Seven decades after he began shooting films, Ted Coubray got his close-up in Mouth Wide Open. The documentary emerged shortly after his death in late 1997. It captured the hive of filmmaking activity that was 1920s Aotearoa — and Coubray's role as a pioneering cameraman, who even directed his own movie (horse racing hit Carbine's Heritage). The arrival of synchronised sound upped film budgets considerably; Coubray was one of the first in Australasia to create his own sound camera. In this opening sequence, he demonstrates one of his many camera-related inventions.
"...mouth wide open, struck with stupor, surprised beyond expression..."– Reaction of French film pioneer George Méliès to the very first public screening of motion pictures, in December 1895
World premiere on 27 July 1998 at Wellington's National Library, as part of the 1998 NZ International Film Festival
Made in association with the New Zealand Film Archive (now Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision)
Features music by Ana Hato, Henare Tahiwi, Rosina Buckman, Alfred Hill and Gil Dech