A Life Unexpected: http://www.alifeunexpected.com
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Our Supporters: Ethan Hawke, Oscar nominated Actor, Writer & Director


Things have been somewhat busy here at the A Life Unexpected office over the past few months.  We have filmed a group of new interviews, edited a new teaser/update video and are now about to launch into our next fundraising round for our upcoming East Coast of Australia shoot.  

To catch you up on all our news and bring you into the loop of what's happening now, here's a bit about what we've been up to this year so far ...
Some of the proposals printed and bound ready for DocWeek

DocWeek 2014

The Australian Documentary Conference

Producers Ben Steel and Sally McLean headed off for Adelaide in March to attend the celebration of Australian documentaries that is DocWeek, armed with a collection of proposal documents, two stashes of business cards and a whole lot of focus.

After the four day conference had concluded, they had attended twenty four individual pitch meetings, three official functions for various local broadcasters, eight sessions at the Conference proper and a lot of impromptu meet and greets while walking from one venue to the next.

In all, it was a very successful trip, with several distributors and broadcasters expressing interest - from Australia, as well as the UK, Canada and the USA.  These conversations continue and we'll let you know as soon as any news breaks!

To read more about Sally & Ben's trip, check out the blog updates below:
The entrance to the Tardis Booth Studios at ABC Radio Southbank

This is the BBC calling ...

Sally gets a ride in a Tardis

May 6th saw Director/Producer Sally McLean taking her spot in a Tardis Box (truth!) at ABC Radio Studios Southbank, Melbourne, to be interviewed live on BBC Radio 3 in London about Franz Stampfl and his part in Roger Bannister's breaking of the Four Minute Mile.  

Listen to her interview with Dr Matthew Sweet on BBC Radio's "Free Thinking" program by clicking here.
Ondine McGlashan being interviewed at Phelia Grimwade House, Melbourne Girls Grammar for A Life Unexpected

May 2014 Shoot

Filming continues with new faces and stories

Melbourne Girls Grammar kindly hosted the production and all the craziness that comes with having a film crew underfoot over a weekend last month in May, for which we are very grateful.  

We were privileged to be able to film in the stunning Phelia Grimwade House on campus, which - as the photos and footage will attest - is a beautiful and classic piece of architecture and interior design. 

An added (and unexpected) bonus was the discovery that one of our interviewees, Olympic Skier, Ondine McGlashan, was a member of the Grimwade family - which couldn't have been more perfect a match of interviewee to venue if we'd tried!

Our new members of the A Life Unexpected Interviewee club are (in alphabetical order), Mike Edwards (Commonwealth Games athlete & former National Hammer Throw Coach), Bob Lay (Commonwealth Games athlete and General Manager of the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame), Rosie Leffler (Wife of Hammer Thrower, Richard Leffler), Ondine McGlashan (Olympic Skier and coach to duel Winter Olympian and Bronze Medallist Zali Steggall) and Yvonne Row (former Lady Mayoress of Melbourne and founder of griffin+row skincare).

To read all about the filming, check out our blog post.

Yvonne Row is interviewed at Melbourne Girls Grammar for A Life Unexpected

New video "The Story So Far"

A sneak peek at our recent filming

Since our last lot of filming we have released a new video giving the backstory to the project to date and a snapshot of what we have managed to achieve so far.  It is also a thank you and acknowledgement of all our donors and supporters - without whom we would not have got as far as we have, so THANK YOU ALL!

Check out the video here.  It also includes information about what we're doing next, which brings us neatly to ...
Australian Olympians Ron Clarke, Bob Joyce, Marg Woodlock-McLean and David Boykett - all trained by Franz Stampfl at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

Our latest donation drive

Raising money to film up the East Coast of Australia

Our next scheduled filming is taking place up the East Coast, travelling from Sydney to Brisbane, via Canberra and the Gold Coast, to interview people such as Olympians Ron Clarke, Herb Elliot and Lois Jackman, playwright David Williamson, Indigenous Elder Dr Eve Fesl (one of Franz's original Melbourne squad from 1956) and Olympic Historian Harry Gordon.

We are aiming to raise $60,000 for this trip by July 31st.  The film has been approved by the Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) to be included on their register of eligible projects - which means that when you donate to A Life Unexpected: The Man Behind the Miracle Mile via the DAF, you will receive a tax receipt for the full amount you donate which can be claimed as a deduction in the same financial year.

All donations of $250 or more will go direct to A Life Unexpected, less 7% which is retained by the DAF for their staff and overhead costs.  Any donation amount under $250 is retained by the DAF, again for the purposes of covering their running costs.  

To date, the DAF has facilitated and granted $5.7 million to documentary projects via donation fundraising undertaken by the individual filmmakers involved.  Without the DAF's support and providing this service, many documentaries in this country that have since gone on to win National and International awards and praise would never have been made.

For all information on how you can donate, check out our official site here.
Producer/Director Sally McLean with Co-Producer Marg Woodlock-McLean at the 2013 Olympians Dinner, Melbourne with various Olympian supporters of the project

In conclusion

A thank you to everyone who has supported us so far

We are so very grateful to our many supporters who have been unstinting in their encouragement, advice and help over these past long months.  Making an independent documentary without initial funding from a television network or government body is never easy and requires a lot of patience, creative thinking and stamina.  We wouldn't be able to keep going as we are without knowing how much belief is out there in us and this project and we thank you all from the bottom of our sleep-deprived, yet still enthusiastic hearts.

Franz's story is one that deserves to be told.  Not only does it finally shine a light on someone who profoundly influenced Athletics, Sports Science and Sports Psychology worldwide, it also highlights the power of conviction, focus and passion and the power of one.  Franz's legacy lives on in those he coached, met and influenced and it is their stories as much as his that make this documentary so compelling and so relevant to today's audiences.  We all want to believe that we can make a difference and through this story, we learn that indeed we can.

Feel free to contact us if you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions for this next round of donations, we'd be very grateful if you could spread the word to your friends and colleagues if you are so inclined - every little bit helps and you never know where the ripples in a pond might reach.

Until next we speak, take care and stay happy.

The A Life Unexpected Team
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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