In the summer of 1951–52 Pacific Pictures shot Broken barrier (the first feature to be filmed in New Zealand since 1940). Shown here on location on the Māhia Peninsula are camera operator Roger Mirams (standing, second from left) and director John O’Shea (standing right). Those seated are (from left) Māori adviser Wiremu Parker and actors Lily Te Nahu, Kay Ngarimu and Terence Bayler. Money was tight, and the production relied on borrowed money and two silent cameras. The lack of funds forced the film-makers to use experimental methods – ‘spoken thoughts’ rather than sound. The director, John O’Shea, had a strong influence on Wellington’s small film scene. Passionate about film-making, he mentored many younger film-makers, led the local film society and would play an important role in persuading the government to set up the New Zealand Film Commission in the 1970s.
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New Zealand Film Archive Ngā Kaitiaki O Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua, Stills Collection
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Courtesy of Pacific Films