A one hour documentary looking at the infamous 1974 Cyclone Tracy is set to roll this month in Darwin.
Written and directed by Danielle MacLean, the doco will examine many of the myths about the disaster and its aftermath, including previously untold stories from its survivors, many of whom are Aboriginal.
Co-producer James Bradley says it was particularly important to the team to capture personal accounts as well as to explore the mythsand legends associated with the disaster.
“We have interviewees who experienced Cyclone Tracy from all different walks of life,” he tells IF. “And what’s very exciting is that, for the first time we are telling Aboriginal people’s [personal] stories about Cyclone Tracy, as well as traditional Aboriginal stories– about why it happened according to Aboriginal mythology.”
The team has already filmed some interviews as part of their development process, and Bradley – who is also tasked with the monumental task of editing the project – says already the results are extraordinary.
“We have some very incredible stories of survival and also some very funny stories too,” he says. “There is still a sense of humour amongst people in disasters.”
Interestingly, although there is “an enormous amount of archival material shot after the cyclone,” there is no footage of the cyclone itself, so the team has turned to animation to bring Tracy to life.
“I think a really unique element is that we are using animation to tell people’s stories. Our animator, Huni Bolliger, has already been working on this for about a month now. She’s animating people’s stories of what happened to them in the cyclone to create a result that we believe is going to be visually amazing” Bradley says.
The project was funded as a national documentary project through Screen Australia and the ABC as well as receiving support from Screen Territory.
It is produced by Bradley and Rachel Clements (Blown Away Productions) and will air on the ABC in time for Christmas this year, marking the 40-year anniversary since Cyclone Tracy struck.
Blown Away will commence production on June 16.