Wind & Sky Productions is the proud recipient of a Sunny Award for Best Film Cultural Diversity for the short documentary ‘The Savoy Ladies Group’. The award ceremony was held on Sunday the 17th April 2016 as part of the Setting Sun Short Film Festival at the beautiful Sun Theatre, Yarraville.Read More
Our story begins after Kokoda.
For most of 1943, in a mountainous and jungled region of what is now Papua New Guinea, Australians and Americans (with the help of the New Guineans) fought a hard campaign against the Japanese. Battles took place on razorback hills and on muddy tracks as the Allies pushed the Japanese north towards the coastal base of Salamaua. This became known as the Wau-Salamaua campaign.
On the 30th July 1943, US forces attacked a knoll called Mount Tambu. It was a failed attempt to capture a Japanese-held strategic point. But it resulted in one of the most extraordinary single acts of Australian bravery in World War 2. This story, Bull Allen’s story, is one of a number of forgotten tales about a forgotten aspect of Australia’s involvement in Papua New Guinea after Kokoda.
This article provides some context to the story of Bull Allen on Tambu, and explains how my production company Wind & Sky Productions came to make the short documentary ‘In Memory of Bull Allen’, and what I learnt through making it.
How a Micro-Budget Documentary is Produced
The glamorous world of film-making gets somewhat less glamorous.
When people think of the film-making process, most think of the way dramatic feature films are made, with a big crew and a celebrity cast and a splashy cinema release. But films, especially documentary films, are often far more humble in scope and use a leaner film-making process. This article outlines common elements in the production process for documentary films made on a small budget. (We’re not talking David Attenborough here.)
We outline four factors which can influence documentary film production costs.
A question we often get asked is ‘I want to make a simple 5 minute film about X. How much would that cost?’
Our answer? ‘It depends’.
For organisational and online video production, a common costing rule of thumb is often said to be ‘$1000 for every finished minute of video’. However, we find this costing rule to be wrong more often than it is right, possibly because the rule seems to have been around for aeons.
For documentary film-making at the lowest-budget level, ‘$1000 per finished minute’ is the cheapest starting point for costing. We recommend using $2000 – $4000 per finished minute in mind as a beginning point ball park. And you should expect that even a ‘simple film’ may cost more. Why? There are many elements which come into play when costing a film. In this article we detail four factors which can influence cost, and provide some tips on how to reduce costs if your budget is really pushed.
Image attribution: Svilen.milev
The story behind ‘Reflections of Flood Recovery’ by Lucinda Horrocks.
When the 2010 floods hit the small Victorian towns of Clunes and Creswick Jary and I were living in Melbourne. Melbourne is not so far away, but, like many in Australia, it was the devastating, tragic floods in Queensland that year which captured our attention and empathy. The Clunes and Creswick floods became half-remembered headlines. So when we were engaged to document the story of residents who were afflicted by these local floods, I learnt a lot. I learned there is nothing ‘small’ about a flood. And I heard some remarkable stories of survival and resilience.
This is the story of how we put together the film ‘Reflections of Flood Recovery.’
Feature photo by Tim Burder.
The story behind the ‘About the Readings’ micro-documentary by Lucinda Horrocks.
The Reluctant Producer
I had never been much of a Dickens fan.
I found his writing convoluted and impenetrable. As I saw it, he sacrificed plot every time to indulge his detailed, unnecessary characterisations. I was a frustrated and impatient reader, skipping over paragraphs to get to the next part of the story. I often gave up early in a book attempt. Jary, on the other hand, is a huge admirer, and revisits at least one Dickens novel a year.
So I had mixed feelings when invited in 2009 to see a production of ‘Charles Dickens Performs A Christmas Carol’, with an eye to creating a video promotion. (Jary, needless to say, was delighted).