Nature DVD postcard

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Japetus audio interview on Bay-FM 25th September 2008
- Arts Canvass with Karena Wynn-Moylan

An interview with Japetus about his new 60 minute DVD.

How long did it take to film the DVD?
It was a while in the planning. Living in Byron for 10 years was the basic training. I love going to most of these places and I wanted to share them with the world. There was about 9 months filming in 2007 and then around 3 months editing.

What made you decided to make it all natural with minimal signs of human intervention? How hard was that?
The unique energy of Byron lives in the spirit of the land. Its beautiful moments are all around if we put ourselves out there. It is impossible to have 100% natural shots in this day and age and it was quite difficult sometimes waiting for hours for a clear beach and a magic moment.

Is this the first video you have released?
It's the first digital video. In the late 80's I shot a nature video Visions Of Paradise on Video8 equipment but it was not good enough for the 21st century. It was very popular with health centres and was used on TV to promote the Australian Conservation Foundation with the music of Midnight Oil. Also used on Qantas first class in-flight movie channel.

The soundtrack works perfectly with the footage. Were you thinking of it or playing it while filming?
All I have to do when I film is go into the same space I'm in when I make the music. It's a natural internal syncing moment. It was a natural choice to select my 20th anniversary double album compilation Peace & Quiet as the soundtrack.

What made you decide to put subtitles on it showing the scene location and the music that's playing?
I wanted it to be useful to tourists and locals so they can explore these places for themselves. Plus if you have it sent to you the map helps pin point all the places. The subtitles also have the name of the music that's playing.

The DVD has an introductory price of only $19.95 when most DVDs are over $30. Why so cheap?
Well not so much cheap as affordable. I want to keep the price down as low as possible so that people can afford to buy 2 or even 3 to send to friends and family. There are also downloads on the website for only $9.95.

So you did all the music, the filming, the editing, the artwork, the website, the distribution and promotion?
Well I can do all these different things so this is one way for all my skills to come together. It's fun too. Literally no other person in the process, except for some feedback from friends.

Is that how you prefer to work? On your own?
Living in the forest in a cabin I often feel like I am on a meditation retreat. The very nature of multimedia involves combinations of complementary processes. It is all synthesis and at heart that's what I am, a creative synthesist.

Weren't you tempted to do slow motion waves or fast sunsets or underwater and aerial shots?
I wanted to show off Byron Bay as it really is and do it from normal accessible tourist locations. But also take a really creative angle on it all. Capture some unique moments.

It seems to have a soft, film-like quality. What equipment did you use?
I wanted to shoot it in HD but decided on Standard Definition using a Panasonic DVX-102B with a special wide angle lens. It shoots really warmly and I wanted a film look. I used no polariser which gives the footage a raw, natural quality.

Who do you think should buy Visions of Byron?
The first are tourists who have come and enjoyed themselves, maybe shot some stills and personal video of themselves but want more than just a flat postcard to send to their friends and family or to keep for themselves. Then the second group are the locals who live in this paradise and they want to show their friends and relatives the beauty of where they live.

You have not covered every part of the region on this first 2008 edition. Will you do more in the future?
I shot over 30 hours of footage and edited up the best hour. There is only just so much you can fit in that will really interest people. I have no plans to shoot more in the near future. This one has been very Byron-centric.

What can you do at
There is more information about the DVD and me plus you can order DVDs and downloads of video and music. There is a 5 minute video excerpt showing the quality of the download plus a page of still images lifted from the DVD. You can find a list of outlets and associated links. The beauty is that you can buy and send DVDs and download links directly from the site.

How do you see the DVD being used by people?
At first it looks just like a tourist video postcard showing the magic of Byron Shire. But then, the artistic beauty of the natural footage and the soothing ambient soundtrack inspires your mind to drift into a really calm place. It also serves as a guide to unique locations in the Northern Rivers.

You have released 14 albums of ambient music over the last 25 years. What is that collection all about?
Visionary Journeys is a collection of inspiring and evocative music soundspaces that take you on a journey all on its own. Now I have added visualisations. Hence how well it matches the nature footage. At you can explore all that music or search for Visionary Journeys and Japetus on iTunes world wide.

What does the immediate future hold for you?
It’s great to finally have the DVD out and I’m looking forward to moving into a new space of recording my inspirational songs.

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