Animation rostrum, camera and lighting equipment

Made by Lynich, Jim in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1930-1964.

This animation camera rostrum was designed and built in Australia in 1964. It was used in the production of television commercials, documentaries, children’s television series, film title sequences and animated feature films produced in Australia and internationally over a period of 38 years.

The practice of animation closely followed the beginnings of cinema practice (with stop frame effects, matting and animated sequences). Animation was created in Australia from the early 1900s and flourishe...


Object No.


Physical Description

Animation rostrum, camera and lighting equipment, metal / plastic/ paper, rostrum designed and made by Jack Kennedy and Jim Lynich, 1930-1964

Animation rostrum with a Bell & Howell Pilot Pin 35mm camera, three film magazines, a bi-pak magazine, hand written charts from the walls of the animation studio at Pymble, colour grey scale charts for film grading, two cut back signs for use to mark errors on film, frame size and counter charts, an image of the 'Footrot Flats' dog and images of the rostrum in use and idle. There are also field grids, a handwritten instruction book, camera operator's work book, small box of registration pins, floating peg point which can be attached to the platen and a small prism and projector for use in the film gate when projecting simultaneous action and three framed animation scenes.



The Animation camera rostrum was designed and built in Sydney, Australia in 1964 by Jack Kennedy with assistance from Jim Lynich. The animation rostrum was commissioned by Graphik Animation (later known as Raymond Lea Animation) and was broadly based on the design of the Oxburry type animation stand (made in USA). Modifications to the Oxburry design were made to overcome what were seen as its limitations, in particular: the table may be continuously rotated; double peg bars at top and bottom and floating pegs allow multi plane work; the hand-operated platen is made from optically clear ground glass; the camera is mounted on a platform attached to a single steel post that in turn is attached to the tabletop to eliminate movement; and prior to the stand's move to Cinemagic it sat on a one inch thick steel plate.

All this combined to make the stand extremely rigid, enabling multiple exposures to be made with great accuracy. The design and manufacture of the rostrum also posed particular engineering demands that were overcome by Australian ingenuity, in particular the electric motor that drives the camera carriage zoom mechanism. In order to achieve certain effects the camera on an animation rostrum must be stopped and started with a very high degree of accuracy, and the engineer who designed and built this rostrum adapted the gun-turret motor of a B52 bomber for that task.


Lynich, Jim 1930-1964


Lynich, Jim null



It is believed (unconfirmed report from Cecily Lea, donor) that the Bell & Howell pilot pin camera was purchased new by MGM in the late 1930s and adapted for use within MGM's Hollywood optical effects department. It was used to produce special effects for 'The Wizard of Oz' in 1939.

The B&H 35mm pilot pin camera was purchased in 1964 from MGM through Burns & Sawyer, Sydney (a film equipment sales and hire company) and then adapted for use with the animation rostrum commissioned by Graphik Animation (later known as Raymond Lea Animation).

In 1982 Raymond Lea studios closed and the animation camera rostrum was passed on to Cinemagic Animated Films where it was used up until 2002. Over that period the rostrum was used to shoot hundreds of television commercials and documentaries for clients all over the world, subcontracted TV series work for Hanna Barbera, the animated feature 'Footrot Flats', and 'Family Dog', the half hour animated episode of Stephen Spielberg's TV series 'Amazing Stories'. The camera and rostrum's last job early in 2002 was the shooting of 'Ada'. an animated short film for the SBS series 'Australian Animators'.

The camera remained in the ownership of Cecily Lea until she donated it to the museum in 2003.





Credit Line

Gift of Cecily and Raymond Lea, 2003

Acquisition Date

30 April 2003

Cite this Object


Animation rostrum, camera and lighting equipment 2018, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 16 October 2018, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Animation rostrum, camera and lighting equipment |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=16 October 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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