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Junior Production Assistant 1972 - 74
An eager-beaver 18 year-old in Sept. 1972, I took my photographic portfolio for an interview with station manager Laurie Burrows, thinking that perhaps DDQ could use an ace photographer. Luck paid off. The next day I received a telegram offering me a position as a Junior Production Assistant, which turned out to be another name for Despatch Boy. I took over from Doug Sternes as he moved on up in the pecking order. Within a few months I was shooting 16mm monochrome news film, battling the finicky 16mm film processor in the pitch darkness and even a spot of film editing under the tutelage of Rhys Morris. I undertook filming assignments from ace newsreader Phil Fryer. I also learned studio camerawork, audio recording vision mixing and telecine and worked under flamboyant studio director Clive Gilshannon. During this time I formed a close friendships with both Doug and Gary Schweikert as well as enduring a huge teenage crush on pretty weather girl, as well as working alongside graphic artist Debbie Williamson, friendships that remains strong to this day. Gary guided me through the finely-honed skills and attention to detail required to become a Programme Coordinator, although I have sworn not to go into details here about the infamous ‘Maltese Falcon’ incident. There were also fun times on Outside Broadcast gigs at numerous country shows and horse races with Denny Faschin and Graham Ehler. In 1974 I joined the hordes moving onto the Big Smoke in Brisbane and scored a position with ABC Radio, then BTQ7. By the 80s I was a tape operator at TEN 10 Sydney, then a freelance cameraman and worked at several post production facilities including a stint as an editor for TWT at ATN 7. In late ‘88 I moved to London as a freelance editor/vision mixer and producer-director at TVam and MTV Europe. From 96 - 2001 I worked as a cameraman editor and producer-director for an independent British TV production company based in Moscow, shooting and editing news stories and documentaries across Russia and the former Soviet republics. I returned to Australia and for the last few years have worked mainly as a TV producer in Australia, the UK, Russia, China, Southeast Asia & a movie shoot in Saudi Arabia. Currently I am based on the Sunshine Coast, writing and developing a big budget sci-fi TV drama series for the international market. DDQ will always have a special place in my heart as the little country TV station that gave me a start in the television industry.