• Short Summary

    Out there is the river -- the waterway which is the highway from the hill forests of Burma.

  • Description

    1.
    LA pan over river flats - forest background
    5 1/2 ft

    2.
    GVLS forest
    8 1/2 ft

    3.
    Closer shot of forest
    12 1/2 ft

    4.
    Two natives with oxes leave forest (14) - two forestry experts
    18 ft

    5.
    They approach big tree - start measuring (24)
    26 ft

    6.
    LA tree
    27 1/2 ft

    7.
    CU forestry-man takes data from bare patch on tree and writes (29 1/2) in book
    31 ft

    8.
    Signals to natives who start hacking (32 1/2)
    35 1/2

    9.
    Closer shot - axe hitting tree
    37 1/2 ft

    10.
    Two other natives hacking at another tree
    39 1/2 ft

    11.
    Closer shot one hacking - sharpens axe (43 1/2)
    45 ft

    12.
    Closer shot sharpens axe
    47 ft

    13.
    Close-up - sharpens axe on stone
    48 1/2 ft

    14.
    Two natives (previous ones) now sawing near base with cross-cut
    51 ft

    15.
    LA tree starts to fall (54 actually hits)
    55 ft

    16.
    MS two natives work with mechanical saw
    57 ft

    17.
    Closer shot ditto
    60 ft

    18.
    Closer shot - blade bites in
    62 ft

    19.
    Elephant from jungle (66) see log
    67 1/2 ft

    20.
    Three elephants on steep hill - dragging
    72 ft

    21.
    CU elephant pushes log downhill with trunk - stops (77 1/2) - straight down
    78 1/2 ft

    22.
    Another pushes log with tusk and trunk - slides - then rolls (80 1/2) - stops near shot's end
    83 1/2

    23.
    CU mahout (LA) riding elephant
    85 1/2 ft

    24.
    RV/MS pushes log (87 1/2) - legs bent
    91 1/2 ft

    25.
    Three elephants - one pushes - rolls roughly down
    95 ft

    26.
    RV another pushes - expanse of logs in b/g downhill
    101 ft

    27.
    FV same log towards down - disappears 106 - native on elephant who sorts them
    107 1/2 ft

    28.
    CU mahout rides past - chairs on saddle
    109 ft

    29.
    Another mahout towards - chairs on saddle
    111 ft

    30.
    Two elephants (mahouts aboard) pushing huge log in unison -- urges them with feet
    118 ft

    31.
    CU mahout urging elephant on
    119 ft

    32.
    HA two elephants push log
    122 1/2 ft

    33.
    Expanse of logs - two elephants drag one f/g
    127 ft

    34.
    Tractor pulling three logs
    129 1/2 ft

    35.
    Log Lifted mechanically - at same time transporter, already loaded, backs under it
    135 ft

    36.
    CU pile of logs on ground - tractor b/g - logs roll from transporter (near river's edge) all fall (138 1/2)
    140 1/2 ft

