Category Archives: Events

Premiere Announcement for Michael Budd’s “Love of My Life”

One of the first filmmakers I interviewed was Michael Budd, who was in post production for his feature film Love of My Life. Very proud to announce the premiere is on April 11th in Sydney! Michael, you have The Art of Perseverance.

Walk the red carpet with Director Michael Budd as he brings his gritty Romance /Horror/Thriller, Love of my Life to the Chauvel Cinema, Paddington in an Australian first.

love of my life form michael

Date: Saturday 11th April
Time: 6.00pm
Venue: The Chauvel Cinema
Cost: $30
Tickets: Moshtix

The Director/ Producer will be holding a Q&A along with the lead actor Diarmid Heidenreich. They will be talking about the many adversities they faced in getting the film made before and during production. “Love of my Life” has been huge in Germany and the USA, through VOD and DVD releases.

This is a one night only opportunity in Sydney, Celebrating the Red Carpet Premier, all public welcomed. Film title: Love of my Life Romance /Horror/Thriller A young man is held captive by a deranged surgeon and given the choice of surviving five days of torture to save the life of the woman he loves, or to order her killed and be set free.

Director: Michael Budd
(The Matrix Reloaded) (The Cold Light of Day)

Peter O’Brien (II)
Nominated, AFI Award Best Actor in a Leading Role Won, Silver Logie Most Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series . Won Silver Logie Most Popular Actor for Neighbours

Diarmid Heidenrich
(Water Rats) (Bikee Wars)

Bel Delia
( The Tunnel )


Event: Storycode Sydney – The Art of Perseverance in Transmedia?


Hats off to my mate Ester Harding for launching the Sydney Chapter of Storycode.

Storycode chapters convene real life events designed to educate, inform and connect creators of immersive and interactive stories. At the core of the Storycode movement is the willingness to make, experiment and participate in growing a broad and expansive discipline which will spawn new immersive experiences, stories and technologies.

Their second meeting was on Thursday 28th August and I successfully applied to be one of 5 pitchers at the event, presenting The Art of Perseverance.
My presentation is below.
There was also a fascinating presentation from Michael Hughes at Soap Creative who developed the transmedia campaign for the new Aussie flick These Final Hours. We then got the added bonus of seeing the film for free!

It was a successful event, with a good number attending and great to catch up with lots of familiar faces. I think the pitch went down well and getting to meet Paul Wiegard from Madman was a bonus. He seemed keen to meet up and let me hear his version of The Art of Perseverance.

Join Storycode on Facebook
Register for the event here

Persevere or perish in Australian Adventure Documentary

OzDox (the Australian Documentary Forum) in association with ADG (the Australian Directors Guild)  organised an evening seminar about Australian Adventure Documentary. Held at AFTRS, the event featured an inspiring panel of adventure documentary filmmakers who have literally risked life and limb in their quest to tell such inspiring stories of human endeavour.

Perseverance in filmmaking can be characterised in many, many ways. Tonight, I discovered it in its most ultimate and brutal form. If you don’t persevere, you perish.
Filmmaker Jen Peedom produced the doco ‘Solo‘ on Andrew McCauley‘s ultimately fatal attempt to kayak across The Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand.
Jen showed the clip when Andrew is starting his quest and has paddled 200 yards offshore, his wife and son waving him off, and he completely breaks down, aware it may be for the last time, and of course sadly it was. Not a dry eye in the house.
I was attracted to this event to see what made these people become adventurers, and filmmakers. What was the spark that got them excited about their mission. And how did they persevere throughout the traditional filmmaking process of development through production to distribution.

What struck me when listening to the speakers was how happy they all were to plough into a filmmaking project without a real narrative, or even a structure. They knew their adventure was big, was epic, but they didn’t even know if they were going to succeed.

