A Wedged Tail premiere

By Simon Cherriman 7 November 2013
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Simon Cherriman, AG Society’s Young Conservationist of the Year for 2010 premiered his film.

I PUSHED OPEN THE curtain to the main door and squinted outside into the glare of the foyer. Chattering voices danced through the air and over my head into the empty theatre behind me. From my 6’7″ height, I could see people squashed right back to the other side of the room. The place was full! This made my stomach tingle with more nerves. Only 5 minutes until the show started.

Last month was the Australian Premiere of A Wedged Tale, a short ‘fictional narrative’ film that Adam Hermans and I made during 2010. Adam had returned to America and me to Perth after the New Zealand premiere in Dunedin in November 2010. The new year had arrived and the stage was set for an Australian premiere.

It happened on 11th and 12th March in the most fabulous evenings of my life! First I showed Kereru (a five-minute film I made during 2009), then River Dog (made by Oscar Hunter and James Muir – www.riverdogfilm.com), intertwined with a speech about humans, nature and environmental understanding. And finally, after a dedication to the late Malcolm Douglas who was inspirational to me as a 6 year-old boy, I screened the completed A Wedged Tale.

The response was enormous. Incredible. The audience reacted to the film so much more than the Kiwis did at the Dunedin show. Every little thing caused a laugh or a murmur – the Perth skyline shot, the tiny eaglet, every mammal at the Dryandra night scene. Everyone loved the ducklings; I was deafened by response to this sequence. All the little ‘Simmo’ jokes hit the spot – the kangaroo stomach, the roo’s seatbelt, the Iron Maiden t-shirts, my unique car aerial.

It just felt so, so good to finally be showing it to the people I know and love. The people we made the film for.

As a budding filmmaker, I’d never shown anything to an audience before. I’d been through the writing, scripting, shooting and endless editing and refining process, all of which was extremely hard work and at times disheartening. But the feeling you get to have people reacting to something you’ve made is unique, indescribable. It made me realise this is what filmmakers seek: the buzz of sharing their work.

The first night was a sell-out! 205 people bought seats and another half a dozen were waiting at the door, hoping to buy tickets (we ended up squeezing them in!). On Saturday we had about 180 in attendance, all as eager as the last mob to grab their seats. After both shows I answered a few questions at the end, then had a queue of people to chat to afterwards. It was warming to see all the familiar faces smiling as they departed.

Simon is the AG Society’s 2010 Young Conservationist of the Year.


AG Society Young Conservationist Award
Flight of the wedge-tailed eagle
AG Society award winners 2010