with the vision of: the bird, delivering
all this music. And so – being a left-field thinker really pays off sometimes! – Because I have to strategize a way through `The Maze of
Conventional Filmmaking’ – and the way that we’re subjected to a very `standard’
approach… I’m keeping pretty close to my chest, a lot of the secrets that will be
revealed in this – but basically, Morgan Freeman will be delivering the main
message in the film, along with Joanna Lumley – and so, people of this caliber,
right through the film! And – animals, right through the film. I’ll be starting from: Outer space – and coming in with an astronaut, and you will see behind the
astronaut… Our planet…! And he’s saying: “Notice there’s only one planet here? Don’t you think we should take good care of this one?” And the movie starts… And so, the message is in it, within the lyrics of song… I’m after $38 million to do this. And, that’s cheap! About: Saving the world.
It is very cheap. And, if you want to help – you can buy one of my Butterfly books [`Butterflies On My Mind’] – because I wrote that to help raise funding for this film project. And I hope that you get great pleasure out of it. And don’t forget to bring it up, and I’ll
sign it! – I’ll sign it for anyone – My own grandchildren drove me to this point, and when I see kids about, today – little children, I really fear for their future…
We’re killing this Earth… We’ve already lost 53% of all plants and animals
off this Earth. And we’re killing all the environmental systems… Fukushima is
spewing copious amounts of radioactive stuff into the sea. Now I’m greatly
disturbed by that, because it’s killing the Phytoplankton – and the phytoplankton
is the very basis of the whole food chain! And then, at the other end, you’ve
got the shark-fin industry…! We’re killing the sea-creatures – creatures in the sea, from the top to the bottom of the food chain. We all should be worried about that… We
should have grave concern. Deforestation worldwide is another massive thing
that’s happening on a scale – and you will not get this on mainstream media! We’re
all dumbed-down by the system! The real truth is not being told to the people in
the masses… And that’s what I intend to do. …Here Endeth The Lesson. – Thank you all. I’m quite willing to take questions, if anyone has any queries? …Yes? Q: How did David Attenborough find you? We had a few nosh-ups of red wine… I found out he liked red wine, too – and we had a few joke sessions – and he liked my sense of
humor, so we got on quite well. Densey was a bit disgusted with the way that we did
get on, actually – she was a very reserved lady. Q: When you’re doing your Crystal Painting – what is your percentage of works you keep? [Jim] You do a lot, that you throw away. It’s like taking a lot of photographs, that you turf out! Q: Is it that high a percentage, that you go “Oh, it’s crap!” – Yeah. Well, it’s so painstaking… You know – I can sit there for hours… I
didn’t tell you – but I used to get to work in the morning to my studio, and
suddenly I became engrossed in this, when it started – suddenly it’s 11 o’clock at
night, and I hadn’t had a cup of tea – – lunch – afternoon tea – and it’s time to
go home! [NB – see: `Flow’ Theory] I was totally sucked in by this thing.
And, I saw the potential – and all I wanted to do was to explore, and explore, and
explore… Which I did! …Yes. …No? – Yes? [Q] Jim, I saw on your `Symphony Of The Earth’ webpage – there’s some other videos, and one of them was – I think, another film, that parts of `Crystal
Dancer’ were in? – Which is: `Sounds Like Australia’ (1987)… – Were they done at the same time, those films? [Jim] They were, actually. Yes. I’ve been involved in so many films all
over the world, I’ve lost track. Literally. And I’m facing the dilemma at
the moment – I’ve got a half a shed full of tapes and film, that I also want to get to the Archives – because I know we’ve got footage of animals that have
already disappeared off this Earth. And that footage is valuable. Okay!

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