Mr Sariman Salleh on a cherry picker. The photo was taken by photographer Eng of the Ministry of Culture

Almost all TV stations will have two groups of camera people. One is the Electronic Field Production (EFP) crew and it used multiple cameras to cover live telecasts of major events. The other is the Electronic News Gathering (ENG) crew that operates individually to cover news and documentaries.

Mr Salleh was on top of the wooden platform with James Fu, reporter and Teng Hock Chuan, camera assistant.

I belonged to the latter and on this National Day (we were using film then) the entire crew of about 8 cameramen were excited because for the first time we will be filming the Parade in colour. However before setting out the weather looked gloomy and the producer instructed us thus. If it did not rain we shoot on colour film, if it rained shoot on black & white. So we brought along two types of film stock.

The camera crew before dispersing to their designated camera positions around the Padang. Mr Salleh is on the far right.

It rained and all of the cameramen used the black and white film stock. But soon after the heavy downpour the sky began to clear and the sun rays lighted up the Padang. The producer was with me opposite the City Hall steps and he wanted us to switch our film stock to colour. We had no walkie-talkies and someone was sent to inform all the crews stationed around the Padang. Because of the rain some crews moved away from their designated positions and could not be found. So with less than half of the crews contactable, we decided to continue shooting in black & white.

Producer K. O. Tan who was good at handling the cine camera, shot some footage himself.

I carried my still camera but did not take a single picture. I was preoccupied with keeping my cine camera dry. The accompanying photos were taken in later years.

Photo Credits: Sariman Salleh

Mr Sariman Salleh’s story first appeared here on the Singapore Memory Project portal. Rekindle your memories of the National Day Parade and visit our special feature on National Day!

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