Film Making Mentors: Piece 19

Mick and Me -Courtesy of Nathalie Fernbach – ABC

I couldn’t end this journey of who shaped me without special mention of Mick Bromage and Leandro Palacio who have helped shape my beginnings as a film maker.

They have taught me that you start with your imagination and a storyline.  You begin to create that storyline through images and sounds.

You match the images to the interview narratives, and cut between them and the person speaking to add interest.

You need to be alert and aware to the atmosphere of sound.

You add to that a layer of music.

Equipment wise all you need is a video camera or a smart/(video)phone or digital slr to begin.

As you develop you might start to collect your sound with a microphone or tablet.

You can map out the kind of pictures you are going to collect, and do a range of close-ups and mid shots, establishing scene shots, and conveying the story shots.

I will never forget the day Leandro taught me about exploring all the angles to find the perfect images for the Dance for Recovery video.  I raced wherever he asked me to and he gently called out instructions as to what kind of footage to attempt.

Other times I have learnt by watching.  Accompanying Mick to Murray Upper, I collected audio for a video and watched as Mick used his camera, set up lighting, and encouraged the children to relax as he took photos of their dreams.

They have never let me feel overwhelmed by editing programs and equipment but let me learn lots by myself and given me handy tips when I had a perplexed look on my face, or asked a question.

I like that they are meticulous and honest and will tell me at precisely which point the editing needs fixing and how to maybe do it.  They also give handy feedback and debriefing so I know what to do better next time.

I learn a lot by watching their films carefully, and wondering, now how did Mick do that, how did Leandro do that?

They are always very busy, as so many people and organisations want their help and they cover such large areas, but they have taught me most of myself to believe in my ability to learn, and to research how to do things not just simply rely on their help.  At some point when your being mentored you need to be confident to learn stuff yourself.

This year I had a short film shown at the Mission Beach Film Festival.  It was thanks to their mentoring and encouragement.

If you want to see it click on the link: Dance for Recovery

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Leandro and June – Taken with Self Timer- June Perkins

Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open, this month’s  Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them! Goal 19 pieces on Who Shaped Me.

People in our lives in 2011

I could have focused this year’s round up on events and achievements, but instead it’s all about people.  We’ve had so many people touch our lives this year this post is dedicated to just some of them.


Some awesome Tully people all banding together after Yasi

We shared experiences, checked up on each other and watched television at anyone’s house with a generator.  There are so many wonderful locals in Tully and surrounds.  This will always be a very special photograph to me.

visitofprince1 - two happy locals
Two friends waiting to meet or glimpse Prince William in Cyclone Yasi Territory .

I gave a copy of this photograph to these two lovely ladies and they loved how happy they looked.  It was so good to capture joy after the experience of Cyclone Yasi.  I know one of the ladies as she volunteers in a local scrapbooking shop and is always happy for a yarn up when you visit.  Typical of Tully we have many mutual friends and have met from time to time at other events.

I loved the look on Prince William’s Face as he met the Cassowary in art. I was contented to photograph other people’s joy and didn’t try to meet the Prince.


Prince William in Tully meeting locals

My sons and hubby will never forget meeting Phil Emmanuel and watching him tune up his guitar. He was on last at the Bounce Back Concert, it was rainy and muddy but the guitar was awesome even with a few sparks from the wet mixing with the electricals oops.  He was another visitor who came twice and he actually remembered meeting the kids!

With his idol...

Meeting Phil Emmanuel – he signed the guitar.

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Pam and Joe Sharing their Story of Cyclone Yasi.

I enjoyed learning video skills with people who trusted and were patient with me. Pam and Joe’s daughter loved the video documentary about them- always good to know extended family like stories on their own family.  Pam has been a great friend, practical and regularly ringing or visiting.  I loved taking some portraits of Pam and Joe out on the farm.

Sal and Kim, always busy and involved in community, charted and continue to chart their recovery journey on facebook.  They allowed me to share snippets for ABC Open.
Sal and Kim

Sal and Kim at Mission Arts Opening providing support and Sal’s vocals.


