Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.

 


 

The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.

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Not The Brisbane Line / 11.05.2007

I was never convinced by the almost universally voiced conviction at the time, that the events of 9/11 changed the world. I could not see them in the same light as the end of the Soviet Union symbolised by the fall of the Berlin Wall, or the end of apartheid in South Africa symbolised by Nelson Mandela walking out of prison. Nor do I now.  For both these events ended decades of oppression affecting  hundreds of millions of people.  What 9/11 did was to unleash the war-monger in GW Bush, with terrible consequences for the world, but I am optimistic that the damage he has caused will begin to be made good at the 2008 US presidential election, particularly if a Democrat wins.

The simultaneous 9/11 attacks were the most devastating terrorist strikes ever and the first instance of the US being hit by an enemy on continental home soil since the 1812 war with Britain.

Hysteria seems to be part of the American psyche. It can be seen in the whooping and hollering of chat-show audiences and in the behaviour associated with the conduct of celebrity trials. Those of OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton… Read Complete Text

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Other / 08.05.2007

I had a half-hour live Queensland-wide interview on ABC Radio with Steve Austin, my favourite presenter, which apparently went very well. I enjoyed doing it – though, as ever, there were things I should have mentioned that I didn’t.

Since we launched the archive and website I have done a number of live radio interviews, either over the phone or in the studio. I only do them live, you know. Seriously, I have so far found them a lot of fun. I particularly recall an interview last year with another excellent presenter, Trevor Jackson on ABC Coast FM.

 

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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’.

THE ABUNDANCE OF LIFE

CONCEPT

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

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Other / 15.03.2007

Five segments from the archive have been posted to YouTube.

www.youtube.com

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

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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.

PARTS 1 TO 5

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

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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