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Images bring back the ‘70s

Andrew Rowan reeled in great local films in response to his appeal for locally made movies and projectors.
Andrew Rowan reeled in great local films in response to his appeal for locally made movies and projectors. Scottie Simmonds

IMAGES of the Bundaberg of more than 30 years ago have been pouring in to former filmmaker Andrew Rowan after he started an ambitious project to collect old movies.

Mr Rowan was a member of a group called the Bundaberg Film Makers that was formed in 1972 to make movies, mostly short films up to about 20 minutes long, around the district.

Some of the films were shot in colour, some were silent and some had sound.

Recently Mr Rowan started a project to collect as many of the old films as he could, restore them as much as possible and record them permanently on DVD.

But one of the barriers he faced was the lack of equipment that could play the old movies, and he launched a plea for anyone who had old Super 8 movie projectors he could use, as well as more of the old films that could be preserved.

Mr Rowan said the response to his appeal had been good.

“I've been contacting as many people as possible, and I've got a heap of old films,” he said.

“One fascinating film is of the 1975 Anzac day service, and I recognised a lot of people who have passed on.”

Mr Rowan said it was very nostalgic looking at the old films and seeing how Bundaberg looked back then.

He said he had been given three Super 8 projectors, but he had only been able to restore one to working order.

“That one was almost new. It even had a manual with it and some spare spools,” he said.

“I just had to clean it up and put in a new bulb.”

Mr Rowan said some of the films he had been given were not in good enough condition to restore.

“I've probably got about 12 films in all at this point,” he said.

Mr Rowan said the soundtracks of some films could present problems because they were on magnetic strips that were starting to come unstuck from the film.

He said people had been keeping the old films and equipment in attics and shed for the past 30 years.

“A lot of the film was shot in Alexandra Park, and when you see it how it was then and how it looks now it's really interesting,” he said.

“If we can get these on DVD and cut out some bad editing it would be great.”



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