Annotated CV as at January 2006
I was born in 1947 in Melbourne, and when I was about four years old, my parents moved to Walwa on the Murray River, 130km up towards the Snowy Mountains from Albury. My mother was then a bookkeeper, my father an electrical engineer at the local Butter factory during the day, and projectionist at the local picture theatre at night. I had a country high school education (Corryong High School) then the whole family (I've a younger brother and a sister) moved to Melbourne so I could study as a photographer/ cinematographer at RMIT. Graduating, I then spent ten years or so in advertising agencies, ending as Head of TV Production at Clemenger Melbourne. Wanting more hands-on, I left there to start some (mostly successful) commercial production companies. I worked for a year on a TV series; did pre-prod on an Australian feature film, then went back to commercials production with a leaning to graphics, special effects. I’ve always written about the technology, first as an equipment reviewer, then for then years as the technical editor of Cinema Papers and lots of free lance articles in between.
I then started a desktop video company and closed it when I was asked to revamp and edit a small multimedia magazine (Australian MultiMedia – MM) that was soon bought by Murdoch Magazines. I edited the magazine in Sydney for a few years, and began doing web stuff for Murdoch Magazines. The magazine closed and figuring I could do web work anywhere, I shifted to Canberra when my wife joined Grey Canberra as Creative Director. I started Grey Interactive for them, and over the next two years built it to be a successful web development company. I left them in June last year looking for new challenges. I tried to get a few 'dream' projects up while working freelance as editor/content producer for websites, but the .com crash meant that if the schemes were to happen, it was to be with my money so I headed back into freelance web development and bits of full time contracting in 2001, mostly for P&O Cruises.
I went back for a three months contract to help Grey and got stuck there for nearly two years. I left in July 2004 and I'm now freelance chasing some other publishing dreams with Regional Food Communications.
The full shtick (do you really want to know this?)
1970 I graduated with a Diploma of Advertising and Illustrative Photography from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. I started a commercial studio with two other RMIT students doing portraits, fashion and industrial work (and lots of catalogues).
1971-1981 I then began a working relationship that lasted for ten years at John Clemenger Advertising, starting as in-house photographer on the K-mart account then as filmmaker, doing cheap commercials, concept tests etc. This time at Clemenger included a number of periods were I was on retainer, or working part-time. After one part time stint (I was living in the country), I returned to full-time as a Radio & TV Producer in 1977, then left for six months as Producer at Ogilvy & Mather and was 'wooed' back to Clemenger to become Head of their Radio, Film & TV Department in 1979.
During this time I was making my own short films, and working as cinematographer on friend’s low budget features on weekends. In 1972 I started, again with friends, the Melbourne Filmmaker's Co-Operative and was its chairman for the first two years. I was also a Board Member of Open Channel, Melbourne's public access video co-operative while they prepared for test transmissions of Public TV. I travelled Europe and the UK for six months and after returning, I worked again for a short time at Clemengers and finally left the agency searching for a more ‘hands on the technology’ role, early in 1982.
1983-1984 Worked as a producer at Fred Schepisi's production company The Film House P/L. Doing mostly commercials and some documentary work.
I continued writing, and became the equipment reviewer
for The Video Age (Syme Magazines), reviewing domestic video gear
for the two years that the monthly magazine lasted. I left Film House
and formed my own company Programme Productions P/L to produce a series
of documentaries for Army, Navy and Air Force office recruiting, and
In February 1985 I began as Technical Production Co-ordinator for McElroy & McElroy for the full 12 month run of the TV series Return To Eden. This was a production management role leading the camera and grip crews, working for Director of Photography, Yuri Sokol.
1986 This led to role as Technical Production Co-ordinator for the McElroy's movie The Last Frontier, (with Jack Thompson and Linda Evans) shooting in Alice Springs and Sydney, working for Director of Photography Ian Baker.
May 1986, I joined The Video Paintbrush Co., a pioneering computer graphics design company in Sydney, as an Executive Producer. There I worked with different designers on the, (then new and exciting) Quantel Paintbox/ Harry, and 3D modelling systems, (at the time they were running Wavefront software on SGI’s).
