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This Is Northern New South Wales

A Meeting Place (film) for Christmas!


If you have ever attempted to make a film, you’ll know it’s one massive undertaking. Almost two years ago Oliver Certa and twin brothers Jonatan and Sebastian Lundmark (Rest Your Eyes Production) did just that, and the Byron Bay – The Meeting Place was the result.

The film explores the journey Byron Bay has taken, and introduces the characters that have enriched the region’s culture, which include interviews with Jan Barham, Delta Kay, Danny Wills, Bob McTavish and Rusty Miller to name a few.

Byron Bay’s history from past to present gradually unfolds through inspiring stories from locals, hippies, surfers, travelers, indigenous folk and people from all walks of life. These people are all united by one factor, their love for Byron Bay. Known by local Arakwal Aboriginal People as Cavanbah – Meeting Place.

The boys then turned the project into a DVD postcard and are offering a special discount to Common Ground readers in time for Christmas. For $14.95 (reduced from $19.95) you can buy one HERE and enter the discount code “commonground” during checkout.

Of those who need a bit more, Common Ground’s Johnny Abegg threw a few questions at the boys a while ago. Read on if your curious…

You’ve made quite a name for your film company in the Byron Bay community creatively, how did it all start?
It all started in 2009 when we helped French Born Australian Olivier Certa open his iconic shop – After spending most of the time in the shop talking about new film ideas, we quickly realized that we all had a shared love for filmmaking. Olivier being a passionate photographer, always thinking outside the box, and we had just started our bachelor degree in film production at the SAE institute. Mid way through our studies it was a natural transition to realize our dreams and start a film company together, the birth was Rest Your Eyes Production.

You have been making films for over 10 years now, what elements of life inspire you both from behind the lens?
Interesting lifestyle has always been our biggest inspiration, our first movies where all about documenting our passion for action sports. People doing amazing things that give them a lust for life, our first commercial movie was called ‘Longing for Life

What sort of message(s) were you hoping people will digest in watching ‘Byron Bay – The Meeting Place’?
A lot of visitors have the wrong perception of Byron Bay when they arrive here. We hope this film can help guide the viewers to understand the core values of the community and naturally develop a sense of respect for the community. By showcasing Byron Bay’s history from past to present we hope that the viewers get engaged in the journey of the township and they can witness how hard the people have worked to preserve the region. The main character of the movie is Byron Bay and the creative, diverse community that care about the future of the township where sustainable tourism is an important part in keeping this special place alive.

In seeing the film myself, you’ve captured the multi-faceted nature that is the essence of Byron, what was the hardest thing about condensing so many amazing stories into a 40min film?
When we started making the movie we had about 30 different topics we really wanted to touch on, and after a lot of research we found 9 amazing interview subjects that talked about these topics, equaling in 18 hours of talking heads. Our key to condense everything is a bit… cliché… but its true “a picture says more than a thousand words”, “don’t tell what you can show” approach.

With the help of all the archival stock footage we had managed to track down, plus a solid 6 months of filming the life in Byron, we had a lot of visuals to help tell our story. For the record Bob McTavish is the best storyteller we have ever met!

The boys then turned the project into a DVD postcard and are offering a special discount to Common Ground readers in time for Christmas. For $14.95 (reduced from $19.95) you can buy one HERE and enter the discount code “commonground” during checkout.

Checkout “Byron Bay – The Meeting Place”on their Facebook Page and Website.

Photos thanks to Flavio Biehl and Alex Frings.