    37.
    CU log floating in river
    142 1/2 ft

    38.
    Similar shot
    145 1/2 ft

    39.
    Three natives on log pole towards main logs - jump aboard (148)
    149 ft

    40.
    MCU natives lash logs together in raft
    153 1/2 ft

    41.
    CU knots tied - vine
    157 ft

    42.
    LS rafts - huts on them
    159 ft

    43.
    Pan over expanse of logs - four natives walking on them
    163 1/2 ft

    44.
    Tug towing them - logs b/g - huts
    165 1/2 ft

    45.
    Expanse of logs in river
    167 ft

    46.
    Two Europeans walk over logs
    170 ft

    47.
    MCU they point and discuss
    172 ft

    48.
    Logs towards, up chute (into mill)
    175 1/2 ft

    49.
    First log rolls pushed by gadget 178 1/2 - log moves at shot's end
    181 1/2 ft

    50.
    CU log - saw cutting it lengthwise
    185 ft

    51.
    Two Europeans examine squared-off log
    186 1/2 ft

    52.
    Closer shot ditto one pointing
    189 1/2 ft

    53.
    CU saw cuts log crosswise
    191 1/2 ft

    54.
    CU same two - saw flashing b/g
    193 1/2 ft

    55.
    Cut sections away on lorry
    198 ft



    Initials



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Out there is the river -- the waterway which is the highway from the hill forests of Burma. During the Second World War -- and the civil disorder that followed -- the teak forests were abandoned. Through neglect, one of the most prized treasures of the Orient was almost snuffed out. Now comes a re-birth. A new generation of forest-officers -- many of them trained in Australia under the Colombo Plan -- are abroad in the jungle. The famous teakwood of Burma is making a determined come-back.

    They select land they survey -- guided by what they learned in the Australian bush. The fully mature teak tree is marked and girdled -- ring-barked -- and stands for three years drying in the air. Then comes the ancient, unhurried pattern of events set by timbermen a century or more ago: the agile little Kachin" axemen get to work.

    On the tough timber, they use an axe which Western experts would regard as a mere hatchet-head mounted on a smooth bamboo-pole. Yet it remains a spear-head in the drive to put the forests back on the world map ... axes and old-fashioned crosscut saws. A century growing ... three years dying... and another colossus in teak goes its appointed way.

    The tempo quickens here and there ... for the tree-fellers take kindly to such comparatively new-fangled gadgets. These -- and tractors -- are now disturbing the serenity of the mountains. But in the forests there is still a powerful symbol which we always link with the teak lands of Burma. This, in a country which has gone for mechanisation in a big way. Tractors couldn't even get here.

    They haul and push and heave and coax -- on mountain-sides where it's just about impossible to use machinery. The Burmese teak industry has a work-force of about six-hundred elephants... and with nonchalant ease, the job goes on.

    The elephant driven by this mahout is a killer: three drivers have been tusked by him. But he's a fine worker, intelligent and willing -- when not out of temper -- and no-one would dream of pensioning him off, let alone destroy him. Here's how a log weighing two tons is dealt with.

    They're trained for seven years or so before being put to work, and the pay-off is apparent: that, for instance.

    Driving them is an art handed down from father to son -- a dangerous art at that. Because the best of elephants are temperamental and, if mistreated wilfully or through ignorance, are liable to turn on their driver. The Australian cameraman who shot this film points out some of the advantages: they never have mechanical breakdowns; they run well for fifty or sixty years; and while there's an ample supply of bamboo-shoots about, they cannot possibly run out of fuel!
    Once, they did all the work, but machines now take over the routine task of getting the logs to the storage depots. In the old days, elephants used to haul them the whole way.

    Even when the river is reached, the journey has barely started. This is a tributary of the Irrawaddy, and is a mere trickle until the monsoon turns it into a roaring yellow torrent. The logs eventually will reach the main stream, and, at centres like Mandalay, they're carefully matched and jockeyed into position. Five-hundred miles from the mountain forests, the teak logs are formed into rafts ... lashed securely together with cane.

    Mandalay, fabled city of pagodas ... where river pagodas spring up on the rafts which carry a whole community of rowers and steersmen and navigators. Another five-hundred miles lie ahead -- which means one-thousand miles in all. Despite some aid in the closing stages, that journey can take anything up to ten years before it ends -- in the storage ponds at Rangoon. Here, too, Australian "know-how" is helping revitalise Burma's task industry. The flotilla of rafts from faraway Bahmo" has reached the State Timber Mills. The rafts have been broken up ... and machines take over.

    Bahmo teak taking shape for many countries overseas. A key figure in this drive to build Burma's prosperity is a veteran New South Wales timberman, Mr. J.L. Briggs; with him, young Burmese foresters who ware trained by Australian saw-millers. After ten years ... after one-thousand miles ... from Rangoon, Bahmo teak wood goes out to the world.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA46URWPA7QY8T3IYO9I9RI35N1
    Media URN:
    VLVA46URWPA7QY8T3IYO9I9RI35N1
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    14/07/1959
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:05:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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