In the 20th Century forests of fast-growing exotic pines were established in the North Island, making one of the world’s largest timber plantations. This short explores timber work in Kinleith and Kawerau: from planting to felling to finished product. Directed by NFU veteran Hugh Macdonald, Logger Rhythms is notable as the first Kiwi film to record sound using Dolby Stereo. Sound men Kit Rolling and Tony Johnson’s efforts capturing chainsaw and machine ambience, along with Steve Robinson’s score, compelled Dolby in London to use the film as a demonstration reel.
The technique devised by Kit and his assistant Tony Johnson (later a double Oscar-nominated sound mixer for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Avatar) required considerable ingenuity in the microphone placement of each set-up to get the depth and separation of sound necessary into the location stereo recordings. Back in Wellington in the music studio a similar wide-separation recording technique was used for recording Steve Robinson’s score.– Director Hugh Macdonald, on his website hughmacfilm.co.nz