PRODUCED BY FILMMAKERS, ARTISTS, MUSICIANS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM BLACK SATURDAY FIRE AFFECTED COMMUNITIES IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

We have produced, collated and archived 5 years of the making of the Blacksmiths’ Tree – a grassroots response to the devastation caused by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in regional Victoria, Australia. It includes countless hours of footage from both professional and amateur filmmakers, stills and mobile video, interviews and testimonials. We are now ready to post-produce a broadcast quality documentary that tells the story of the making of The Blacksmiths’ Tree. We also want to complete this project with film industry professionals living in Black Saturday fire affected communities. Here’s our synopsis, how we’ve gone about making this film, a breakdown of our post-production budget and how you can help us complete Forged from Fire.

ABOUT THIS FILM

On Black Saturday, 7 February 2009, townships north-east of Melbourne were threatened by fire-storms. Considered Australia’s worst ever natural disaster it resulted in the highest loss of life and injuries from a bush-fire in Australia. The conditions in which the fires were ignited and burnt were extreme. After the horror of immediate losses, people had naturally embarked on various journeys of repair and recovery. The Blacksmiths’ Tree was one of them.

Blacksmiths from 20 different countries contributed over 3500 leaves to The Tree Project

Forged from Fire tells the story of how an Australian and international community of blacksmiths, welders, artists and volunteers responded to the devastating Black Saturday bush-fires by creating perhaps the most ambitious public artwork and memorial in Australia – a three tonne, 9.8 meter tall stainless steel and copper gum tree – The Blacksmiths’ Tree.

Forged from Fire is a participatory documentary about the personal journeys of these artisans and volunteers and how their creative processes united fire affected individuals and families.

COMPLETING THIS FILM

Forged from Fire builds on a 12 minute exhibiting documentary that describes the creative and personal stories that led to the inaugural public unveiling of The Blacksmiths’ Tree on 30 November 2013. With the addition of liberal access to the final stages of the creative process – dramatic scenes of industrial welding and the critical skills involved in its install – the full length documentary attempts to unpack the motivations and post-traumatic growth experienced by the many people both involved, and who have subsequently come into contact with, The Blacksmiths’ Tree.

Repairing one of the many thousands of welds on The Blacksmiths' Tree's copper and stainless steel canopy

Repairing one of the many thousands of welds on The Blacksmiths’ Tree’s copper and stainless steel canopy

Cameras in the hands of welders, engineers, blacksmiths, volunteers, the general public, videographers and a handful of film-makers captured key moments in the creation of The Blacksmiths’ Tree. Complemented with interviews, observational, aerial and time-lapse footage, exceptional cinematography and underscored by music written by musicians who survived the fires, a tender and far reaching story is told of perseverance, resilience and transformation.

The Blacksmiths' Tree, photo and timelapse courtesy Mike Wilkins

The Blacksmiths’ Tree, photo and timelapse courtesy Mike Wilkins

HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?

To complete this film for broadcast and theatrical screens we need to highest quality post-production we can afford. Post includes editing, colour grading and digital mastering. A short final production phase covers a couple of weeks of closing interviews and aerial footage of The Blacksmiths’ Tree in the completed memorial grounds at Strathewen, Victoria.

We would also like to commission new works from local composers and musicians. The music budget covers commissioning fees for three pieces in addition to the music we already have.

General production costs

  • Equipment hire
  • Data storage and backup
  • Sound, studio recording and mix
  • Post-production script
  • Delivery masters and dubs
    Sub-total … 8790.00

Post-production costs

  • Post-production crew
  • Interview transcriptions
  • Composer commissions
  • Titling
  • Grade
  • On-costs (e.g. taxes, superannuation)
    Sub-total … 22320.00

Below the line costs

  • Marketing, publicity, administration
  • Administration
  • Auspicing
    Sub-total … 6890.00

TOTAL BUDGET AUD $38000.00

WHO WILL SEE THIS FILM?

In collaboration with Country Fire Authority chapters and the Uniting Church we plan a rural and regional screening, taking Forged from Fire from township to village, from community halls to local theatres.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Want to see Forged from Fire in your town or region? Get behind our funding program or contact us to let us you’re keen to help get out film screened in your neighbourhood.

If you would like to see this film completed as much as we do you can help by donating to our project via the Documentary Australia Foundation.

Click DONATE to join our efforts in sharing this remarkable story about a remarkable community and The Blacksmiths’ Tree they created.

Keep in touch

We plan to have this film completed late 2015. If you would like to keep in touch with its progress and other similar projects sign up to the producer / directors mailing list.