For the last couple of months, I have been working hard on a new project, tentatively called “State of Electronics”. It’s basically concerned with the history, development and future of the Australian Electronics Design and Manufacturing Industry. Partly fuelled by my own interests in Electronics, the documentary hopes to investigate the life cycle of an industry – how an industry is born, how it develops and then how it goes into decline. It’s a subject that can apply to many forms of industries including my own industry – the film industry.
Filming has begun and over the last couple of weeks and I have interviewed many people who helped create the Electronics Design & Manufacturing industry in Australia as well as those who are very active within it still today. The documentary will highlight many of the individuals who tinker in their back sheds designing and building innovative electronic devices, large & small scale manufacturers, Repairers, Component Suppliers, Design houses, Technicians, Businessmen and Woman, futurists, Hackers and Organisations with the sole purpose of showing a worldwide audience the state of the Australian Electronics Industry.
The format is driven by interviews that are mostly like “Discussions”. The topics vary from how people became involved with electronics as a child, how they developed their careers and then how they changed the world around them with innovation, good business sense etc. However, as with any good story, there is a darker side also. The Documentary is investigating the decline of the industry also. Through both economic and political change, the Electronics Industry is constantly undergoing change. World economic problems as well as technological advancements have meant the end of an era in certain sectors of the Industry, leaving jobs at risk or making them extinct! However, not everything is of doom and gloom. The documentary will also highlight individuals and companies that have been able to break through the difficulties and find their feet on a worldwide platform, delivering state of the art products and innovation.
As the project progresses I will update this blog with further information. For now, I can tantalise you with just a few images already shot on the 5DMKII. Perhaps this is an appropriate moment to describe the shooting process. The entire documentary is being filmed on Canon’s 5DMKII using L series glass. Audio is recorded using a Zoom H4N digital recorder and the video and audio are combined in Post Production, using Final Cut Pro. Because this is such a small gear package, I am largely able to handle most of the production needs by myself. When it’s all said and done, I will write up my feelings on going solo on such a big project, however for now I can say that it is incredibly liberating, somewhat demanding but very efficient! I’m also using my iPad as my “questions note pad” and also to carry out research on the fly (even while asking questions). I’ve had the opportunity to include “others” very quickly into the Documentary by being quick to research and write new questions for them. The iPad has made this possible. It’s an amazing tool used in this manner! The last thing I should mention is the overall size of the gear package i’m using, is so small that I can (using a Defence Force term) ”deploy” very quickly by air or road to carry out interviews. On the 19th of July, I flew to Sydney for two days of interviews with just two pieces of luggage!
More to come!