My son with his awesome tennis coach. 

Tennis has been a regular thing with our son going twice a week all year and it’s good to hear that people did not drop off attendance after Yasi but just loved the social and fitness aspects of their tennis! Thanks to everyone at Baseline Tennis.

SES volunteers helping in our area and showing compassion and good humour. 

We are pictured here with some SES workers who came all the way from Weipa to help out.  They were kind enough to let us take this picture, well actually one of them took the pic.  I remember it was a time when we were still wondering about where we were going to live!

Cardwell Lions - supporting the launch of Cyclone Yasi our stories.
Cardwell Volunteers at Launch of Cyclone Yasi our Stories


Jeff McMullen a former 60 minutes journalist with my son

We met so many amazing people this year, including Jeff McMullen a former 60 minutes journalist, who mingled with the crowd at  the Bounce Back Yasi Concert as well as Damien Martyn, retired Australian cricketer and Haley Warner, a former Australian Idol finalist.



We met quite a few singers, including Leah Flannagan, Peter Farnan, Rebecca Barnard and Robert Forster –  who came with Song trails from the Queensland Music Festival. Leah pictured below has such a beautiful voice and did justice to our group composed song.

Leah plays her song

Leah Flannagan playing a song for us.

Jo- one of our hosts after Yasi

One of our many Angels – Jo

This beautiful soul  (pictured above) Jo took our family in when we were searching for somewhere to live.  She and her husband Neil made us so welcome we will never ever forget her family’s help.  I am so happy every time I run into her and we’re good friends with her son – Dan who also comes and plays guitar with the boys every now and then when he’s back from uni.

thank goodness another ute angel

With another of our many helpers and friends

I took a lot of photographs of helpers when I was up for it.  Occassionally stress made me forget but I did try to document all our wonderful helpers.  The photograph above is with Lydia one of my writing group buddies and a keen photographer.  I’ll never forget our early sunrise photography expedition.  We must have been crazy!  For a short time I lived around the corner from her in the aftermath of the cyclone and we were able to have a few catch ups. Some thanks are in order to many of the teachers from Tully State High and also to Richard Kelly, and the Dores who spent a lot of time helping us on house moves.

My daughter seeing her skype friend

This is my daughter with one of her dearest friends.

They got a chance to catch up in person in September.  They were in touch on skype during the cyclone and her friend offered her home if we were homeless afterwards.  She is such a sweetie and rang my daughter on her own birthday so she could share her special day with my daughter.  The girls are still in touch a lot on skype.

Carolyn Bofinger, has been an inspiring and encouraging person.  I have been blessed to get to know her this year, and thank her for putting ABC Open in touch with my family and for all she did for Lower Tully Community before she left.  She didn’t let go of making new friendships even as she was leaving and I was surprised but honoured to be invited to her farewell.


Carolyn Bofinger – with the daybed rescued and repaired by her friends

Carolyn was involved with helping out with Operation Angel but didn’t get to be there when founder of that organisation Jacqueline Pascarl was in town, so I took lots of pictures and documented that event. She was sorely missed.


Jacqueline Pascarl chatting with locals from Lower Tully – honoured to meet her and hear her inspiring speech.

Robert Rose - visiting with Back on Track

Robert Rose, a basketballer of renown came with the Back on Track program of Australian Health Rotary.

 He cheered up a lot of kids by teaching them basket ball.  He was later to say with others who were travelling with him, that he got more out of the trips than the kids probably as he so enjoyed the joy on their faces and will never forget the visit.

Graeme Connors, what an inspiring song writer.   He has songs about cyclones amongst other things in country life.  He sang at Bounce Back and also in the Back on Track program.

Graeme Connors - visiting with Back on Track

It was a time to say goodbye to Feluga State School – here is most of the school with Robert Rose and Graeme Connors after that fabulous visit.  The staff have been so great to the kids and they will miss them.  Especially Mr Starkey their classroom teacher and principal and teacher aide Marcia Reichardt.