Everest filmmakers Michael Dillon and Jen Peedom agreed that the mountain was the main protagonist and always provided an unexpected narrative. As a storyteller you have to be flexible and react quickly to a new story that develops. No more so than on Jen’s recent film Sherpas, when, only three weeks ago, an avalanche on Everest killed 16 Sherpas – the highest fatality count ever on Everest. Jen chose to read out the email she sent to her family and friends on the day of the accident, to describe what happened, how she felt, and how it affected filming. Very poignant it was too. Everest is closed for the rest of the year.

Michael Dillon has 40 years experience making adventure films, and yet he has only ever had a pre-sale once. Yes, just one. And this is from a man who was Sir Edmund Hilary’s go to man for filmmaking. Yes, he of conquering Everest fame. Kinda makes you wanna give up. But persevere my friends, read on!
So pre-sales makes it hard to get cash up front. Traditional government funding for adventure documentary  is also sparse compared to it’s big brother of feature films.

The ace in the funding pack though is of course corporate sponsorship and product placement, and I was amazed to see how far it goes back. MC for the evening was Frank Shields, who started proceedings with an amazing retrospective of Australian adventure documentary making.
For this ignorant English immigrant, this was an eyeopener as I was introduced to Francis Birtles who first cycled around Australia, and then in 1927 was the first person to drive a car from Australia to England in his trusty Sundowner (the Bean Fourteen car). He then showed clips of Frank Hurley and footage of his attempt to pilot a submarine underneath the Arctic ice cap.
In more recent times, there has been The Leyland Brothers, and more recently of course The Crocodile Hunter himself.

Adventurer Francis Birtles and his Sundowner.

Filming in extreme conditions creates specific facets of perseverance. Michael Dillon brought along some of his old cameras, and gave all sorts of war stories of equipment freezing.
But it can still happen today. Justin Jones commented how in Antarctica, they strapped the camera batteries to their bodies as their body heat would keep the batteries warm. A cold battery runs out of juice quicker! The things you learn.

Clark Carter compared footage from his two trips – ten years apart. The first film shot on SONY Z1’s and tripods was framed well and looked beautiful. The second film was using digital HD cameras allowing close ups and hand held movement. The panellists agreed that the close up and immediacy of the digital camera allowed for more footage to be captured and a more human element to be created.

Justin amused us revealing his initial reluctance to film himself, but knowing that he had to remove his ego, he started calling the camera ‘Mr Camera’ to make it easier doing his video diaries.

Clark gallantly backed this up saying ‘you’ve got to allow yourself being a dickhead on film, as that’s authentic’. I’m not so sure he was too happy when his Director Julian Harvey said there was plenty of dickhead material in the rushes!

Jen also demonstrated how technology now allows stunning content to be created when she showed a clip of an Everest explorer Tim traversing a crevasse. Previous explorers had tied aluminium ladder’s together by rope, which swayed as Tim traversed one handed so he could hold the camera, whilst his voiceover informed us of how many people had fallen to their graves below. It was truly edge of the seat stuff.

Shooting in extreme conditions can also be very difficult. Justin estimated that their trip could have been done days quicker if they weren’t filming, and yet only managed 24 hours of footage to be captured. Some of their takes would take an hour to produce, which might not sound a long time, but when you are pulling a sled in blizzard winds, it is a very very long time, only for the camera to fall over, and you have to start again.

Bear in mind, that they are the whole cast and crew – the Director, DOP, Sound, Art Direction, Script, Presenter and more, whilst mentally and physically exhausted in extreme conditions.

Post Production

So the adventurer returns, bruised and battered but elated. Now its time for the slightly less extreme location of the edit suite. Clark Carter hadn’t appointed a Director prior to his trip, and only sourced one on his return in Julian Harvey. Julian’s love for mountain climbing meant that they were on the same page. Julian’s first task was to sit through 100 hours of footage which took him three weeks to log!

Of course , edits can be done on location these days, although Marcus had the audience in stitches when he showed a picture of him in 1996, editing on the first laptop version of Final Cut Pro, editing 2.8MB downloadable clips for the website, which was uploaded via a 14k internet connection. Moores Law theory in evidence.

