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April 28, 2016

Repeater Productions get it right the first time

It’s not easy being green, but that isn’t stopping the fresh-faced filmmakers at Repeater Productions.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Julian Cebo

Starting out in your chosen profession is a daunting task.

In media especially, the landscape is filled with voices and it can be difficult to know for sure that there’s room for yours.

Here in Adelaide, the City of Small Businesses, the opportunities to find your feet on the lower rungs of larger organisations are less available than in the eastern states, and so it falls on the shoulders of young creators to make opportunities for themselves.

Such are the beginnings of Repeater Productions.

The tiny studio started as a project between filmmaker Morgan Wright and producer Jess Thomson (whose face CityMag readers might recognise). Recently, sound designer Ben Golotta has come on board, but his involvement comes after the original duo’s self-funded documentary research trip to Japan in 2014.

“I’d been reading quite a bit into these cultures around the world that just for some reason live longer,” Morgan says.

“I got really interested [in] why these people can live longer, when we, as Australians, should be able to do it all. So we went over there [and] came back with a good bit of research, which drew the attention of a couple of different production companies we’re working quite closely with.”

“So with the help of Projector Films and Passel Media, we’re hoping to have this documentary broadcast into a six-part series,” Jess adds.

Though the project is still in the later production stages, they know how fortunate they are to have made it this far, and to have started making the ever-crucial connections one needs in Adelaide.

“In the process of it all we’ve been very fortunate to only have finished university not that long ago, and at least have a concept that can float to six parts,” Morgan says.

Currently under the working title Neverland, the film is just one of a raft of personal projects the Repeater team are chasing, including a piece on Adelaide’s Basket Range wine region, which will see them chatting to Noma in Copenhagen about South Australia’s global reputation; a film following Morgan as he joins a trek across Southern Africa; and another project exploring Bondi culture, as seen through the eyes of the once-estranged Pagliaro brothers.

As Repeater Productions is still quite a young company, funding these personal projects has meant building a reputation through producing commercial content, which the crew sees as a perfect way to build their coffers, while honing their skills.

“[It] definitely supports the creative work,” Jess says.

“It allows us to work solely in the industry, so Ben and I have the ability to be in this office without working another job that takes us away from it,” Morgan adds.

Documentary has been their main output so far, but once Repeater is more established, it’s their aim to move into fictional stories.

“Documentaries generally are low-cost, they tell a very good story, and… it’s good practice,” Morgan says.

“We are working on a short film at the moment and our idea is to balance between the two, hopefully leading toward more fiction.”

“We want to work on as many fiction films as we can, just purely for more creativity and really showing our creative direction,” Ben says.

With such driven individuals behind the wheel, it’s not difficult to see Repeater Production’s future heading exactly where they’d like it to go.

And whatever the output is, CityMag will be tuning in.

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