Visit Australian Rotary Health


My sister in laws

My wonderful sister in laws have been so kind, and it was great to see them at a big family function this year.


This is just one of many photographs of visiting Bahai Friends.  

Here is another- one of our friends  friends was absolutely awestruck by the nature of our surroundings you can see it in his face, he just couldn’t look at the camera:


Lots of people offered to have us come stay with them, but it was lovely to have someone come and see us as we weren’t up to much travel at that point needing to still get on with sorting things out (which we are still doing) before having a more relaxed break.   I have to thank Gabriels, Mudds,Tahereh and Adib, the Derakshans and probably several others.

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Lisa Curry with some happy kids

The kids loved listening to and meeting Lisa Curry, fabulous Australian Swimmer and former Olympian.  She gave them a book on fitness and gave a very funny and inspiring talk on being healthy.   She encouraged them to surround themselves with positive people!  I follow her on facebook now.

There are lots of writers and artists in our lives – we see them at launches, workshops and stay in touch via email and phone to mentor each other.  Here are just a few pictures of them.  I could easily do a whole post on them.

writers on the storm

Writers on the Storm – Workshop Mission Beach (still in touch with these fabulous ladies.)

those published in the anthology.... or who helped!

Launch of Under one Sky – Mission Beach (yahee our anthologies were not destroyed by Yasi!)

Licuala WINQ Writers featured in Cyclone Yasi, Our Stories.
With some of the Licuala Writers – at the Launch of Cyclone Yasi, Our Stories – Cardwell

The team from ABC Open have been in touch with us a lot, and given me a brilliant focus for the year – on storytelling recovery.  I have to thank all the producers and friends and readers who’ve regularly commented on the blogs or facebook or sent personal messages, Paulien, Noel, Pam, Sally K., Vi,  Kate, Tammy,  Carolyn,  Jo, Karen, Susanne,  Book Creator’s Circle members, and from ABC’s Sonja, Brad, Cath, Scott, Leandro and Michael.  I don’t have photographs of a lot of you obviously as we are touch in virtual space.

Meeting with Mick Bromage in Townsville

timer shot with fill flashMeeting Leandro for first time.


Emma is the shop owner at Murray Upper

Emma puts on a lovely Christmas every year for locals.  This year despite Yasi, it was no different.  It was an excellent opportunity to meet many locals but it would not have been possible without people like her who put the time and effort in.  I have to thank Murray Upper for being so welcoming! What a community!

Santa at Murray Upper1postcard3

The following photograph was of moment of joy down at one of the local creeks and it was so lovely to see the kids really smile!  They are looking forward to doing that a lot more in 2012. 

Happy New Year Murray Upper, Happy New Year everyone!

 My favourite pic of the kids from 2011.

(c) June Perkins, words and images all rights reserved.

Guest blogging makes me brave and leads to discoveries

Yes, my guest blogging for abcopen continues – what a great bunch those producers are – busy creating, workshopping and out and about getting to know the community.They inspire me to do the same.

Mick, Leandro, Sonya, Miranda, Benji, watch out for all these names I am sure they will produce many great stories.  Their short videos are gems in my daily websurfing.

I love interviewing people and sharing their stories.

This picture at the top of this blog is of Joe Galeano a recent interviewee.

I was lucky as Pam introduced me to her husband Joe and although I didn’t know him that well by the end of the interiew I had a lot of insights into Pam and Joe’s life in the country and living through cyclones.You can find my latest blog up now and soon there will be some videos! I have been working on mastering pinnacle editing programs.

At first it was tricky but it is getting easier.  Once I master the basics I am keen to go on and do more complicated stuff.

You can read my latest guest blog:

(c) all rights reserved, June Perkins

Blogging with a Purpose

a shell home for kids
Photo Credit – By June Perkins

Reading this blog  ‘Beautiful Thanks’ by Sarah today, reminded me of the power of blogging, words, images and friendship.

