Ernest Jardine Thwaites

The first Australian filmmaker

An engineer and inventor based in Melbourne, Thwaites constructed a movie camera in 1897 and with the assistance of Robert William Harvie started taking and processing films of local scenes from around March 1897 onwards. Finding a commercial outlet in the Melbourne Opera House, Thwaites and Harvie particularly specialised in speedy news reporting, notably the screening on the evening of the event of horse races such as the Caulfield Cup, VRC Derby and Melbourne Cup of 1897. Thwaites continued filming sports events in 1898, including cricket and Australian Rules football, and devised a flip-book with scenes printed from his films, but left film production in mid-1898 for the marketing of Edison Phonographs.

Chris Long / Luke McKernan