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Much of the story of Beneath Hill 60 is set 30 metres underground - in the claustrophobic tunnels dug deep below the trenches in the First World War.
When it comes to filming, it is logistically impossible and highly dangerous of course, for us to film the actors underground.
Our Art Department and construction crew need to build and recreate the tunnels above ground, in a quiet, pitch black enclosed area - like in a huge industrial shed.

There are many factors to consider when finding the appropriate shed - will there be traffic noise? Can we black out the windows? How do we black out the windows? And of course, size considerations. We need to build life-size earthen / wooden plank tunnel sets with enough room for the actors, the Director, the camera crew and equipment, lighting crew and equipment, sound crew and equipment, gaffers, grips, Production Crew, Heads of Department and the myriad of Costume, Set, Art Department, electrical and construction crew members - and safety officers. As well as the safety restricted areas when the tunnels are made to be waterlogged and muddy. We need a lot of space!

We are thrilled to have concluded a deal for the sheds to build our tunnel sets - with Brad Webb and his Food Relief NQ charity in Townsville

Producer Bill Leimbach said, "Food Relief NQ is a great charity and we are proud to be associated with it. You can see on their website just how active they have been recently. The associations the Beneath Hill 60 team have developed in Townsville now include Sally Elliott and her real estate group, Smith and Elliott Real Estate, Greg Rains with his Exchange Hotel and Debbie Guides with her Escape Travel. By the time we film in July, hopefully we will be firmly embedded within the Townsville community, its businesses, charity and governement associations. So far everything is going to plan.

The Lost Aboriginal Tunneller

We have been inundated with emails and phone calls assisting us with our search for the Lost Aboriginal soldier. The response was astounding. Loads of people called and emailed us with clues, ideas, snippets of information - and many of his relatives got in touch with us! It went around the nation like a bush fire. We had no idea where it was going to finish, would he have been from WA or Victoria, NSW, Queensland and even one Tasmanian claimed him as a great uncle. We were swamped.

In the end, an expert on the subject, from Canberra, David Huggonson finally tracked us down and verified the digger with a matching photo.

David has published extensive information in connection with Aborigines in Australian military history and is considered one of the main experts in this field. . With his information combined with Executive Producer Ross Thomas' comprehensive data base on all the 4585 miners on the Western Front we can conclude with reasonable accuracy that his identity is Sapper Herbert Murray from Orbost in Victoria.

Born in Framlingham
Religion Church of England
Age at recruitment 34
Married wife Evelyn
Recruited from Orbost in Victoria in May, 1917
Number 7904
Unit Reinforcement for the 2nd Australian Tunnelling Coy
Embarked for the war 21 November, 1917 on the HMAT 'Nestor'
Disembarked Melbourne 12 May, 1919

With these new developments on our character 'Streaky' Bacon, we were keen to keep moving forward with the film. Jeremy and I travelled again to Townville for the Grand presentation at the NQ Club black-tie gala night - which turned out to be a huge success. We concluded arrangements with the 6 Investors necessary to bring on the Private Investment portion of the finance. We were then able to complete our Financial Strategy to submit to the main Federal and State Government film support bodies - Screen Australia, Pacific Film & Television Commission in QLD (where the story is being filmed) and the Film & Television Office in NSW (where the film will be Editied and Post Produced).
There has been an incredible amount of support and enthusiasm from these Administrations, enough to encourage us to push the Budget up to $8,140,500.

All three government bodies are currently considering our project for the official 'green light'. We are awaiting their final Board decisions in April 2009.

After many discussions with several Distributors we have now secured Paramount / Transmission as our domestic all-rights Distributor.

In the meantime, we have been gathering a very strong team of Industry professionals on board with us as Crew. I would like to welcome Michelle Russell as Line Producer and Jamie Crooks as First Assistant Director. Michelle will crack the whip to ensure all the elements of production fall into place, while Jamie will schedule and plan it so that every minute is accounted for. When spending $100,000 a day you dont want too many mistakes.

We are also very pleased to have taken on Kirsty McGregor as Casting Agent. Not only will she find Jeremy the best talent for the roles,she will negotiate with their agents to esure equitable arrangment for both parties.

Speaking of Arrangments, SIMPSONS, the legal firm in Sydney have come on board as our law firm, with Michael McMichael as our Business Affairs Manager working with them.

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