HALES, Geoffrey (Australian, 1948- )
[CINEMA] On the set of “On the Beach”, Frankston, Melbourne, January, 1959
Digital print on Epson archival matte paper, format Super A3 480 x 330 mm, scanned from the original print, signed and captioned in lower margin by the photographer, Geoffrey Hales.
When Hollywood came to Frankston …
This rhythmic shot records a scene from one of the most celebrated events in the folklore of post-war Melbourne, the location shoot on Frankston Beach for the Hollywood film On the Beach. The photograph was taken on a swelteringly hot day in January, 1959, by 10 year old Geoffrey Hales. Hales’ family neighbour, renowned photographer Gordon DeLisle, had presented him with a Box Brownie camera that morning. DeLisle was employed as the stills photographer for On the Beach, and took the aspiring young photographer with him to Frankston Beach in the afternoon to watch the filming. In the foreground of the shot is the film’s director, Stanley Kramer; Anthony Perkins is seated at upper right; and in the foreground at lower right, partially obscured under the umbrella, is the Australian actress Mary Holmes. It was the film’s capricious star, Ava Gardner, who is purported to have made the sardonic remark that Melbourne was ‘the perfect place to make a film about the end of the world’, although this line is now generally recognised as having been concocted by the journalist Neil Jillett.
Melbourne-born Geoffrey Hales is a musician, composer, artist and photographer. An archive of digital prints of his photographs of the Australian Ballet taken during 1967-68 – a period many regard as a golden age of Australian ballet – are held in the collection of the Arts Centre Melbourne, Performing Arts Collection. His work from this period also featured in the Arts Centre Melbourne and Australian Ballet’s touring exhibition Time in Motion : 50 years of the Australian Ballet, which was exhibited at the State Library of New South Wales, 10 Nov 2012 – 10 Feb 2013 (see: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2012/timeinmotion/items/image04.html ).