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Commonwealth Film Laboratories (c.1928)


This fragment from a silent documentary shows the processing of a reel of film at the Commonwealth Film Laboratories in Sydney. A film crew goes out to shoot a story and returns to the film laboratory where the film is processed.

Curator’s notes

This surviving six minutes of film contains a detailed sequence of what happens to film in the processing labs at the well-known production company Commonwealth Film Laboratories. The film uses only a few intertitles, leaving some of the technical scenes difficult to grasp for anyone not familiar with the processes involved in developing and printing film. While the film’s provenance is unclear, it could well have been a promotional film made by the Commonwealth Film Laboratories to advertise their services. The company began operating in Sydney in 1925 under the direction of Jack Bruce and operated until the mid 1950s.