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And the cover was in Carbro Colour. That was the attraction on the stands – when every other magazine was using pastels and off-colour inks, Silver Screen always had a bold splash on the front.
It was no easy task – the three-colour carbro process needed a very large camera and the subject had to remain perfectly still. The darkroom workers hated it as it needed three times the amount of work for one image, and the least movement between exposures made a mess of the image. Most of the carbro work was still-life advertising or art shots. But if you had a support for the live subject and they could hold still, you could get a fabulous cover picture.
The regular promo and publicity shots were taken on a standard camera. The lighting was he secret to the success of the thing – Uncle Dick had tried every form of artificial lighting in the Little Studio for years and had perfected the art of the still life. But movie starlets are never still for very long – particularly if they are dancers. So a new system of lighting was needed.
The other studios had settled on the Mole-Richardson spots for their lighting – or on the Elmaco flood. The very cheap studios still used Kliegs and their actors and actresses suffered sore eyes from them. Uncle Dick ( real name Richard Stein ) introduced the Bunnings light to the Little Studio – and the period portrait and publicity pictures improved 1000%. The new lights meant that there was just enough movement in some images – and just enough softness – to make very subject look good.
And the Bunnings lights were cool – not like the boiling hot Kliegs – and quiet, unlike the banging and popping of the flashes. Did the lights make the starlets look glamorous? Well, judge for yourselves…