The Inspirational Story Of Arborist Anthony McConchie: Ant. Documentary Film
Ant. is a Documentary Film Directed By Hayden Bevis from Australia. This film is a 2018 Oregon Documentary Film Festival Official Selection. Even more, it was nominated for three awards. With breathtaking visuals and a refreshing inspirational story, this film isn't just for nature lovers. Working hard and climbing new heights to reach your dreams and attain your goals can be challenging. Anthony McConchie's story is a fun adventure for all of us. Oregon Documentary Film Festival Screening Date Friday May 25, 2018. Synopsis "Anthony McConchie is an arborist. After falling into this profession as a way to make money during university he has since become the Australian Tree Climbing Champion."
Watch The Trailer!
Interview With Hayden Bevis: Part One
- Why did you think that the Oregon Documentary Film Festival was a good place to submit and screen your film? "Oregon has a great outdoors community. Not just for outdoors in general but also specifically amongst arborists. Portland LOVES trees."
- What motivated you to tell this particular story? "Ant doesn't like to boast. I didn't even know he did this as a career. I'd heard amongst circles he enjoyed climbing and one day when we were out having a few beers at the Melbourne Cup he asked me whether or not he should "climb that TV tower". I told him to stop being silly before another friend told me he was the Australian Tree Climbing champion. I then demanded that I should be able to come film him do this. He was reluctant but let me tag along. Turns out he's a freak at climbing. I thought he was some type of EXTREME guy, but he is much more. He has a great love of the environment and a philosophy of climbing. I learned a great deal from him."
- Did you discover certain story elements during the production of this film that you never expected to find in the planning stages of this project? "Absolutely, initially I went in thinking I would be filming a 'Hard Core/Extreme' action film. But after talking to him about his understanding of the environment and how he climbs trees and reads them, I realised that he views climbing trees as a craft. He taught me to look up. So many of us don't do that."
Documentary Cameras And Gear
What camera(s) did you use to during the production of this film? Discuss any advantages or limitations that you may have run into, from an equipment perspective.
"Panasonic GH4's and a DJI Phantom 4 drone. I have used GH4's for years. Very compact and mobile. Love them to bits. Use them for interviews and general overlay. The drone proved to be an issue. It was my first time flying one. I needed it to give perspective of Ant climbing these trees. The trees were massive, 80-90 metres high. From the ground you couldn't grasp the scale of Ant in the tree and also from the tree you couldn't tell how fast or high he was climbing. I needed a drone to give me that distance and height. I had hoped that there was an clearing near the tree I could launch the drone in. Unfortunately deep in the Otways the canopy prevented a clear route into the sky. I tried anyway. I crashed the drone instantly. I was able to get it up on the second attempt but was limited in what I could see, so my shots were a little timid and jerky. I did manage to get a couple of shots though. It wasn't all a waste. I had hired the drone though so I was worried about losing the bond as it was pretty dirty. Ant cleaned it with a toothbrush on the way home. It came up a treat."
Interview With Hayden Bevis: Part Two
- Did anything happen during the production of this film that was very interesting, but never made it on camera? "I wanted to climb the 80 meter beast of a tree to get some shots from above. I am nowhere near as fit as Ant though. After 30 minutes I could only get 20 meters up, we were losing light so I opted to come back to earth. We ended up losing light and under the canopy it was pitch black, so we had to inch our way through the dense bush looking for markers to find our way back to camp. After 2 and a half hours of stumbling through the bush, the recent rain had made the ground soft and I was standing on the edge of a small cliff face, it gave way below me. I thought I was going to die, I slid, grasping at anything for what felt like ages before I splashed into a large mud pile at the bottom of the hill. It luckily broke my fall and was handily next door to the camp. I had accidentally found where it was.
- What kind of audience reaction are you getting to this film? Discuss any Positives or Negatives that you feel comfortable talking about. "It was first screened at the Port Douglas film festival and I have usually only produced comedy films prior to this. I wanted to teach myself new techniques and enjoy learning a new way of filming. I had no idea what to expect when it was first viewed and was pleasantly surprised. Ant is a wonderful character and he shines through but I do wonder that maybe I didn't make the film exciting enough. But overall, no negative experiences."
- Do you have plans for a sequel or future film that you are working on? "We have discussed with Ant a web series on people and their favorite trees. Trees they have in their backyards that they have owned for years."
- You have completed a documentary film, which is a huge achievement. Do you have any advice for a future filmmaker that is about to start a documentary project? "Advice that you wish you had been given before you started yours? "It's ok to make a shitty film. Failing is part of the process. The quickest way to get better at filmmaking is to fail. I wish someone had told me this years ago. It would have saved so much heartache and sleepless nights."
Director Biography: Hayden Bevis
After completing a diploma of Broadcasting at Holmesglenn, Hayden began working as the head of production at Quiz Meisters Trivia in Melbourne, Victoria. It was during this time he began making short films and TV pilots on the side. Culminating in the award winning film "Unspoken" a comedic short film based on the Australian love of Fish and Chips. As of 2015, Hayden now runs Posterboy Media. A film production company based in Melbourne which aims at telling the stories of Melbourne's diverse inhabitants on a tight budget.