Recently I made my first digital story for my guest blogging at ABCopen.  I learnt how to use the video editing program with one In the Bin intensive workshop from last year, some pointers from Leandro Palacio and Mick Bromage, and a viewing of the inbuilt tutorial to the video editing program.  The rest was determination and practice (which I still need more of so do forgive my little editing gliches I am going to do another polish of the video).

My story was that of Operation Angel and their contribution to the recovery process in Lower Tully.  I could not have told this story without the sensitive documentary photographs of Carolyn Bofinger who captured the joy Operation Angel bought to locals.  I am delighted that she gave me permission to use these images as they are central to telling this story.

I mention friendship because Carolyn’s friendship with me and Sarah Allen’s friendship with Jacqueline Pascarl, has bought us all together in cyberspace and sometimes in real space.

We blog not aimlessly but with a purpose, for our art,  maybe our businesses, our communities, and for the creation of healing, humanitarian and recovery spaces.  We blog things we care about, and use social media platforms for something constructive.

To see the video visit  OPERATION ANGEL VIDEO ON VIMEO.

I am so inspired by the amazing people I meet and hear about, and every now and then extra special people come into my orbit – and there always seems to be a reason.

There is a power in digital stories, or short community made documentaries, to reach into people’s hearts.  It can be done on practically no budget, with a few handy tips in mind to make it more effective.  Watching closely how filmmakers frame image and cut between scenes is a big help.

Photo Credit – By June Perkins

(c) June Perkins

Portrait Day with ABCopen

          Leandro visits Tully, photos by June Perkins

For someone who normally likes to take, rather than be in pictures, having a portrait done is a tad scary.  I’ve been asked to do this by ABC for their annual report, where they are featuring some of their guest bloggers ‘engaging the community in conversations,’ and sharing more about the ABCopen project.

I needn’t have worried because Leandro Palacio, a newly appointed ABCopen producer, who resides in Cairns, puts me immediately at ease.  He is so new his page on ABCopen is about to go up and isn’t there yet.

Leandro is from Argentinia originally and most recently lived in Melbourne for ten years.  He has made the move to Cairns with his young family and is really enthusiastic about working for the ABC.  He is about to make a trip to Cape York.  I am sure we will read a blog or see a video of the work he does up there pretty soon.

He has had an interesting life, and you can see I forgot my photograph was being taken and instead began preparing a blog on the visit through an informal interview.  I had already asked Leandro if I could do a blog on having the portrait done.  He was happy for me to do that.

He liked the spot I had chosen for the photograph – Alligator’s Nest – but like everyone visiting wondered about that name.   The true story is on the sign and it’s all to do with some local history.  Maybe next time you visit Tully you might like to look it up.  It is not because there are Alligator’s there.

Mystery?  Tell me why you think it’s called that?  Maybe you can give a creative answer and see how close you get.

Recently heritage trail signs went up all over Tully.  I might walk around and try and find them all, I have found quite a few and we do read them and they help us to know the history of the area better.  It is helpful that they are on location and you can learn history as you walk.

I learnt how to use the self timer on my camera with some assistance from Leandro.  I have recently purchased a new camera and am still learning how to use it.

The ABCopen producers do a lot of workshops to skill the community up and Leandro has especially run these for young people in his past occupations.  He has taught video skills too.

It is exciting to think of the ABCopen producers inspiring a generation of new and young film makers and photographers who may have had a spark lit in a regional community workshop.

I am certain from Leandro’s easy going manner, obvious listening skills, and gentleness that he is going to do a wonderful job for the ABC and out in the community.  I am sure that Mick Bromage his Townsville Counterpart is going to have a great time having another producer in North Queensland!

Leandro tells me that all the ABC open producers recently met each other,  they had some training and visited QANDA, and got a chance to bond as a nationwide time.  I think some of them are going to go on and do great things.

Keep a look out for them in your local community and do go and visit this exciting project of the ABC to see how you can get involved and ‘join the conversation.’

VISIT THE   ABCopen Project.

(c) June Perkins, all rights reserved, words and image.

Leandro – portrait of the portrait taker – by June Perkins