Curtis Island DVD shows footage gathered over 14 years
NEARLY 15 years is a long time to document one place.
Johnny Mitchell reckons that Curtis Island is so diverse its beauty continues to surprise him, even after 14 years.
Friday heralded the release of his film, Wild Adventures: Curtis Island, and the response has been promising.
"It was released on Friday and it's at Pat's Tackle Store in Gladstone and Barra Jacks in Rockhampton and so far it's just been word of mouth and Facebook to promote it," he said.
"We've had some of the locals in tears watching the film and the response has been great."
It's been a hectic journey for Johnny as he juggled the demands of running his own fishing charter business in town, while knowing that he had to be able to drop everything and get over to the island for rare weather and nature events.
"Some of the footage you just had to drop tools to make the time to be there," he said.
"When we heard about a forecast one metre of rain on the Island, I spent three days on the island and two of those nights were spent in a wetsuit wrapped up in a tarp. It's a passion but it was certainly work."
Johnny, 38, said he first fell in love with Curtis Island when he was about six-years-old, and the strikingly beautiful island has captured his attention for more than 30 years.
"It's such a diverse place. Every 100-200 yards the place just changes. It's mesmerising," he said.
"There're 10,000 acres of inland wetlands and that's what this story is all about, what goes on inland as well as circumnavigating the island in my tinny."
The passionate wildlife man said he felt Curtis Island was under-utilised because Gladstone people did not realise how lucky it was to have such a valuable asset right here on its doorstep.
"I think it's a great piece of history for people to have down the track," he said.
The self-taught filmmaker said Wild Adventures: Curtis Island, his sixth locally-focused DVD, was his best work to date .
And what is even more impressive is the barramundi expert shot, edited, wrote and voiced the entire production.
Johnny recalled one particularly harrowing day when he braved torrid conditions for less than 10 seconds of footage.
"One day there I had to go 42 nautical miles in really rough weather to get there and collect eight seconds of footage," he said.
"It could take a whole day just to grab six or seven seconds of film to edit in."