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About Jim

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JIM'S ART

 His story is a long one, but let's start with his very first film.

He wrote produced, filmed and edited "The Spree" in 1962, not long after leaving school.

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The following is a little long and only for the very, very interested.   Below this body of text is a list of my work in the Film industry.

 

I know it's not possible, but I sometimes feel I joined the Film Industry the day I was born in 1944. That’s not as bizarre as it sounds, my dad was the manager of many Motion Picture Theatres. I was born while he was managing the Gunning theatre near Yass in New South Wales in Australia. I spent most of the first five and a half years of my life living in rooms built behind the giant movie screen of the local Cinema.

   

   Dad was the projectionist and custodian of the triple purpose building, holding dances every other week on the sawdust polished floorboards. Mum doubled as the ticket lady and usherette. While a movie was showing at night, Mum would often catch me out of bed at the back of the giant Cinema screen, peering through the tiny audio perforations to watch the transfixed faces of the audience.

 

    Up until 1953, the year my father passed away, Dad inadvertently had kept my interest in movies after installing a displaced 35mm projector on the verandah of our Canley Vale home in Sydney. On many nights, my three brothers and I would lie in bed watching short theatre reels Dad had collected. This was around 1949, way before Australian TV.

   

   Dad also had the ambitious idea to build a drive-in theatre on property his mother promised he could use on the central coast, (this was way before drive-ins  had been thought of. The property promised, never became available. Not to be discouraged, he set up an outdoor cinema in the back yard of our house, consisting of a small metal room with portholes through which he projected movies onto a very large screen attached to a wall of a garage.

 

   Following my father's death in 1953, any ideas of working in the industry didn’t germinate until around 1960, when I purchased an Elmo 8mm camera and a Kodak projector.

   The equipment was nowhere near as impressive to me as Dad's 35mm equipment, but it was a start.

 

   Armed with my camera and a few friends, I went all over Sydney shooting "The Spree", (the film running above this document).  It didn't gain me my first job though, that came from the results of tinkering with animation at our home in Regents Park after I'd built a desk and camera rostrum to carry out my experiments.

 

   East Sydney Technical College was my real starting point. Jerry Grabner, one of the key animators at Eric Porter Studios in Redfern Sydney, saw merit in my preliminary work I'd recorded on 8mm film and helped me acquire my first job as an animation inbetweener.

 

   Actually, Porter's was my second job. I did have one very short stint at Fontana Films. At the time I was hired there, I wasn't told it would only be for three months; the company was waiting for the real position holder to arrive from overseas.

 

   I stayed at Porter's for six years, which included moving to Eric's new North Sydney Studios, where I continued assisting Jerry as an animation inbetweener. Happily, Jerry and I worked together on scores of commercials, such as 'Louie the Fly' and 'Kelloggs Corn flakes', and toward the end of my stay there, a feature film called ‘Marco Polo and the Red Dragon'.

 

   Jerry himself was a keen Cine camera enthusiast, but my interest went a lot deeper than enthusiasm. Desire to work professionally in cinematography never waned throughout the animation years. While still working at Porter's, I wrote, shot & edited a speculative documentary on catamarans called "The Catmen". This documentary sold to NZBC, and to the ABC here in Australia. Action excerpts were also bought for use on the Cambridge cigarette theatre commercials in which Tony Barber was sailing the racing boats without leaving the beach; thrown water representing sea-spray.

 

   When I moved on from animation at Porter's, I went straight into Cinematography with Reg Perier at Perier Films in North Sydney, shooting Corporate Documentaries and Commercials. At the time, Reg was downsizing from the already small team that he had. He and I became the power of two, and consequently I became an all-rounder, shooting, editing, writing; you name it. My big love of course remained, shooting.

 

   This didn't stop people offering me editing jobs. 

 

   As an editor I worked on many TV shows and commercials, among them; "Secret Valley" for Roger Mirams, starring the Australian actor Max Cullen - and "Seeing is Believing for SBS", which also included direction. Max Cullen by the way, ended up buying the theatre in Gunning that my father managed and operated when I was a toddler. Max now uses the theatre to live in, as I did. And, although he's turned it into an art studio, I believe he shows a movie or two now and again.

   Sue Salem's Television Film "Sands Of the Bedouin"" came my way for editing. This film, which looks every bit like it was shot in the middle east, was actually shot at Terry Hills in Sydney. It was Michael Pate's very last film. 

 

   In the eighties and nineties, I managed to get quite a bit of direction work here in Sydney with Graham Gay of Bloodwood Gully Productions. I also carried out a lot of Graham's Cinematography over a period of 20 years.

 

   Other Cinematography was with Don Stanger, who was producing and directing commercials for the Australian Jockey Club, (AJC), at the time. And, for a period of about five years I was doing all the Cinematography for John Brain Advertising in Milsons Point, Sydney.

One of John's people, Graham Cousins, moved on to Channel 9 doing promos, and he gave me many shooting assignments during his stay there. at the TV station.

Helmut Fischher, a model maker from Porter's, introduced me to Bholson & Caffe advertising agency and a I filmed many productions for them, including a docudrama for The Lachlan Vintage Village in Forbes, NSW, Australia.

 

   In new Guinea, where I produced & directed three films, one of them, a Docudrama called "The Fourth Child", won an award for the best family planning film for 1979. Of course, the award went to W.H.O, the World Health Organization.

As a freelancer, I carried out all my work from home under the business name of Wren Motion Pictures, but I eventually set up premises; both in Sydney, one at Artarmon and one at Dee Why.

 

   Now, never retiring, most of my professional aspirations are centered around writing. I have several feature length screenplays and Novels on the shelf.

