In the 1930s, when the last unexplored regions of the world were being ‘found’, Martin and Osa Johnson, an American couple from Kansas, delighted audiences in theaters with films of their aerial safaris throughout Africa and Borneo. Both pilots and photographers, the Johnsons explored Kenya and Tanganyika in 1933, taking the first aerial photograph of Mt. Kilimanjaro and documenting herds of wild animals on the Serengeti Plain.
Best remembered for their safari work, the couple reputedly began working with wildlife after receiving a cable from their financers reading, ‘Public tired of savages. Get some animal pictures’. In 1921 they embarked on their first African expedition and returning numerous times they released many films about the landscape, the animals and its people.
In contrast to modern day wildlife features, the couple were just as quick with their rifles as they were with their cameras. Osa’s impressive marksman skills became the hallmark of their work, and in 1928 their popular travelogue Simba was released, including her famous showdown with a charging rhino.
Amazing pioneers in the world of African documentaries that we can no longer live without … See http://theselvedgeyard.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/martin-osa-johnson-safari-film-legends/ and http://www.kansastravel.org/safarimuseum.htm for more.