Max Tera (25 October 1920 – 1 October 1992) was an Indonesian cinematographer and editor. He was employed by PERFINI in the 1950s and was a frequent collaborator with director Usmar Ismail.
Tera was born on 25 October 1920 in Madiun, East Java, Dutch East Indies. He continued his education until junior high school, later becoming a photographer.
Around 1948, during the Indonesian National Revolution, Tera joined the Dutch-owned production company South Pacific Film Corporation, where he studied cinematography under the Dutch cameraman AA Denninghoff-Stelling. With South Pacific, Tera served as assistant cinematographer for several productions, including Djaoeh Dimata (1948), Gadis Desa , Harta Karun, and Tjitra (all 1949). It was while working there Tera met Usmar Ismail, who was the director of Harta Karun and Tjitra.
After the end of the revolution in December 1949, Ismail began work on Darah dan Doa (The Long March; 1950). Tera was asked to join the production.Shooting began on 30 March 1950, a date which is now celebrated as National Film Day in Indonesia. After the film was released, it was ultimately unsuccessful. Despite this, Tera remained with Ismail's company Perfini, later training several of its cameramen, including Kosnen, R. Husein, and Kasdullah.
In the 1960s Tera began working for films by other companies, with Perfini's permission. In his later years Tera worked freelance, both for money and because he felt he was destined to be a cinematographer.He made his last film, Nuansa Birunya Rinjani , in 1989. In 1990 Tera was awarded an Usmar Ismail Prize for his contributions to Indonesia's cinema. He died in Jakarta on 1 October 1992.
During his forty-one-year career Tera was involved in some 56 productions, mostly as cinematographer.The following is a list of his works; positions other than head cinematographer are noted.
Usmar Ismail was a prominent Indonesian film director. He was of Minangkabau descent. He was widely regarded as the native Indonesian pioneer of the Cinema of Indonesia although films made by the Dutch date back to around 1926.
Embun is a 1952 film directed by D. Djajakusuma for Perfini in his directorial debut.
Djadoeg Djajakusuma was an Indonesian film director and promoter of traditional art forms. Born to a nobleman and his wife in Temanggung, Central Java, Djajakusuma became interested in the arts at a young age, choosing to pursue a career in theatre. During the Japanese occupation from 1943 to 1945 he was a translator and actor, and in the four-year national revolution which followed he worked for the military's educational division, several news agencies, and in drama.
Abisin Abbas, better known by his pseudonym Andjar Asmara, was a dramatist and filmmaker active in the cinema of the Dutch East Indies. Born in Alahan Panjang, West Sumatra, he first worked as a reporter in Batavia. He became a writer for the Padangsche Opera in Padang, where he developed a new, dialogue-centric style, which later spread throughout the region. After returning to Batavia in 1929, he spent over a year as a theatre and film critic. In 1930 he joined the Dardanella touring troupe as a writer. He went to India in an unsuccessful bid to film his stage play Dr Samsi.
Saeroen was an Indonesian journalist and screenwriter. Born in Yogyakarta, he became a journalist after a time working at a railway station. By the mid-1930s he had established the daily Pemandangan with Oene Djunaedi and was writing editorials with the pen name Kampret. When the paper was dissolved, Saeroen drifted into the film industry as a writer, making his debut with Albert Balink's Terang Boelan (1937). Much of his later life was spent working with several minor publications.
Tan Tjoei Hock was a Chinese-Indonesian journalist and filmmaker. Born in Batavia, he was discovered by The Teng Chun in the late 1930s. Tan became one of the most productive film directors of the Dutch East Indies between 1940 and 1941, directing nine films – primarily action.
Raden Ariffien, often credited as Rd Ariffien, was an Indonesian film director. Initially a nationalist figure, he entered the film industry in 1940 after a period in theatre and radio. During his 25-year career, he was involved in some 36 films in various positions. He later became head editor of the film magazine Varia.
Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, often credited as Moh. Said HJ, was a film director, storywriter, and actor active in the early cinema of Indonesia. After an unsuccessful career in the theatre he directed some nineteen films, beginning with Boenga Sembodja in 1942.
