Robert W Forster : My Career.

After finishing a course as a Ships Radio Operator at Marconi School of Wireless the War had ended and I got a job repairing Radios. In 1951 with some friends I decided to visit the U.K. to see the "Festival of Britain" where I saw my first Television.

My first job in TV was in Cambridge at the PYE receiver factory testing TV sets. After a few months I went to London doing a similar job. Late in 1951 I was employed by the BBC. firstly at Lime Grove Studios and then in 1952 at Alexandra Palace. At Alexandra Palace I was employed in Central Telecine with the EMI and Cintel Telecine machines and the Mechau / Emitron Studio Telecine operation. Late in 1952 I went to work at Cintel factory working on the Large Screen Cinema TV Projectors .

I returned to Australia in 1953 and for a short time I was employed at the PYE Radio Communication factory and from there I went to the ABC as a console operator. In 1955 and 1956 I was transferred to the ABC TV Training Studio in Sydney where I set up and operated the Marconi image orthicon camera CCU. Several interesting features at this time included the all night task of rewiring of the Marconi CCU goose neck with Fred Kenyon which had been wired with Fibre Glass covered cable which cracked and broke producing strange faults. Marconi,s had not supplied a Vision switcher so I copied part of the Marconi CCU Sync mixer circuit and with non composite vision signals from each camera fed into the grids of a twin triode it was possible to cross fade between each camera signal and then mix the sync pulses into another twin triode. At this time the Broadcasting Control Board was conducting practical exams for the TVOCP at the ABC training studio and I found myself lining up the cameras and then stepping outside while the examiners mal adjusted the CCU and I then returned to do my practical exam for my TVOCP .

Later in 1956 I returned to Melbourne and assisted John Poll in the testing of the PYE .OB van for the Olympic Games. For several years I was in Operations as a Technical Producer and Lighting Director on many O.B.s and studio productions. In 1962 I spent a year at the BBC, employed at the White City TV Centre and the Shepherds Bush Theatre. In 1963 I returned to Melbourne and once again as a Technical Producer and Lighting Director on productions such as Bellbird, Power Without Glory, and Countdown which were produced in colour. Of the 13 Episodes of Power Without Glory one was shot on film, the other 12 were 80% studio TV cameras and 20% Film and to achieve a close match between film and video cameras I used a Colour Corrector. The other production of note was Countdown. Paul Cleveland, the set designer had made the flats in the background with white motifs with silver milar paterns which enabled me to project one coloured light on the white areas and by reflecting another colour from the opposite side of the studio. This made it possible to flash two different colours on each item of the program.

Bob Forster joined the ABC in Melbourne in 1953 as a radio operator. He transferred to ABC-TV in 1955. He worked in Sydney from 1955 and 1956. He moved to Melbourne at the end of 1956. From 1956 till 1979 he worked in ABV-2. In 1979 he went to the Aust Film & TV School as a lecturer from where he later retired.




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