Last year, I accompanied a group of young tech enthusiasts from CSIRO, UQ, and QUT to Peel Island to film a documentary for the BBC. It was all part of the CyArk project with the aim of digitising the Lazaret (see my earlier blogs: ‘Click’ of October 15, 2016 and ‘Digitising the Lazaret at Peel Island’ of May 14, 2016). It was all under the guidance of Nick Kwek, the show’s producer and director who came from London to do the filming. He realised that the story’s human side is really fascinating as well, so I was included in the team to supply a bit of the human history to the now empty huts that the drones and robots were to film.
Now it’s available for all to view on the BBC’s official YourTube account:
I recently accompanied a group of young tech enthusiasts from CSIRO, UQ, and QUT to Peel Island to film a documentary for the BBC. It was all part of the CyArk project with the aim of digitising the Lazaret (see my earlier blog Digitising the Lazaret at Peel Island of May 14, 2016). It was all under the guidance of Nick Kwek, the show’s producer and director who came from London to do the filming. He realised that the story’s human side is really fascinating as well, so I was included in the team to supply a bit of the human history to the now empty huts that the drones and robots were to film.
Nick was indeed bowled over by the place and spent many hours filming the buildings as well as the robots and drones. He also conducted several interviews, of which I scored about ten minutes.
Although I did feel a bit out of place amongst all the geeky tech talk, (but I did understand the terms drone and wi-fi) it was a very stimulating experience for an old codger like me to be amid the intelligence and enthusiasm of these fine young University people.
Like the production of all documentaries, most ends up on the cutting room floor, and it was with some dismay that I learned that the entire segment, for the BBC series called Click, would only run for five minutes. I doubt that I’ll get much of an airing in the final product. As an historian, I often lament the discarding of so much history on the cutting room floor, which must be even worse now that we have changed from film to videotape and digital, but the media have little regard for anything outside their current projects. Nick did however say that a full documentary should be made of the place. I hope he talks to someone at the BBC about this idea!
I haven’t climbed a tree for quite some time now (35 years I think), but I was an avid tree climber in my childhood years. In particular, I favoured the large Norfolk Island Pine that grew in our yard at Coorparoo. It had several advantages: it was easy to climb with branches conveniently placed – almost like a spiralling ladder; I loved the sound of the wind whistling through the pine needles beside me; and there was always that sense of danger when the trunk narrowed near the top and that ever present fear of falling and being dashed to pieces on the cement terrace below. But it was the different perspective that I had from above that inspired me most of all: the ability to see our suburb from above, instead from the street view. I often imagined how great it would be to be able to fly over the neighbours’ houses and look in their back yards without them knowing.
Of course these days, we can do this with drones – small flying machines that can record a video of all that they see, and I’d even have no need to climb a tree!
When our former home at Coorparoo was put up for sale in 2014, the Estate Agent used a drone to capture its image from the air, and then displayed it on his web site.
If you are droneless as I am, you can always resort to Google Earth on the web for a great aerial view.
At the end of 2014, our former Coorparoo home was sold to a developer and demolished to make way for home units. My favourite Norfolk Island Pine tree was also removed, leaving only my memories and the images on Google Earth and the Estate Agent’s website – until they too are updated.