Tjitra is a 1949 Indonesian film directed by Usmar Ismail for the Dutch-owned production house South Pacific. Starring Raden Sukarno, Nila Djuwita, and Raden Ismail, it follows a man named Harsono who takes a woman's virginity then flees to the city, where he is caught up in a murder case. Ismail's directorial debut, Tjitra was made while its director was still a member of the Indonesian Army. He later disavowed the film, as he felt he had had too little creative input.
Gadis Desa is a 1949 comedy from what is now Indonesia written and directed by Andjar Asmara. Starring Basuki Djaelani, Ratna Ruthinah, Ali Joego, and Djauhari Effendi, it follows the romantic hijinks of a village girl who is taken to be a rich man's second wife. The film, produced by a Dutch-run company, is recognised as the first in which future "father of Indonesian film" Usmar Ismail was involved.
Darah dan Doa is a 1950 Indonesian war film directed and produced by Usmar Ismail. Telling the story of the Siliwangi Division and its leader Captain Sudarto on a march to West Java, Darah dan Doa is often cited as the first "Indonesian" film, and the film's first day of shooting – 30 March – is celebrated in Indonesia as National Film Day.
Perfini was an Indonesian film production company, based in Jakarta. It was most productive in Indonesian cinema in the 1950s. Its most notable directors were Usmar Ismail, who directed its first film Darah dan Doa (1950), and D. Djajakusuma. By 1966 it reportedly had its own studio, a "20-by-30-meter building large enough for construction of a couple of modest sets".
Enam Djam di Jogja is a 1951 Indonesian film directed by Usmar Ismail. It was the second film to be produced under the PERFINI banner. Detailing the show of force in which the Indonesian republican army retook the capital at Yogyakarta for six hours, the film utilised much of the cast and crew from Ismail's previous work Darah dan Doa (1950). The film was a success in Indonesia and continued to be screened on the state television channel into the 1980s, even after two further films about the event were released.
Anak Perawan di Sarang Penjamun is a 1962 Indonesian film directed and produced by Usmar Ismail for PERFINI. Starring Bambang Hermanto and Nurbani Jusuf, it follows a young woman who is kidnapped by a group of bandits, only to fall in love with their leader. The film, adapted from the 1940 novel of the same name by Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana, was repeatedly blacklisted by the Indonesian government and only saw release several years after production ended.
Djaoeh Dimata is a 1948 film from what is now Indonesia written and directed by Andjar Asmara for the South Pacific Film Corporation (SPFC). Starring Ratna Asmara and Ali Joego, it follows a woman who moves to Jakarta to find work after her husband is blinded in an accident. SPFC's first production, Djaoeh Dimata took two to three months to film and cost almost 130,000 gulden.
Basoeki Resobowo was an Indonesian painter. Born to a transmigrant father in Sumatra, from a young age he showed interest in the visual arts but was taught to be a teacher. After a short time at a Taman Siswa school in Batavia, he studied design and worked as a surveyor while producing sketches and book covers. He only acted in a single film, Kedok Ketawa, but remained close to the acting community, first as a set designer during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies then for Perfini in the early 1950s.
Raden Soekarno, better known as Rendra Karno, was an Indonesian actor. Born in Kutoarjo, Central Java, Soekarno entered the film industry in 1941, making his debut appearance in Union Films' Soeara Berbisa. Over the next forty years he appeared in more than fifty films. He was also involved in the theatre during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies and the Indonesian National Revolution. For his role in 1962's Bajangan di Waktu Fadjar, he was named best supporting actor at the 1963 Asian Film Festival in Tokyo.
Tiga Dara is a 1956 Indonesian musical comedy film starring Chitra Dewi, Mieke Wijaya, and Indriati Iskak. Directed by Usmar Ismail for Perfini, the film follows three sisters who live with their father and grandmother. When the eldest sister, Nunung, shows no interest in marrying, her family tries unsuccessfully to find a husband for her. Nunung initially rejects the advances of a young man named Toto, who instead dates her younger sister. However, when he becomes jealous and travels from Jakarta to Bandung to profess his love, she agrees to marry him.