David Perry
Cinematographer            Director            Producer

David Perry is a well-established freelance film and video cinematographer, director and producer, working through his production company, Quest Films.

            David has had extensive experience in shooting, directing and producing documentaries and dramatic films both in Australia and overseas. These have ranged from a news special on the war in Bangladesh for the Ten Network to director of photography on a world-wide documentary series on dogs for Seven Keys Television, Superdogs.

            He has received several Australian Film Commission production grants. One film produced on such a grant, The Little Sheriff, was bought by Channel 7 in Sydney and screened as an Australia Day special. Another grant film, Confirmation, which he produced and photographed, won the Greater Union Award at the Sydney Film Festival.

            As well as shooting film for all television networks in Australia, and TV programs such as Weekend Magazine, Good Morning Australia, The Mike Walsh Show, The Reporters and Four Corners, his work has been screened on NHK (Japan), BBC (UK) and PBS (USA).

            Compassion in Action, which he photographed in Indonesia for the Salvation Army, was commended as Film of the Year in the 1980 Public Relations Awards.

He has also produced many films for the Australia Council. One was a film on Howard Spicer, known as the Operatic Bikie because of his Australia-wide work in creating an awareness of opera in schoolchildren. The resultant film, Big H, was screened at the Melbourne Film Festival, taken up for international distribution by the Tasmanian Film Corporation and was bought by United Artists for blow-up to 35mm and theatrical screening throughout Australia and New Zealand.

David was director of photography on David Bradbury’s multi-award winning documentary on the work of Australian war correspondent Neil Davis, Frontline, which, among numerous other citations, received an Academy Award nomination.

With a local assistant and the ex-King's Saluki hunting dog in the Afghan desert for Superdogs

            Shortly after, David was approached by the Marionette Theatre of Australia to direct and photograph a film on their production of Norman Lindsay’s classic Australian children’s story, The Magic Pudding. The film, A Puppet Pudding, was bought and screened by the National Nine Network as their Christmas special and won Best Arts Documentary at the ATOM Awards in Melbourne. It was subsequently sold to Hoyts, blown up to 35mm and released throughout Australia as the support to the feature Ginger Meggs.

            Another film which David co-directed and photographed in Bali for Cinetel Productions, on a festival only held once every 100 years, The Eleven Powers, won the Gold Award at the New York Film Festival.

            David was also director of photography and co-producer of the film version of Graeme Murphy’s full-length balletic tribute to Sydney, Rumours.

            David has been director of photography on many dramatic films, among them Peter Campbell’s Raymond, Danielle and Mum Take Tea, David O’Brien’s Vox Pop, Philip Roope’s Birdsville and Richard Wherrett’s The Applicant. Both Raymond, Danielle and Mum Take Tea and The Applicant have been blown up to 35mm and released theatrically throughout Australia and New Zealand by Hoyts and Greater Union, respectively.    

      David also photographed and supervised post-production on the Australia Council’s Archival Film Program. These films, numbering over 120, are portraits of well-known or significant Australian workers in the arts and crafts. As well as being films in their own right, they are lodged in the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra as resource material for historians, researchers and radio and film producers.

      Following on the success of A Puppet Pudding, David was engaged as director of photography and associate producer on the Marionette Theatre of Australia’s most ambitious production, Rubbish. Using a variety of puppet styles and with only music and sound effects for the soundtrack, Rubbish has had success in quite a number of overseas film festivals. It won a Best Film award in the 1983 ATOM Awards, has been sold to ABC TV in Australia and released with A Puppet Pudding on home video.


Dancing on the sand on the east coast of Malaysia

        David also directed and photographed adventure documentaries for Network Ten. The Desert Challengers follows adventurer Hans Tholstrup as he takes the first caravan across the centre of Australia and then tells the story of eight children who become the first to ride BMX bikes across the Simpson Desert. The Ocean Challengers retraces the voyage of the First Fleet from England to Australia as seen through the eyes of a group of teenagers who crew a square-rigged sailing ship on a 2000km voyage from North Queensland to Sydney to take part in the re-enactment of the founding of modern Australia on Australia Day.

        In the educational field, he photographed and produced a series of films which demonstrate to teenagers the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. The pioneering Full of Life Series deals with such subjects as skin care, diet, exercise and stress management in an innovative combination of documentary, drama and comedy, and has been a big seller to schools throughout Australia.

         Following that, he was involved in a wide range of productions, including another series of Australia Council archival films, being director of photography on several music videos, producing and directing a series of television commercials for the Royal Blind Society, and travelling to Central America to shoot a documentary series on women war correspondents, Where She Dares.

        On his return, David produced and shot a film on opals to accompany the launch of an Australian opal company into the American market. The innovative techniques he used in The Fire of Australia to highlight the unique beauty and colours to be found within opals received wide acclaim and made the film far more than just another trade film. To round off the year, David produced and photographed a training film for the New South Wales Film Corporation. The Committee demonstrates, through example, good and bad ways of holding meetings.

        Following on from the success of the Full of Life Series, David has produced many innovative and informative films in the educational and health field. These have included Straight Talking, made as part of the Federal Drug Offensive and dealing with self-esteem and underage drinking and Crash, Bang, Boing! and It’s Smart to be Safe, made for the Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW and dealing with road safety for infant and primary school children.

        Shortly thereafter was Smoke Free TV. Produced for the NSW Cancer Council to alert children to the dangers of tobacco, it has been extremely well received in both schools and the wider community. Both Crash, Bang, Boing! and Smoke Free TV were finalists in the ATOM Awards.

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