Guide to David Bradbury's "Frontline", Vietnam 1962 - 1972




Bradbury donated archival footage as part of the 1977 Australian War Memorial research grant for his Vietnam documentary film that eventually became Frontline. Frontline was filmed in 1978. Bradbury's initial theme of Australian correspondents who covered the Vietnam War is difficult to realise as Australian journalists were not in Vietnam for any continuous length of time. But from these preliminary interviews Bradbury captures some rare footage of Australian correspondents reflecting on the media coverage of the war, and catalyse a change in the direction of the film. The focus of Frontline shifts as Bradbury, acting on suggestions from other Australian correspondents, finds a natural subject matter in Australian Neil Davis, whom he meets that year while on leave in Sydney. Davis, a cameraman for Visnews, an international news agency, in his 11th year covering the war had more exposure to combat than any soldier. Interviews of Bradbury for Frontline were shot in 1979 in Bangkok as Bradbury and Davis were denied visas to enter Hanoi. In between Davis's assignments filming action of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia from the Thai border. Billed as "an eyewitness account of the Vietnam War"Frontline features Davis's Visnews footage.

Series 1: Frontline,1979 - This final version of the film Frontline was released by David Bradbury in 1980; Series 2: Out-takes of interviews with Neil Davis, 1979 - Forty-one out-takes of interviews with Neil Davis from footage filmed for Frontline.;Series 3: Visnews footage filmed by Neil Davis, 1964-1974 - Thirty seven Visnews film items shot by Neil Davis.;Series 4: Out-takes of interviews with Australian correspondents, 1978 - Twenty-eight interviews with correspondents other than Neil Davis including: Tim Bowden, journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), South East Asia 1965-67; Mike Carlton, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1966-67 and 1970; Anthony Ferguson, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1964-69; Cynthia Ferguson, wife of ABC journalist Anthony Ferguson, South Vietnam 1964-1969; Noel Bennell, journalist for Channel 10, South Vietnam 1972; Phillip Koch, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1967; Brian Peck, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1968-70; Kim Simmons, wife of ABC journalist Donald Simmons, South Vietnam 1960-66; Donald Simmons, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1960-66; Jim Revitt, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1966-67; Gerald Stone, journalist for News Limited, South Vietnam 1965 and the ABC, South Vietnam 1970; Mike Willesee, journalist for the Daily News, Macquarie Broadcasters, South Vietnam 1967 and the ABC, South Vietnam 1969 and 1970; Graham McInerney, photographer for the Adelaide Advertiser, South Vietnam 1968-69; Dennis Warner, journalist for the Herald & Weekly Times, South Vietnam 1964-72 and John Fairfax & Sons Ltd, South Vietnam 1966-68; Pat Burgess, journalist for John Fairfax & Sons Ltd, South Vietnam 1965, 1966 and 1967-68; Peter Leyden, cameraman for News Limited, South Vietnam 1969; Robert Greenwood, cameraman for the American National Broadcasting Company Inc (NBC), South Vietnam 1966; Ian Mackay, journalist for the Independent Television News (ITN) and the ABC, South Vietnam 1965-66; Alan Hogan, journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam 1975; Don McLeod, cameraman for Columbia Broadcasting Commission (CBS), South Vietnam 1975; Brian Taylor, cameraman/correspondent for the ITN and the ABC, South Vietnam 1965-66; Les Profitt, cameraman for the ABC, South Vietnam 1965; Darrell Ford, photographer Australian Army Intelligence Corps Headquarters Australian Force, South Vietnam 1966; Trevor Murrell, editor for the ABC, South Vietnam 1962-72; Les Wasley, cameraman for the ABC, South Vietnam 1975; Bill Pinwell, a journalist for the ABC, South Vietnam and Cambodia 1967-71.; Series 5: Out-takes of interviews with Neil Davis, 1978 - Fourteen out-takes of interviews with Neil Davis In the eye of a storm footage shot by David Bradbury.; Series 6: Sound items, 1964-1974 - Thirty-eight items, two of which relate to Neil Davis and 32 of which relate to other correspondents, plus one recording of sound effects and three recordings of Lyndon Johnston.; Series 7: Related documentation, 1964-1974 - David Bradbury's research and list of questions for Davis and other interviewees; content listing for various cuts of the film; negative report sheets listing camera rolls; transcripts of interviews; dubbing charts; two original posters for Frontline; Frontline editing worksheets; storyboards, sheet music played during credits. Neil Davis's personal notes and letters to David Bradbury; letters from other war correspondents to David Bradbury; selected Visnews dope sheets; collection of press clippings on Frontline. ABC Radio Guide; 12 black-and-white photographs of Australian war correspondents; transcript of Tim Bowden's interview with Neil Davis.

Born in Sydney in 1951. Bradbury attended Australian National University in Canberra from 1970 to 1972 and worked part-time and during summers at the Canberra Times, the Canberra Courier and the ABC before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in political science and history. Following a stint working as a journalist at Radio 2GO in Gosford, NSW, Bradbury joined the ABC in Sydney in 1973 as a radio and television news journalist. In 1974 he took up a Rotary Graduate Fellowship studying broadcast journalism towards a Masters in Journalism at West Virginia University, USA and developed the initial Frontline concept for his thesis. In 1975 the Fellowship culminated in a two-month summer school course in Rome where Bradbury received instruction from veteran foreign correspondents from three US networks. By the time the filming of Frontline began in 1979, Bradbury's experience gained from working as a freelance journalist in Europe included coverage of the Spring Revolution in Portugal, the overthrow of the Greek military junta and the last days of the Shah's regime in Iran. For six months he worked in Tehran for the National Iranian Radio and Television before returning to Australia. In 1977 he went to Papua New Guinea to capture the first-ever interviews with the Free Papua Movement guerrillas in their struggle against the Indonesians. Bradbury's oeuvre of widely-acclaimed documentaries includes: Public Enemy Number One (1981); Nicaragua - No Pasaran (1982), recipient of a special certificate of High Merit at the 1985 Academy Awards; Chile: Hasta Cuando? (1986); State of Shock (1988), which focuses on the consequences of cultural ostracism of Aboriginal Australians; and The Battle For Byron (1996), a film about the community fight for the preservation of Byron Bay, a popular holiday location on the eastern-most point of Australia.prolific documentary film-maker, Bradbury continues to make powerful messages through his use of the film medium.

Contact Senior Curator, Film and Sound, Australian War Memorial.

Open - Contact Senior Curator, Film and Sound, Australian War Memorial.

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Cambodia; Photographers; Southeast Asia; Vietnam 1962 1972; War correspondents

David Bradbury

Coverage Spatial

Southeast Asia; Cambodia; Vietnam

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:43

2011-06-08 12:32