Bill Leimbach's end of 2008 update:

My last trip to Townsville for 2008 was once again fruitful. The plans to build the Western Front at the back of the city are still going well with the excavator, Shane Pool. He has been a font of information and inspiration and guarantees that the trenches and No Man's Land will be dug in two shakes. Ross and David are still sniffing around to find the right shed in which to build the tunnels. We need at least 1500 square meters and that size space is not easy to find! The tunnels will be re-created above ground in this shed so we are sound proof and weather proof and the camera team can get to the cast inside.

Antonia: the little 'African Queen' schooner that brings
 Capt Woodward the news that War has broken out.

Looking for mine shaft film locations

Real Estate Entrepreneur Sally Elliot's Christmas Party was the highlight of the trip, with just about half the business city attending, in the big parking lot at the back of her building. Great to hear so many of the Townsville townsfolk wishing us well with our filming plans. Seems the whole town wants to see the film made there. AUSTRALIA the movie premiered in the city while we were up there, coincidentally. Townsville watched all the kudos brought to their southern neighbour, Bowen, 100 km down the highway - for Baz Lurhmann's film being made there. They now would like to see some limelight thrown on their great town for the birthplace of BENEATH HILL 60. A lot of pressure on us.

Executive Producer Ross Thomas and David Roach
searching for the right WESTERN FRONT battle ground

Shane Pool: the man who will excavate
the western front tunnels at the back of Townsville

The Exchange Pub re-opened in Townsville while we were there - celebrating its place as the oldest pub in town. They have embraced the film and its owner Greg Rains is becoming one of our investors. He loves the film and the period and wants to redecorate one of the rooms in the Pub, as the HILL 60 ROOM. Looks like we will have our film office not too far from the bar. Sweet.

One interesting development kickstarted while we were there was the notion to create Beneath Hill 60 as a 'carbon neutral' film. Bill and David are now working with a few different firms in Townsville to conjure up the best plan of action to build a production that leaves no footprint, other than the its legacy.

David and Bill on location hunt from the top of Townsville's Castle Hill

David Roach co producer/ writer gets dolled up
to do a spot on Townsville TV.

Elisa Fraser is our Townsville co-ordinator and her job is getting busier as more and more things need to be tended to as we get closer to Pre Production. She is now joined by Townsvillian, Col Kenna, taking on the roll of Business Development Manager, chasing our local investment and sponsorship opportunities.

I took a trip over to beautiful Magnetic Island, and was welcomed by John Domelow who with more Beneath Hill 60 enthusiasts, wants to create a syndicate of investors from the locals on that magic island. Magnetic Island is just offshore from the city and has effectively become a suburb of Townsville with over 2000 permanent residents. Accessible by ferry the island has long become established as a holiday destination and a haven for wildlife. More than half the island is National Park which is mostly located on the steep hilly interior and rugged north-western side. Two of the most distinctive features are the native bush stone-curlew - a bird with a piercing cry and the Koalas are which are relatively common on the island and can easily be spotted just overhead on a walk in the park. The name of the island came about because of the apparent "magnetic" effect it had on the Captain Cook's compass as he sailed up the coast in 1770.
We cant wait to do some filming of our hero's Queensland home before the war started, in this glorious spot.

Magnetic Island home of Beneath Hill 60 enthusiasts

Watch out for those horses on the beach, Dave!

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