Thousands of years ago the Arakwal Aboriginal people recognised the rich beauty of the Byron region. They called it Cavanbah ‘The Meeting Place’.
Located on the most easterly point of Australia’s unique coastline, Byron Bay slowly developed into a small sleepy whaling town and has now grown into one of Australia’s biggest tourist destinations with millions of visitors each year.
‘Byron Bay – The Meeting Place’ is a beautiful and visually appealing 40 minute documentary that explores the journey Byron Bay has taken, and introduces the characters that have enriched the region’s culture; locals, hippies, surfers, travelers, indigenous folk, and people from all walks of life. These people are all united by one factor, their love for Byron Bay.
About the Filmmakers
Interview with the filmmakers by Common Ground.
Rest Your Eyes Production, you’ve made quite a name for your film company in the Byron Bay community creatively, how did it all start?
It all started in 2009 when we helped French Born Australian Olivier Certa open his iconic shop Unplugged Byron Bay. After spending most of the time in the shop talking about new film ideas, we quickly realized that we all had a shared love for filmmaking. Olivier being a passionate photographer always thinking outside the box and we had just started our bachelor degree in film production at the Byron Bay SAE institute. Mid way through our studies it was a natural transition to realize our dreams and start a film company together, the birth of Rest Your Eyes Production.
Tell us how you got started on the film project Byron Bay – The Meeting Place?
Rest Your Eyes Production’s favourite genre is documentaries, to capture life, a real feeling and atmosphere. Byron Bay is full of amazing people that are very passionate about what they do, especially within the creative community. All these people really inspired us to do what we love… document people with interesting lifestyles. The more we got involved within the local community, the more we were inspired to film and document, from there on the concept of a Byron Bay documentary developed.
Byron Bay became the main character, and the people from community became the vehicle to help tell the story of a beautiful township.
The community has been very supportive in the making of this film, it would never have been possible without the local knowledge that has pushed us in the right direction with tips, leads to follow up and sharing their amazing stories.
One of the hardest and most rewarding tasks was to track down as much archival footage as possible, to help tell the history of the region. Projecting old 16 mm films that no one has seen for 40 years is a real exciting and satisfying feeling.
In seeing the film myself, you’ve captured the multi-faceted nature that is the essence of Byron, what was the hardest thing about condensing so many amazing stories into a 40min film?
When we started making the movie we had about 30 different topics we really wanted to touch on and after a lot of research we found 9 amazing interview subjects that talked about these topics, equaling in 18 hours of talking heads.
Our key to condense everything is a bit… cliché… but its true “a picture says more than a thousand words” Don’t tell what you can show.
So with the help of all the archival stock footage we had managed to track down, plus a solid 6 months of filming the life in Byron, we had a lot of visuals to help tell our story.
For the record Bob McTavish is the best storyteller we have ever met : )