Boaters called to be part of short film

Manning in the spotlight: Music orchestrated by Taree-raised Jonathan Billingham will provide the soundtrack to the short film From Hidden Valleys to the Sea.
Manning in the spotlight: Music orchestrated by Taree-raised Jonathan Billingham will provide the soundtrack to the short film From Hidden Valleys to the Sea.

Boating enthusiasts are encouraged to get out on the Manning River this Saturday afternoon, March 17, and be part of a short film.

The nature film, From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea, is set in the Manning Valley and depicts the journey of the Manning River and its many tributaries as they flow from the surrounding mountains down through the valley and to the ocean. 

Filming on Saturday will start from 11am at Taree West, from 12:30pm at Andrews Reserve and from 1:30pm between Martin Bridge and Dumaresq Island.

The film is being shot with cinema quality, high-powered drones, cameras mounted aboard motor boats and even with the aid of kayaks in upper reaches of the river where access is otherwise difficult.

A project of local composer and 2016 Manning Winter Festival ambassador, Jonathan Billingham of Tallowdale Music, he is producing the short film in collaboration with cinematographer and professional drone pilot, Tom Bishop of Filmworks Media.

The stunning scenery of the Manning Valley and surrounding mountain plateaus will be edited to be in visual synchronisation with Billingham’s orchestral work, also titled From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea.

The music evokes the flight of a bird as it follows the meandering river from the mountains through hidden valleys to the opening of the dual river estuaries where the mighty Manning flows into the sea at Harrington and Old Bar.

The impetus for the project came about following meetings between Billingham and local businessman, Graham Brown.

Both men have a vision to see more people discover the Manning River.

The film has been funded by members of the Taree business community who want to see hidden gems of the Manning Valley brought into the spotlight both locally and further afield.

The team is working to see the film entered into festivals such as Sydney Vivid and preparations are being made to premiere the film in Taree and show it at other locations throughout the Manning Valley.

Already the production team have completed seven days of filming in locations such as the Lansdowne Escarpment, the Lansdowne River, Croki, Killabakh, Comboyne, Wingham, The Bight, Mount George and Harrington.

Last weekend the Manning River Rowing Club Regatta provided a wonderful opportunity to capture part of the life of the river.

Cinematographer and professional drone pilot Tom Bishop at work.

Cinematographer and professional drone pilot Tom Bishop at work.

This coming Saturday, the club sailors will already be out on the water in the early afternoon and other casual boating enthusiasts are encouraged to get out on the water to be in the film. “Obviously, we want people to be safe and considerate of other vessels while they out on the water” said Billingham.

“The river at Taree is quite a large body of water and from the air, the more boats on the river, the more alive the shots will be for the film”, says cinematographer, Tom Bishop.

People who are interested can follow the progress of making the film on the Tallowdale Music Facebook page or at www.tallowdale.com.au