This clip shows the Higgins family at Mount Wellington, Hobart, in 1909. It includes scenes of the group enjoying a picnic spread on a hillside, four men making a pot of billy tea, and some of the Higgins children playing ball games in a clearing.
The four shots in this clip are all deliberately framed and shot with an eye for detail and movement. They are some of the earliest examples of home movie footage held at the National Film and Sound Archive. Home movie making was rare in the early 20th century in Australia and, as a hobby, was relatively expensive. Higgins’ interest in the moving image was sparked early on in his life and, after working as a bioscope operator in Hobart, he bought his own 35mm camera equipment, with which he filmed this home movie.
Eighteen-year-old Arthur Higgins may be on the far left of the group standing around the campfire. Arthur, along with Ernest’s third brother Tasman, went on to become a cinematographer. He was the cinematographer on many features including Raymond Longford’s The Sentimental Bloke (1919) and On Our Selection (1920).