- 15 Feb 1936 – 26 March 2022
Dick Collingridge, a long-time member of AMOHG died on Saturday 26 March. Dick was a film and video producer-director, along with an advisor on and the designer and maker of specialized audiovisual equipment. The son of Australian silent era actor Gordon Collingridge and his wife Sheila (nee Noonan), Dick worked from the 1950s with Associated Rediffusion (UK), the then Australian Broadcasting Commission, Cinesound Productions, Pyrox Pty Ltd, Sixteen Millimetre (Aust) Pty Ltd, Australia’s federal Department of the Media (1974-1975), and Film Australia (1975-1988).
From 1988 Dick’s work embraced corporate, sponsored and training films and videos. He recorded and/or transmitted a wide range of events, from music and dance concerts and sport, through to innovative presentations at Expo 88, and the multiple screens around Sydney CBD that enabled people to watch the 2000 Olympics in public spaces. Dick was a long-term member of the Australian Media Oral History Group, and NFSA holds an oral history with him recorded in 2015.
I first met Dick in the mid-1970s as a fellow subscriber of Sydney Film Festival. I was aware that it was through Dick that a sole surviving nitrate print of the 1927 Australian feature film in which his father had starred, The Romance of Runnibede, had been donated to the NFSA’s predecessor, the National Film Archive of the National Library of Australia. I also knew that Dick held a scrapbook of clippings relating to his father’s films and an impressive number of letters which Gordon had received from film fans. In 1977, Dick arranged for me to interview his mother Sheila, who had grown up with Paulette, Isabel and Phyllis McDonagh, producers of feature films in Sydney in the late 1920s and early 1930s. In 2015, when I interviewed Dick for the NFSA, he insisted the interview be recorded on video, and he made his own equipment available for the recording. What emerged from the interview was a man with a lifelong interest in the audiovisual industry, its people, and its technologies. For many of his industry colleagues, Dick was to remain a can-do technical person, an innovator, and a Mr Fix-It. He also mentored technicians as well as producers and director-writers.
Documentary filmmaker, Film Australia veteran and AMOHG member Rod Freedman has commented for the Film Australia – Former Workers Facebook page tribute to Dick: “I worked with Dick on a few corporate productions post Film Australia. He’d show up with a van full of an amazing assortment of gear and cables and somehow assemble them in a short time to set up a mobile multicam switching and recording studio. Ever energetic and positive and full of great stories. Thanks to Dick and his wife Louise for hosting the Film Australia reunions over the years.”