NOVELS 
“The Immortality Connection”. 
“Mind Set”.
“ZerOzone”.
“Holiday Horror”.

I’m currently working on Book 5, “Missing Sophie”.

 

Please let me know if you would like to stay up to date with what I'm doing with my writing.
 

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JIM'S ART

   My involvement: in the motion picture industry covers various areas. They have included Producing, Writing, Directing, Cinematography, Videography and Editing, Conventional Animation, Computer Animation, Computer Graphics, Film Opticals, &

Computer Special Effects.

 

   Scope: Commercials, Television Series, Features, Infotainment, Documentaries, Corporate and Interactive projects.

 

SHORT LIST of Work in the Industry

The Man Who Would Fly . . . Television Documentary on Lawrence Hargrave.
Yes What . . . Animated TV Series
Man With No Soul . . . Feature Film Screenplay
The Observer . . . Feature Film Screenplay
The Characters . . . Animated TV Series
5,000 Ft above Worry . . . Documentary on the history Of Kosciusko.
Overkill . . .Feature Film Screenplay
The Catmen . . . TV Documentary
Postcards From Australia . . . Television series
Eye Of China . . . Television series - pilot
The Immortality Connection . . . Novel
Dragon Boats . . . Television documentary - pilot.
The Adventures of Erin . . . Animated feature
Bad Habits . . . Television comedy series - pilot
Indian Ocean Catalinas . . . Television documentary
Solpis . . . Documentary Drama
The Fourth Child . . . Documentary Drama
South Pacific Festival Arts . . . Part Drama, part Documentary 
GIO compensation . . . Corporate drama for bloodwood gully
GIO Rehab . . . Corporate drama
Seeing Is Believing . . . Television series for SBS
First You Only Hear Them . . . Short Story presented to Trop Fest
The Aussie Wine Trail. . . Television Series
Guest Television . . . Series of corporate promos featured in hotels.
Sydney Foreshore . . . Highlighting Developments on Sydney Harbour.         
Postcards From Australia . . . Television series for Travel Channel in the UK.
Flavors Of France . . .Television series touring France and studying cooking styles.
City West Development . . . Corporate video for Sydney Harbour Foreshore.
Flavors Of Italy . . . Television series which - Loacal Cooking in Italy.
Italian Stories . . . Corporate video - Antarctica.
Caruso . . . TV documentary on Caruso
Revlon . . . Trade motivational video.
Trixy . . . Feature film trailer.
Elliot Street . . . Television series - pilot
Yanks Down Under . . . Television series - pilot
Columbus . . . TV documentary
Sardegna . . . TV documentary
Pajero . . . Theatre and TV commercial
Daihatsu . . . Several theatre and TV commercials
Stream Watch . . . Television documentary for SBS
Assisi . . . Television documentary
Sicili . . . Television documentary
Gubbio . . . Television documentary
Mana Island . . . Tourist promotional video
Vox Popoli . . . Current affairs TV show for SBS.
Tempest . . . Television documentary for SBS
Teach Baby To Swim . . . Television Education
Elizabeth House . . . Corporate documentary
Cambuchia . . . Television documentary for SBS
Aboriginality . . . Television documentary for SBS
Get Rich . . . Television documentary for SBS
Family Life . . . Television documentary for SBS
Wines Of Italy . . . Television series for Panorama
Where We Live . . . Television documentary for SBS
Silverbeat . . . Television documentary for SBS
Part Time Lingo . . . Television documentary for SBS
Pick Up The Child . . . Television documentary for SBS
Rabaul . . . Corporate documentary
Old Songs In A New Land . . . Television documentary for SBS
Soccerama . . . Television sports series for SBS
Agean Sounds . . . Television variety show for SBS
Mosaic . . . Television documentary for SBS
The first Casualty . . . Short Story Drama for Ink To Screen
Corrupted Waters . . . Television Pilot for Ink To Screen
Sands Of The Bedouin . . . Television Drama for Sue Salem
First You Only Hear Them . . . Short Story presented to Trop Fest
Postcards From Australia . . . Television series 
Harvey . . . 3D animation. Medical video
Go Go Golf . . . Educational video - Sport.
Yes What . . . Television Series - Developing
Jack In The Box . . . Animated TV Series for Eric Porter
Abbot And Costello . . . Animated TV Series for Eric Porter
Superman . . . Animated TV Series for Eric Porter
Scooby Doo . . . Animated TV Series for Hanna Barberra
The Red Dragon . . . Animated Feature Film for Eric Porter
The Pink Panther . . . Animated Television Series for Eric Porter
The Little Engine . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.
Plates Are People Too . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.    
Flipper . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.
The Yukadoos . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.
The Pirate . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.
Mousecatcher . . . Animated series of interactive CD ROM's for Children.        

Sale of the Century . . . Channel 9 television promo.
Maurie Foods . . . Corporate video
Investment Report . . . A monthly report on the world of Finance.
Roach . . . Corporate advertiser
Panasonic . . . Corporate promotional video.
Copyright . . . Corporate video for the water board.
Spanline . . . Television commercial.
Panasonic . . . Corporate video
Maurie Foods . . . Corporate video
Bradford Batts . . . Television commercial
Gee Whiz . . . Concept development.
Spandeck . . . Corporate promo
Inside Sport . . . TV commercial
Maurie Foods . . . Corporate video
Swartzkoph . . . Corporate promo
Tasmanian Elections . . . Liberal party promo.
Channel 9 Sport . . . Promos for the show.
The Bicentenary . . . Corporate promotion
History Of the Australian Army . . .  Television pilot for Golden Eagle
Trading With China . . . Television documentary for BBC
Susanne Grae . . . Television commercials

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