Completed in 1912, Jack London's Adventures in the South Sea Islands was the first film effort for famed documentary producer and "naturalist" Martin Johnson. As a young man, Johnson had hired on as cook for an expedition into Solomon Islands, conducted by adventure novelist Jack London. Upon arrival in the Solomons, London's crew was met with three cameramen from Pathe pictures, who had come to region to photograph the arrival of the American fleet at Sydney, Australia. Two island traders had arranged a journey into the interior, and the Pathe people went along for the ride to film some cannibals. These cameramen taught Johnson the rudiments of their skill, whereupon he offered to distribute their cannibal footage to the U.S. The resultant film was eventually purchased outright by Johnson, who used it to launch his own cinematic career. According to film historian Kevin Brownlow, Johnson hired a young singer to accompany screenings of Jack London's Adventures in the South Sea Islands. That singer was Osa Leighty, who soon thereafter became Martin Johnson's wife and business partner, a union that lasted until Johnson's accidental death in 1937.
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