MOVIE Director Peter Harris at his studio Bushranger Films in Mountbellew. ‘The Tale of Billy O’C’ is Peter’s first feature film. His short film, ‘When to Fold ‘Em’, appeared at film festivals in 2019. Photo: Ray Ryan

Mountbellew’s Movie Magic

Peter Harris' studio a hub for storytelling in animation, live action TV and film, and voiceovers.

BUSHRANGER FILMS in Mountbellew was named with an Irish-Australian outlaw in mind, whose story has been told on the big screen.

The recording studio is owned by Peter Harris from Melbourne. Ned Kelly was a famous 19th century bushranger and leader of the Kelly Gang of outlaws in Victoria, a state of which Melbourne is the capital city.

“Well, Ned Kelly and the bushrangers were the Irish that migrated to north Victoria, which is my ancestry, so I thought it was a nice tying in of the Irish and Australian elements,” said Peter, who is a storyboard design artist and film director.

Although most of Peter’s family is of Irish heritage on both sides, it was “an Irish wife” that helped bring him to Ireland for the first time a few years ago. He settled in Castleblakeney and opened the recording studio in Mountbellew last year.

Peter worked in the mines in the Australian outback and on offshore oil rigs for several years, and in his spare time, he was making documentaries.

“I’m probably the only filmmaker who’s done a decade in mining,” quipped Peter.

“I worked in gold, diamond and nickel mines all over Australia, and in oil and gas, both in the production and construction of it. It helped fund my filmmaking and learning how to do filmmaking, which I was doing on the side.

“You’d be out mining for big slabs of time, for four weeks on, and a few weeks off. When I was off, I started going to South-East Asia making documentaries. I did one about Thailand, a brief history from a tourist’s point of view.

“I always had some form of a camera going in my 20s for events and other things, recording live music and doing music videos for friends.”

Peter has combined his extensive knowledge of the mining industry with his creative and design talents. He produces animated safety training videos for mining companies from his base in Mountbellew…

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