Despite the woes mentioned in the Funding section, its Distribution which is providing huge opportunities for the genre. The internet has opened up access to all sorts of genres and niches, and as Julian Harvey said, its possible to own that niche. Kayaking will never be a premier blockbuster sporting event, and most of us know very few people interested in it. Yet look at the available audience online, globally, and all of a sudden you are talking big numbers of very very passionate people interested in kayaking.

Marcus Gillezeau illustrated the point further by creating a franchise model for Storm Surfers so that he created a movie, a 3D movie, a tv series, a web series, an eBook and a game, and possibly more I couldn’t write them down quick enough!

He can now cross pollinate audiences across each format, and when a new format comes out, he already has a loyal and passionate audience base to attract funding, and then market the film to.

In summary, at times filmmaking can feel like ‘you are up shit creek without a paddle’. Clark Carter has gone on two filmmaking kayaking trips and both times lost a paddle. Now that’s shit creek without a paddle.  But you know what? He persevered, he learnt, he adapted the story, and he conquered.

As did all the other panellists who perservered to a level that very few go to, to fulfill a passion, and tell a story that they have shared with the world.

Nick Bolton



OzDox presents Adventure


MICHAEL DILLON “Beyond Everest
JEN PEEDOM “Miracle on Everest
JUSTIN JONES “Crossing the Ice

More about the panel:

One of Australia’s leading cinematographers and makers of adventure and exploration documentaries, having won more awards in this field than any other individual worldwide.

He has made five adventure documentaries with Sir Edmund Hilary, the conqueror of Everest, and his latest “Beyond Everest” about Sir Edmund Hilary’s ongoing work with the Sherpa people of Everest has won five international awards.

AACTA and Emmy Award winning filmmaker, executive producer and entrepreneur Marcus Gillezeau is the CEO of Firelight Productions, a Sydney based film and TV company specializing in all-media, documentary and 3D production. Marcus has over 20 years experience in the film & TV industry. He mastered cross platform delivery and promotion techniques with the tele-feature “Scorched” and applied same to his latest adventure documentary, the multi-award winning “Storm Surfers- 3D”.

Drawn to exploring the human condition in extreme conditions, Jen Peedom has succeeded in directing a number of award winning documentaries, among them “Solo”,  “Living the End”, “Life” series, “Miracle on Everest” and “Race Around Oz” picking up several directing awards along the way.
In 2003 while working as Managing Director of IF Magazine, she was awarded NSW Young Businesswoman of the Year. Jen Peedom is recognised as one of Australia’s top Adventure filmmakers.


Part of the Cas and Jonesy filmmaking team, two Aussie Explorers constantly pushing the boundaries of human endurance.  First, paddling 3300km without assistance across the Tasman Sea from Australia to NZ as seen in their documentary “Crossing the Ditch”.
Then in 2012, they made history by completing the longest unsupported polar expeditions of all time, walking/skiing from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back, a voyage of 2275km as shown in their latest film, “Crossing the Ice”.


No stranger to adventure, director Julian Harvey has tagged four of the “Seven Summits” including a five week expedition in establishing a new climbing route of Antarctica’s highest peak, Mount Vinson. His credits include the award winning feature “The Tunnel” and the adventure feature documentary “The Crossing” Of the latter, his passion for adventure has given him a unique insight into telling this story.

Adventurer CLARK CARTER is a member of the prestigious Explorers Club and is passionate about two things – adventure & filmmaking. Along with fellow adventurer Chris Bray, he set out to cross 1100kms of Arctic wilderness that is Victoria Island, unsupported – the focus of the adventure documentary “The Crossing”.

Events – Persevering in filmmaking in Australia without the ABC or SBS….. GetUp and Act NOW – Public rally tomorrow

Erin, Alycia, Kelsey and the GetUp team are organising a rally tomorrow to persuade the powers that be that the ABC and SBS need all the help they can get. As a friend of mine said, Australia will be a sorry place if there are only commercial channels, plus he would be unemployed.