1987 I started a production company jointly owned by
Video Paintbrush Co. and Mirage Effects (managed by Andrew Mason) called
Picture Start, specialising in video graphics and special effects live
action TV commercials. With Directors John Child, and Mike Trebert, we
concentrated on chasing big budget effects and did some FACTS award
winning commercials with blue screen, motion control, extensive
animatronic and model work, and full 3D computer graphics. I developed a
lot of digital compositing skills and experience. (Video Paintbrushers
Chris Godfrey and and Zareh Nalbandian went on to start Animal Logic).
1989 When Norman had to return to London for health
reasons, we closed Synchro, but before he left we had constructed of new
motion control camera rig and used it on a number of effects
commercials. I installed and trained operators on a low cost Paintbox
system at a business graphics house, Active Images.
March 1990 I returned to freelance work for Melbourne agencies, working mostly as a Digital Post Production Supervisor on commercials. I was also working on a number of script projects as a writer.
1991 Spent five months on production of Tom's
Thumb, a Victorian Government WorkCare educational video ( this was
a 45 min musical with lots of bluescreen Harry effects). There was a
change of government and they tried to re-edit and make it politically
correct, and then dumped the production.
1993 I started fREDGREENBLUE, a desktop studio specialising in animatics for advertising, and lower cost graphic TVC's and corporate work. I consulted with a number of companies on computer equipment installation. I was contracted by the Australian Film Commission to co-write a book covering a 20 year history of the technical and creative changes in the Australian Film Industry. I suggested an interactive history website as the only way to do justice to the topic, but they wanted print. It didn’t happen because....
1994 In January I began as Editor of Australian MultiMedia Magazine (published by Consolidated Publishing Solutions). I completely revised the content and with Designer Chris Waller, redesigned the magazine. We produced two issues in Melbourne before publisher Stephen Moignard sold the magazine to Matt Handbury’s Murdoch Magazines (who only wanted it if it came with me attached). I moved with my wife and daughters to Sydney. (August 1995)
1995 I edited and produced four roughly bi-monthly issues of AMM magazine. It gave Murdochs the ‘new media’ buzz Matt wanted but it wasn’t making enough money so we decided to move the magazine to the Web in July. We started the MM Online site in August 1995. It was hugely successful (especially the Sex Issue) but no-one knew how to take advantage of it. I was also writing the Pleasure Dome (new products) column for 21.C magazine.
1996-1997 Was spent concentrating on the future of Murdoch Magazines publications. I worked with then general Manager Tim Trumper, and demonstrated our vision of online publishing for various Murdoch Magazines clients and top Sydney and Melbourne agencies and media.
I continued to edit/write/produce the online magazine,
and the MM web site was receiving at times a regular 2,000 visits a day.
In April 1996 I moved with my family to just outside Canberra, (my wife Jan O’Connell took the job of Creative Director of Grey Advertising Canberra) and from May 1996, Australian MultiMedia Magazine Online was edited and produced from my home in Bungendore. There were signs of advertising support and sponsorship but I eventually had to get a real job. I started a web company called Digital Mechanics with a partner Doug Bailey, in Sydney and we did corporate sites for P&O and Medibank. I was also writing regular material for The Weekend Australian’s multimedia section, SYTE, for Cinema Papers and others.
1998 - 2000 One day, when I was tired of driving to Sydney for meetings, Managing Director Bruce Mackay at Grey Advertising talked me into driving to their office in Kingston five days a week, and I helped start Grey Interactive Canberra. I called myself manager and as the boring bits of running a company built up, employed someone in that role and became Executive Producer. We slowly created a solid reputation for our web work, and the Gi staff now consists of seven full time members, and are producing internet and intranet work for government agencies, local business and ACT government. It’s even rumoured that we were actually making a profit in our second year. I produced some special effects commercials and presentations for the agency but most of the work was web based. I played a Creative Director, team leader, technical architect role, and most of the time enjoyed it.
August 2001 - September 2002
I was asked to come back to Grey Interactive to help them
're-organise' for three months and I've renewed the contract every three months
for two years feeling responsible to keep the current list of interactive clients happy. Hmmmm...
maybe that wasn't a great idea in retrospect.
PO Box 317,
Bungendore NSW 2621.