Rocket Compulsion among Australian nominees at 2011 Asian Television Awards

08 December, 2011 by Sam Dallas

A documentary about an ordinary Australian man building and free-flying his own Rocket Belt is among the Australian titles nominated at the 2011 Asian Television Awards.

Released earlier this year, Rocket Compulsion – co-written, co-produced and directed by The Eye of the Storm producer Gregory Read – tells the story of pilot David Mayman as he strives to achieve his childhood dream.

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In the Firelight/Paper Bark Films co-production, Mayman, who collaborates with the world’s leading Rocket Belt engineers, risks life and limb to become the ‘world’s next Rocketman’.

Read was childhood friends with Mayman and first heard about the idea when he received a phone call while in Los Angeles. Read, through Mayman, was introduced to long-time pilot, three-time Oscar winner and designer of helicopter camera systems, Nelson Tyler. Tyler’s wife, Liz Ziegler, was, funnily enough, Stanley Kubrick’s steadicam operator. The project escalated from there.

“When I was there and I saw what they were planning on doing, I just said to him ‘I tell you what David…I’ve got to film it’,” Read said.

“So literally over 4-5 years I shot it, directed it and pulled the elements together.”

Marcus Gillezeau and Ellenor Cox both joined the project as executive producer and producer, respectively, and it immediately peaked the interest of the Discovery Channel. Finance was also provided by Screen Australia and Screen NSW.

The 48-minute documentary is nominated in three categories at this year’s Asian Television Awards including Best Cross-Platform Content, Best Editing (Leanne Cole) and Best Director (Read). Read is up against local director Michael McKay, for his directorial efforts on The Amazing Race (episode 1).

Through the ABC, the team produced a iPhone and iPad game, which was released in April this year to coincide with the documentary release. The team also uploaded a series of webisodes to give viewers – and fans – more footage of the journey.

Rocket Compulsion joins a decent Australian contingent of nominees for the annual prestigious awards show, which was established in 1996.

ABC3 children’s shows My Place (1878 Henry) and Dance Academy (Learning To Fly: Part 2) will battle it out for Best Children’s Program while Southern Star Entertainment was nominated for Bananas In Pyjamas in the Best Preschool Education Program category.

Australia and China will battle it out for Best Adaptation of an Existing Format for their local versions of The Amazing Race. activeTV, which produced the local version, was also nominated for its work on the 2010 Carols in the Domain in the Best Entertainment (One-off/Annual) category.

New documentary Seychelles Global Citizen – The Life and Times of Sir James Mancham is also up for Best Documentary in the Superpitch 2011 Nominations list. The 80-minute doco, produced by Benjamin Boultbee of Brisbane-based BBI Media Ltd, is the story of a man who became the founding president of his nation. He lived 15 years in exile, returned as the “Apostle of National Reconciliation” and became universally acknowledged as a “World Statesman” working for peace. 

The awards will be held tonight. For a full list of nominees, click here.

Australian nominations at the 2011 Asian Television Awards:

Best Children's Program

My Place – 1878 Henry
Australian Children's Television Foundation
Australian Broadcasting Corp., ABC 3
Australia

Dance Academy (Episode 26): Learning to Fly Part 2
Werner Film Productions
Australian Broadcasting Corp., ABC 1 & ABC 3
Australia

Best Preschool Education Program

Bananas in Pyjamas
Endemol Worldwide Distribution
Australian Broadcasting Corp., ABC 2
Australia
Production Co.: Southern Star Entertainment

Best Entertainment (One-Off / Annual)

Woolworths Carols in the Domain 2010
activeTV Pty Ltd
Seven Network, Channel 7
Australia

Best Adaption of an Existing Format

The Amazing Race Australia (Episode 1)
activeTV Pty Ltd
Seven Network, Channel 7
Australia

Best Direction

Michael McKay
The Amazing Race Australia (Episode 1)
activeTV Pty Ltd
Seven Network, Channel 7
Australia

Gregory Read
Rocket Compulsion
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific
Discovery Channel
Singapore
Production Co.: Rocket Compulsion Pty Ltd

Best Editing

Leanne Cole
Rocket Compulsion
Discovery Networks Asia Pacific
Discovery Channel
Singapore
Production Co.: Rocket Compulsion Pty Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

 

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