Get out on the water for a Manning River short film

The Manning Valley is currently the setting for a short film titled From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea and boating enthusiasts are encouraged to get out on the water this Saturday afternoon at Taree, Andrews Reserve and Taree West.

From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea is a nature film depicting the journey of the Manning River and its many tributaries as they flow from the surrounding mountains down through the valley and to the ocean. The film is being shot with cinema quality, high-powered drones, cameras mounted aboard motor boats and even with the aid of kayaks in upper reaches of the river where access is otherwise difficult.

The film is a project of local composer and Manning Winter Festival Ambassador, Jonathan Billingham of Tallowdale Music. Billingham is producing the short film in collaboration with cinematographer and professional drone pilot, Tom Bishop of Filmworks Media. The stunning scenery of the Manning Valley and surrounding mountain plateaus will be edited to be in visual synchronisation with Billingham’s orchestral work, also titled From Hidden Valleys to the Open Sea. The music evokes the flight of a bird as it follows the meandering river from the mountains through hidden valleys to the opening of the dual river estuaries where the mighty Manning flows into the sea at Harrington and Old Bar. Enjoy this preview of some of the footage.

The impetus for the project came about following meetings between Billingham and local businessman, Graham Brown. Both men have a vision to see more people discover the Manning River. The film has been funded by members of the Taree business community who want to see hidden gems of the Manning Valley brought into the spotlight both locally and further afield. The team are working to see the film entered into festivals such as Sydney Vivid and preparations are being made to premiere the film in Taree and show it at other locations throughout the Manning Valley.

Already the production team have completed seven days of filming in locations such as the Lansdowne Escarpment, the Lansdowne River, Croki, Killabakh, Comboyne, Wingham, The Bight, Mount George and Harrington. Last weekend the Manning River Rowing Club Regatta provided a wonderful opportunity to capture part of the life of the river. 

This coming Saturday, the club sailors will already be out on the water in the early afternoon and other casual boating enthusiasts are encouraged to get out on the water to be in the film. “Obviously, we want people to be safe and considerate of other vessels while they out on the water”, cautions Billingham. “The river at Taree is quite a large body of water and from the air, the more boats on the river, the more alive the shots will be for the film”, says cinematographer, Tom Bishop.

Filming on Saturday 17 March, will start at Taree West from at 11am, from 12:30pm at Andrews Reserve and from 1:30pm between Martin Bridge and Dumaresq Island.

People who are interested can follow the progress of making the film on this website or the Tallowdale Music Facebook page.