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Queen of the Desert

18 Aug 14

Hello again.  Just thought you might like to see a pretty famous shoe – belonging to ‘Priscilla – Queen of the Desert’, no less.  I suppose the other one does too – actually, I don’t think there is another one.  For those who have seen the film, it’s the one that sat on top of the bus.  On this occasion, however, it was sitting on the stage at the Broken Hill Agfair in May this year.  Just thought you might all be interested.


Ok – now we are on countdown – or should I say, we are trying to be on countdown to the WA research trip.  Most of you should know by now that we are also trying to cover this final trip with a documentary – called ‘Red Dust Dreams’, surprisingly enough.  And the film crew?  ‘Red Dust Dreamers’.
Making a documentary to cover the research for the book is something that never occurred to me.  Until I did the research on the NT recently and several people there told me that what I am doing – both the book itself and the research trips and all involved therein – is fascinating.  Well – I already knew that – but it was lovely to hear others say it to me.  Those same people then asked why it isn’t all being covered with a documentary.  I agreed – sort of – but also thought it’s a bit late for that.  Most of the nation has already been covered.

Once back home I began thinking – the seed had been planted and was growing.  Yes, it was too late for the rest of the nation – but then, given the amount it is costing anyway – it just would not have been a viable proposition.  But we still had the WA stations to cover – so why not!  Having absolutely no idea where or how to start I began contacting film and documentary makers, mainly interstate for some reason.  Some just ignored me but those who were good enough to respond, lost interest very quickly when I explained that it concerns the outback.  Then I turned to home – and the first that came to mind and should have been the first and only one from the beginning – was/is MOVING IMAGES AND TV PRODUCTIONS the business belonging to TV cameraman, Steve Fitzgibbon and his wife, Sue.  Steve had worked with one of my daughters, Fiona, when she was doing an internship as a journalist at Perth’s WTV and he was also good enough to come and film me doing a spiel at one stage.  So – I contacted him and he is now onboard, followed by our second cameraman, Christian Niddrie (of REVELATION PICTURES, Fiona and Warren Masilamony, our editor.  We are now looking at employing a PR professional to join our crew.

Please bear in mind that while the documentary will only cover the WA stations, as most of you know, the rest of the nation has already been covered and there are a lot more participating stations involved.  With the permission of said stations I will be including as much info and as many images as possible about each and every one, including some ‘touristy’ info.  My thanks to those stations that have already responded so positively to this.
The purpose for ‘Red Dust Dreams’ the documentary, is two-fold – actually it’s more than that – it’s quite a few-fold.  The original intention of the book and hence the doco was and still is to help raise the image of the people of outback Australia, to try to help educate those in urban Australia and the rest of the world about how the people out there live, some simply surviving on a daily basis.  We are focussing more on the domestic side of life, rather than the business side – except for those stations that have moved over to tourism.  Life is hard out there – make no mistake – but most of those in urban Australia just do not understand.  We are hoping both the book and the doco will help with that understanding.  The doco will provide a more visual experience to accompany the written journey through the outback and into the lives of some of these remote families and communities.  It will also provide a more behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the book, including how the author integrates into that lifestyle and how research is conducted to gather the mass of information required.  

We also want to capture and share the beauty of the outback, the spectacular scenery that is unique to our outback – which can only be caught on film.  We are also planning to interview, photograph and film some of the locals in the towns we will be travelling through (Kalgoorlie, Leinster and first station, Mt Magnet, Mullewa and second station, Geraldton, Northampton and third station, perhaps Kalbarri, fourth and fifth stations, Denham, Carnarvon, Coral Bay, Exmouth and sixth station, Dampier, Karratha, Pt Hedland, Broome, Derby and seventh station, Newman, Meekatharra and hopefully Mt Augustus) – yup – just a few places and we might not be able to visit all of them but the main ones should be included.  Much of this is also being done in the name of helping to increase WA’s tourism, along with generally just trying to help spread light on this amazing and largely unknown remote culture. 

Aspects included will be entertainment, transport, employment, education (showing the rest of the world how the children of the outback learn), infrastructure, transport, communication, shopping, mail, tourism, affects of social media, health – and so much more.

And what are we doing?  Along with two of my ‘crew’ I plan to hire a 4WD and drive out to Kalgoorlie, then follow the route outlined above to each of the seven participating stations and a few other tourist spots.  I will be filmed meeting, interviewing and photographing the stations owers/managers and their families, staff members and some key local townspeople as mentioned.

‘Red Dust Dreamers’ consists of moi, author and Behind-the-Scenes Production Co-Ordinator; Steve Fitzgibbon – Producer/Production Manager, Sound, Camera Operator; Christian Niddrie – Film Director, Production Assistant, Lighting, 2nd Camera Operator; Warren – Film Editor, Media Packages and Broadcast Sales and Fiona – Script Writer and Voice Over.  We are also looking into employing a professional PR person at the moment too.  Yes, they are all professionals and I could try to do the lot by myself – but that just wouldn’t work and I don’t want anything but the best for our outback.  Steve and Christian will be joining me on the roadtrip.


However, money keeps coming into it – rearing its ugly head. Very little happens in the world without it and Red Dust Dreams, the documentary, is no different.  Trying to raise the amount required to fund such a roadtrip is proving to be just a bit of a challenge.  I had originally planned to cover the WA stations with one of my usual research trips in August (as in NOW) but, then I put it back to October, but despite all our efforts at trying to raise said funds, unless we receive a huge injection of funds in the next six weeks or so, I am now pretty well confirming that it will occur in May next year.  The book will be published next year too.  To help raise these vital funds, we would be extremely grateful if you would visit our crowfunding campaign site and donate a teensy bit of money – or even a lot.

For more info on our trip and to see me (this crazy woman) live on camera (getting a taste for the trip itself) please do click on our crowdfunding campaign and help us by sharing and spreading the word about our trip and to try to raise those funds.  We are also trying to contact as many relevant businesses and companies as possible around the nation to gain interest in sponsorship.

For tips on travelling in the outback generally – and particularly if you are a crazy middle aged female who has, up to now, insisted on travelling throughout the outback by herself, please visit our special FaceBook page.

Thank you.  See you all next post.





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  1. Karen Tyrrell August 18, 2014 at 9:16 am Reply

    Hi Lannah,
    Congrats on your Red Dust Dreams doco and book .
    How very exciting.!!
    Wishing you all the best
    Karen Tyrrell

  2. Wendy August 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm Reply

    Looking forward to the documentary, Lannah! Please keep me updated on your progress 🙂

    • outbackgirl January 21, 2017 at 12:27 am Reply

      Hi Wendy. Thanks so much for this. Plans for the doco are well underway and I have now ‘pulled in’ some professional help for the launch – everything’s going nicely, apart from the odd hitch which can usually be overcome reasonably easily. Will keep you posted.

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