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:: SUCCESS STORY: PRIME MOVER ::

Katherine Shortland | June 15, 2008

There is always a collective sigh of relief when the camera turns over for the first time on a feature film. Monday 12th of May 2008 was no exception for the production team of Prime Mover, produced by Vincent Sheehan and Porchlight Films. The only difference was that there were a couple of extra happy faces in the production office in Dubbo. They belonged to Katherine Shortland and Kenneth Wang, the project leaders on a collaborative research project between Australian Film TV & Radio School (AFTRS) and Queensland University of Technology. The production software, YAWL4Film, was up and running.

Twelve months prior, Shortland approached Sheehan during the early stages of development for YAWL4Film production tool to gauge interest in being involved in its development and testing. Sheehan agreed to consider using the tool, should it be ready, for use on his feature film, Prime Mover to be directed by David Caesar. Sheehan had been developing the project for almost a decade and Shortland had been involved with a test shoot for the film in 2006.

What followed were a series of progress meetings with the team and various key members of the Prime Mover crew. This included the 1st Assistant Director, John Titley, Associate Producer Linda Miscko and Production Manager Sandy Stevens. It was vitally important that these key stakeholders make clear how they managed the filming and production process, to ensure the least impact on their already established systems. The team committed that they would ensure the Porchlight team was kept up to date with progress. Furthermore, Shortland made it clear to Sheehan that if the tool was not perfected, they would not rush running it on the film.

The Team would interpret their needs and suggestions directly into each subsequent stage of development of the tool, always reconfirming with Shortland, a former production manager. The start date for the film shifted, as is commonplace on feature films, and the team was grateful for the additional time. Once the production start date was locked in, the Team moved quickly to finalising the Tool. Some sacrifices of more advanced elements were made to ensure that the components that were delivered were seamless.

Commentary by Mr Vincent Sheeham

In the weeks prior to the beginning of shooting, the intended users were guided through the tool, its capabilities and restraints. Shortland and Wang relocated to Dubbo for the final week of pre production. From there they managed the final adjustments and data migration. The Team generated the first 2 weeks of call sheets, before handing over to the Production Coordinator for the remainder of the shoot. Miscko and Stevens also used the tool to manage the complex task of managing the second unit.

By the time shoot ended on the 14th June 2008, Prime Mover had used YAWL4film for all of its 26 shooting days.

Related Links: Offical Movie Site

Media contact: Katherine Shortland, katherine.shortland@aftrs.edu.au

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