Michael Wilkie, A young man on a mission

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Michael Wilkie is a young man on a mission. This MacKillop Senior College student and talented film maker/photographer is set to travel to Cambodia in February to film a documentary for the Cambodian Children’s Fund – and he needs our support …


Hi Michael. I know we’ve interviewed you before, but please refresh our memories and tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m 16 years old, and I attend MacKillop Senior College. I’ve lived in Port Macquarie since 2000. I suppose my passion for photography came from my grandfather; he always had a camera in his hands, but unfortunately we never got to shoot together. My passion really took off in Year 9, and since then I’ve been acquiring skills and learning as much as I can.

What is your photographic business called? What types of photos/film making do you specialise in?
M.J.C Wilkie Productions is my business. Our specialty is online business video production; however, we have a diverse project base – our philosophy is to be creative and enjoy the work, while delivering high quality projects on time and on budget to our clients in the private and public sectors.

What projects have been keeping you busy since we last spoke?
The business has been thriving and rapidly expanding since the last interview. We’ve just returned home from Perth, from the Busselton Ironman – where over 75,000 images were taken.

Some of our other main projects since the last interview include our documentary on Josh Gamack, an amazing 8 year old boy residing here in Port Macquarie. This has taken us many places, and we’ve had the opportunity to meet and interview some of the world’s best specialists.

As well, we’ve helped a range of community organisations, such as Port Macquarie Swimming Clubs. We helped them raise money through photo orders, and we are pleased to announce we will be an official partner of the club next season.

So, what’s happening in Cambodia in February that has you all fired up?
Domincia Roebuck (an amazing young woman) and I are travelling to Cambodia to film a documentary for the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), from the 11 – 19 February. The film is being endorsed by CCF and will be used for fundraising purposes. The sole purpose of this project is to help others in need – this is by no means a holiday.

How did the idea to make the documentary actually originate?
I was inspired by Dominica’s dedication and willingness to help others, so while in study one day, Dominica and I started wondering how we could make a difference – and we decided to combine our talents, mine being film making, and Dominica’s being her charity and ability to act and be in front of the camera. So, it was clear what needed to happen! We then approached CCF and asked for permission to do this documentary, and from there everything took off.

What are you hoping your experience in Cambodia will actually achieve – for you personally, and also for the Cambodian Children’s Fund?
For me personally, I hope this project has the power to inspire change. I want this documentary to make people grateful for what they have, rather than dwell on what they don’t. I want this project to highlight the necessity of our foreign aid policies, rather than the need to have a surplus; furthermore, I hope the project can be used in some regard to persuade federal leaders not to cut the foreign aid program.

For Cambodian Children’s Fund, I hope this documentary results in higher donations, so that their truly amazing work can be continued and can be expanded. I hope this project really promotes their name and exhibits their truly fantastic work on a global stage.

Who is travelling with you on the trip, and what kind of equipment are you planning to take with you?
Dominica Roebuck, her beautiful mother Helen and I are embarking on this journey. For our equipment, we will be taking two Full HD Canon DSLRs, 3 lenses: a Canon 50 mm 1.4f, a Canon 24 – 70 mm 2.8f and Canon 10 – 20 mm 3.5f.

These cameras will do 99% of our filming, but we will also be taking a couple GOPRO cameras for time lapses and point of view shots. We will take some high quality Rode microphones, to ensure our audio matches our crisp image as well.

What kind of expectations do you have about what you’ll experience in Cambodia?
I’m really trying not to have any preconceived ideas about our journey; I want to keep an open mind, so that I’m able to experience everything when I’m there.

I did meet Tim Costello (CEO, World Vision) this month, and he did enlighten me as to the situation in Cambodia. It’s a mixture of nerves and excitement really – excited that we get to make a difference … nervous, because it’s such a huge project, and I want it to be perfect.

What can local businesses/individuals do to help support you with this documentary?
Dominica and I desperately need financial assistance in order to make it to Cambodia. A donation of whatever you can afford would be greatly appreciated.

Businesses who sponsor this project will have their logos put on our shirts, hats, promotional material, website and Facebook page. Major sponsors will also receive their logo/TVC included before and after the documentary.

Thanks Michael.

Interview by Jo Atkins. Main photo features       Dominica Roebuck and Michael Wilkie.

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