Talented and determined JMC Academy Alumni, Mark Brightwell, is a testament to his mantra that “if you don’t try, you can’t succeed”. A graduate of JMC Academy's Film and Television Production course, Mark moved on to further studies in Communications at UNE in 2007, while continuing to collaborate with best friend and fellow creative, Cohan Banfield. Together they have produced RAW THE MOVIE, a film based on Mark's passion for surfing. The success of the film has lead Brightwell and Bandfield to secure a worldwide distribution deal.
Mark's journey began after graduation with volunteer work at WINTV, but soon progressed into a paid role as second Media Producer at AussieBum where he was responsible for building the company's brand and its products for a booming YouTube/Vimeo market. Mark achieved this for the multi-million dollar company by producing effective video content using a range of software suitable for pre and post production.
"From my early days in college, I was always keen on mastering the fundamentals. Without them, it's very hard to progress in this industry. Even back then I was always excited about editing and port production. The idea of synchronising an audio track to a piece of footage to create a meaningful visual story was intoxicating and drove me to bigger and better things." Above having a solid educational foundation, Mark also credits the power of collaboration and by working on 'RAW' with best friend and graphic artist Cohan Bandfield, they have definitely been able to pour their combined strengths and areas of expertise into the project.
'RAW' is a film two years in the making and features some of the best surfing location in the world from Hawaii, Tahiti, Indonesia to Australia to and the South Coast. 'RAW' defines the relationship between surfing, art, lifestyle and culture. "You will see this delivered through our mindful use of cinematography, editing, motion, graphics, music and a diversity of professional and everyday surfing", says Mark. RAW THE MOVIE hopes to inspire, motivate and just amaze surfers, enthusiasts and non-believers alike. Mark encourages viewers ..."to give it a shot and believe in the world around you, experience different cultures and see how the waves are meant to be ridden".
When asked about the biggest challenges faced in making the film, Mark is quick to nominate "technology, support and money". "You must have up-to-the-minute technology and equipment to create a full length feature film that's planned for out-putting to Blu Ray or Cinema." Mark laughs and adds .. "we did not have this. Rendering, when using HD software and having to work in many HD interfaces can really destroy your continuity and workflow. In saying this, we don't all have access to high-end equipment and editing facilities so like us, you do the best you can with what you have and make it work", says Mark. "In this game you definitely get out what you put in! " "Passion, determination and drive are the keys to a good outcome in this industry."
The film is about to wrap up screening at selected Events and Hoyts Cinemas Nationwide and premiered in the US at the New York Surf Film Festival on the 19th of September. Mark and Cohan now have worldwide distribution on both digital and physical platforms and as such will be distributed commercially through North and South America, Asia, Europe, UK, Australia and New Zealand. RAW THE MOVIE - coming to a cinema near you!