The Big City


Roen Davis

In 2005, after having been freelancing at Visualeyes for about 12 years and learning that Visualeyes would be closing its doors, I broke a rule that I had set myself when I first started to work in video: never buy gear and tie yourself down. Samuel Johnson would have said that I was demonstrating a “triumph of hope over experience” as I had observed so many post companies fail. That is because post production is a volatile industry and, as passionate as I had become about the moving image, the facilitating technology has been, until recently, prohibitively expensive and pretty well obsolete every few years, requiring constant reinvestment.

My time at Visualeyes had a big impact on me. I had previously worked on tv commercials, corporate videos and music clips. There were the occasional documentaries but my early days were spent at the great Australian pioneers VTC and ECV: they were not really affordable to a tight doco budget. Visualeyes, through the 90’s and early naughties, became a powerhouse of documentary post production. I met fantastic, committed film makers and discovered that I was able to utilise what I had learned in the commercial environment. At the same time I felt I was earning back a little virtue that I had lost or soiled while working on tv commercials for dodgy financial products or “how-to-sell” videos for real estate salesmen. In short, I had realised that I would sooner make diabetes awareness videos than commercials for sugary soft drinks.