Riding along with Colin Ross

Colin Ross singles out the impression of immediacy as his priority in working with film sound for the first time.

“I want to give audiences the immediate impression of travelling alongside me and my family”, Ross explains one month before the premiere of Achtung Australien! Achtung Asien! (1930) in the prominent film periodical Film-Kurier. “That is why you will see and hear me only while on my way in a car or on an engine-operated schooner.” While that is not quite what the film showed (no Ross talking in a car or on a boat), his two appearances as a lecturer position him somewhere between the here-and-now of the studio, where he addresses us directly, and the here-and-then of the trip. In the prologue, Ross appears in trenchcoat and ranger hat as if he is about to board ship. His second studio shot is staged in a way that suggests that it takes place within the diegesis of the trip, wearing the same outfit as in the shots in north Australia while standing against a fake bright-sky backdrop. That seems adequate to a filmmaker who aims, in the words of the writer of the Film-Kurier article, “for the immediacy of impact in his report, which is supposed to come across as reporting on site.”

Joachim Schätz

Anonymous. Colin Roß arbeitet seinen ersten Kultur-Tonfilm. Film-Kurier: 1930 Oct 17; 246.

Topic: Profession: reporter
Case: Oceania-Asia trip 1928-30

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