Sound recordist Paul ‘Clackers’ Clark and SFX guru Conrad Rothmann pass away

Conrad Rothmann. 

The film business was saddened to receive the news of the passing of SFX impresario and creator of illusions, Conrad Rothman on 21 June 2013 – the winter solstice. Conrad died of a heart attack on his way to a hospital in Sydney.

An American import into our film industry in the 1970’s, Conrad was perhaps one of the first SFX men to hit our shores, and he was most welcome. ‘He was thought of as the ‘stunt-glass-kid’ of Australia….no one did glass like Conrad’, ex-wife and dear friend Natalie Hammond said of him.

Conrad went to film school with Steven Spielberg and Richard Franklin. He worked often with the latter and wished he had with the former!

His final years were spent working out of Fox in Sydney in an office and workroom with AET, where he was known as Corny. Conrad was the genuine eccentric and much loved by everyone. He distained paying rent, bought a bus, outfitted it with solar power and, at times, lived in a variety of Sydney back street locations. Or, he would not sleep, as he often worked through long night shifts to complete a job….all the while looking after a much loved stray cat.

Those at AET put it well at Conrad’s funeral; ‘If AET was a family, Conrad was the eccentric, but favourite uncle.’

Conrad’s credits famously include, Beware! The Blob, to The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington, Patrick, The Man from Snowy River, Phar Lap, Anzacs, The Silver Brumby, Angel Baby, Mission Impossible II, Robinson Crusoe and Candy. Conrad’s work contributed to over eighty film and television productions in his time as a SFX expert.

For those wishing to enjoy a finale with Conrad, a friend created a short film where he leaps and bounds to the tune of the infectious ‘Bei Mir Bist du Scheen’, translated as, ‘To Me You’re Beautiful’.

When asked what he was thinking at one point in the film; ‘I’m thinking about the future’. Enquiry into what that might be, Conrad brought forth the jewel, ‘I’m afraid to say’, offered with a rye smile. Only to be surpassed by, ‘I’m so old, I lit the fuse for the Big Bang!’ A fine way to go out for a man who lived large. Farewell.

Perhaps look up, one night, for Conrad, as there may be his stunt glass shards still floating up all the way to the moon; sticky with margaritas and cat hair!

Condolences to Natalie and Conrad’s three children and five grandchildren.


Paul 'Clackers' Clark. 

The Australian film industry was saddened to hear the news of the death of sound recordist extraordinaire Paul Clark on 5 July 2013, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Paul was on location shooting with Living Films, on a Canadian production, when he became unwell. Determinedly he completed the scene they were shooting before he left the set. Initially, he had complained of a sore foot. A blood infection followed by diabetic and heart complications ensued and Paul passed away peacefully. Friend and producer Chris Lowenstein was at Paul’s side until the end at Chiang Mai Ram Private Hospital at 6.00am local time.

Friend and fellow sound recordist, Gary Wilkins, Paul’s Thai friends and workmates arranged a Buddhist funeral days later. Paul’s two sons, Simon and Sam were able to attend the ceremony. Gary Wilkins said, ‘We had made an agreement for Paul to return here, to his beloved Chiang Mai, after he had finished his next job with a German production company. We were planning to sit on my porch and discuss old times over a cool beer.’

Paul is a legend in the film biz, having worked on many local and international television and feature productions over decades. Everything from the early days at Crawfords recording Matlock Police in 1974 to Snapshot, Patrick, The Blue Lagoon, Malcolm, Fortress, Sanctum to The Cup in 2012 – and many more recent productions in his beloved Asia.

Paul was doing what he loved. Capturing sound and making movies. Bravo to a happy, large-living member of an extraordinary Australian industry. Paul will be missed.

A memorial for Paul and the recently deceased Conrad Rothman is to be held at The Clare Castle Hotel in Port Melbourne on the evening of Friday, 19th July.


  1. Even though it’s been since 2013 that Mr Clark passed away, it still saddens me that our world has lost such a great artist in the movie industry. Now I am sure he has become a beautiful angel. My heart is with his family for all times. R.I.P. Mr Clark.

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