Not The Brisbane Line / 02.04.2007

My pet archive spin-off project is the idea of a documentary series about biodiversity.

That was my reason for attending Wildscreen 2006. It was the opportunity to meet producers and senior TV executives and talk to them about my concept, which has the working title The Abundance of Life.

It was always the longest of long shots. As a last throw of the dice, I today sent the concept to the Head of Development at the BBC Natural History Unit. In my covering letter I made it clear that I wanted to entrust the concept entirely to the NHU because I feel that it is uniquely able to make the kind of series I have in mind. Moreover I have no desire to be a filmmaker or cinematographer, even though I would be happy to help develop the concept and possibly be involved in other ways.

Should anything happen you’ll hear about it. Meanwhile I am publishing the material on this site: ‘You read it HERE first’.



Planet earth is teeming with life. Only a fraction of all the species (about 1.8 million)… Read Complete Text


Other / 15.03.2007

Five segments from the archive have been posted to YouTube.


The clips can also be accessed here. More will be added from time to time. I'll let you know when.


Not The Brisbane Line / 09.02.2007
I hope my Tamborine Mountain Archive will inspire others to do similar projects.

For anyone interested in how I set about it I have made some notes about the process, illustrated with a Flow Chart, extracts from my Film Diary, shot selection lists etc.

See my Notes.

This is not an exhaustive account. Hopefully it provides a fair idea of how complex a process making the archive was.

As you can see from the Flow Chart, the archive consists of two data streams. The arrows show how the streams progress and how they relate to one another.

I employed two editors, one for Parts 1 to 5, the other for Part 6.


The Film Diary lists the number of each camera tape and consists of a brief jotting-down of what and where I filmed each day. There are 1105 diary entries.

A whole day’s filming could be of a single garden – such as entry 248 which consists of 120 shots – or it could entail filming a titan stick insect, a couple of wallabies, vegetation above the western shelf land, a… Read Complete Text


Other / 02.02.2007

A segment prompted by the archive was shown in Australia on Totally Wild, Channel Ten’s national programme for children. It included naturalist Doug White with whom I made a very productive foray into MacDonald National Park, filming more fauna species for the archive than on any other visit to a national park. Appropriately, the segment was filmed in the park one morning last November and was fun to do. The young presenter was very good.

Doug and I spoke to camera about the Mountain’s biodiversity, its fragility in the light of the population growth in South East Queensland and the value to the planet of rainforest like that on the Mountain. The segment included aerial footage by Hugh Alexander and footage by me of fungi, birds, insects and views of the escarpment. It was pleasing to have some of my footage broadcast at last.

I was delighted that shots of a giant Cereus cactus as high as a two-storey house and with the bulk of a tree were used, because the conditions which allow the rainforest to accommodate its biodiversity also allow this alien from southern USA and Central America to flourish… Read Complete Text


The Brisbane Line / 31.01.2007

I have just got back from a twelve day visit to Tasmania, staying with Hugh and Pauline Alexander who have been renting a house near Launceston for the past year. I stayed with them for five days last March. On this visit we made a six day, five night trip to Strahan, Lake Pedder and Hobart.

Then as now, the one place in Tasmania I wanted to see more than any other was the Styx Valley, home to the biggest recorded Eucalyptus regnans, the world’s tallest flowering plant.

But the Tasmanians I had asked about the Styx were vague as to its whereabouts. It is not part of a national park, but is an active logging area managed by Forestry Tasmania on behalf of a timber industry bent on clear-felling as much of Tasmania’s old-growth forest as it can get its hands on – for no better purpose than to provide woodchip for making news-print.

After crossing the Styx River we finally came to the Big Tree.


Talk about unknown knowing. It is still holiday time in Tasmania,
so we booked all our accommodation in advance, choosing to spend… Read Complete Text