Get involved at the rally tomorrow – details below
Register here

See you there

ABC Get Up Rally

With just two weeks until the budget is handed down, media reports suggest funding for the ABC is on the chopping block. Now’s our last chance to speak out and stand up against the cuts – will you join us in Sydney on Saturday for snap action in support of the ABC? 

It’ll be a fun and family-friendly event where you’ll hear great speakers, share a message that we’ll take to our leaders in Canberra on budget day, and maybe even meet the Bananas themselves. Here’s how: 

What: Snap action in support of protecting the ABC, featuring great speakers including Jonathan Holmes, Tom Ballard, Sam Mclean and Wendy Harmer
Where: Martin Place, Sydney CBD
When: 11am, Saturday 3 May 2014
Bring: Your friends and family! 

Once you RSVP, we’ll send you a reminder of all the details via email. 
The campaign to protect the ABC is about more than just protecting a public broadcaster, it’s about protecting:

  • Fair and accurate news and current affairs
  • Quality children’s programming that’s free of advertising
  • Up-to-date information for Australians living in rural areas in times of emergency
  • The iconic and original Australian TV shows, which we’ve come to know and love

Event – The History and Present of Australian Adventure Documentary

Received an intriguing email from OzDox this week that should give me some insight into perseverance in documentary filmmaking.
Hope to see you there.
In association with ADG and AFTRS presents:
“The History and Present of Australian Adventure Documentary”
Wednesday 14th May 2014
Panellists to be confirmed. Save the date!!
WHENWednesday 14th May 2014
TIME6.00pm arrival for 6.30pm start
Entertainment Quarter, 130 Bent St, Moore Park NSW
ENTRY: Suggested donation $7
RSVP not required, but be early to ensure your seat.
This event is open to the public. 
Parking fees discounted after 6pm.

Event – The Art of Perseverance in Australian Filmmaking – NAFA – Monday 17th March

Very pleased to have locked in another Panel Session for my thesis. Hope to see you there.

TITLE: ‘The Art of Perseverance in Australian feature filmmaking’ by Nick Bolton moderating  a panel of feature filmmakers.(tbc)
NAFA Choc Tops
Monday 17th March 2014
 6.30 pm – 8.30pm  
 Dolphin Hotel, 412 Crown Street, Surry Hills.
ENTRY: All Welcome. Admission $10 (NAFA members free)

About NAFA
NAFA is a networking group of actors, screenwriters, and filmmakers renowned for being creative and productive. We strongly believe in chasing our own opportunities to succeed in a tough industry.

Originating as a proactive actors’ group in 2002 (then called Networking Action For Actors), NAFA quickly expanded to include screenwriters and filmmakers. In doing so, we have become recognised as an important resource for castings and crew calls for shorts and features that range from student to independent and professional productions.

From the outset, NAFA has always been firmly based on the ideas of networking and education. We are best known for running the successful Choc Tops meetings, held each month at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills.

On a larger scale, NAFA runs its film festival Show-Fest in late April or early May each year. Popular for the ‘Show & Tell’ format, cast and crew are invited onstage to discuss the making of their films after each screening. On a smaller scale, NAFA also organises script development workshops, social events, and a talent night.

Event – Screen Producers Australia National Roadshow

Building on 2013’s national roadshow, Matthew Deaner and Matthew Hancock from Screen Producers Australia will again lead policy discussions across the country with industry leaders and parliamentary colleagues, as part of our ongoing advocacy work.

Invitations, times and venues to the following events will be circulated in the coming weeks, but keep these dates in your diary:

Adelaide – Wednesday 5 March
Perth – Monday 10 March
Canberra – Monday 17 March
Melbourne – Tuesday 18 March
Brisbane – Friday 21 March
Sydney – Friday 28 March

Register here

Screenshot 2014-02-11 13.20.13