Kennedy Miller has been located in Sydney since the early 1980s, when its reputation as Australia’s most successful production house was established. But its origins and trajectory as a company are intimately tied to Melbourne. Drawing on textual, historical, and archival sources, I argue that Melbourne’s screen culture and industry at the time of the Australian film revival played a fundamental key role in shaping the abilities and sensibilities of the company’s founders, George Miller and Byron Kennedy.

If Australian film and television production company Kennedy Miller were ever imagined in strictly geographic terms, it would likely be pictured as tethered tightly to the city of Sydney, where it has occupied premises at the old Metro Theatre, in Kings Cross, since the early 1980s. It was from this iconic locale that the company – which was founded as shared enterprise in the early 1970s by director George Miller and producer Byron Kennedy – produced the string of commercial and critical successes that established it as the country’s most successful production house, and “the closest thing Australia has to an old-fashioned Hollywood Studio.”1 These hits include: the sequels Mad Max 2 (Miller, 1981) and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (Miller and George Ogilvie, 1985); The Dismissal (1983), a daring television dramatisation of the controversial end of the Whitlam government; a further string of miniseries devoted to processing Australian history, including Bodyline (1984), The Cowra Breakout (1984) and Vietnam (1987); and the occasional celebrated feature from its stable of collaborators, such as John Duigan’s The Year My Voice Broke (1987) and Phillip Noyce’s Dead Calm (1989).

A scene from Mad Max (1979) shot in the Melbourne suburb of Brooklyn.

In this imagining, the fact that Miller and Kennedy’s debut feature Mad Max (Miller, 1979) was made in Melbourne would be likely treated as a footnote. But, as I will argue, though Kennedy Miller’s place within Sydney’s screen industry is key to its ongoing success, its early years in Melbourne, where its founders first met, were crucial to its trajectory. Despite its obvious significance, Kennedy Miller has only rarely been the object of sustained investigation or analysis,2 and almost not at all since its time as a quasi-studio tapered off in the 1990s. In this article, part of a larger research project on the company, I draw on historical, biographical, archival, and textual evidence to elaborate on the circumstances behind the company’s move to Sydney, and its beginnings in Melbourne. As will be seen, Melbourne was not only backdrop to the company’s first works – including Mad Max and key early shorts – but its industrial and cultural context also played a formative role in the development of its founders’ sensibilities and abilities.

Kennedy Miller’s Sydney

For Melbourne partisans, Kennedy Miller’s northern flight is surely resonant of the rivalry that has seen their home labelled as Australia’s ‘second city’: Melbourne nurtured the company’s earliest success and then Sydney benefited from its continuing glory. Though Miller and Kennedy met at a University of Melbourne film workshop in 1970, their company has been centred in Sydney since the early 1980s, when the duo returned to Australia from a brief sojourn in Los Angeles, where they lived in the immediate wake of the international success of the first Mad Max. Subsequent productions, from across the company’s near half-century of existence, have been largely Sydney-centric, including not only those from its time as a quasi-studio in the 1980s, but also those from its latter period as a purveyor of special effects-driven blockbusters like Babe (Chris Noonan, 1995) and its sequel Babe: Pig in the City (Miller, 1998), the two Happy Feet animated films (Miller, Warren Coleman, and Judy Morris, 2006; and Miller, Gary Eck, and David Peers, 2011), and the fourth Mad Max, 2015’s Fury Road.

Miller spent the early part of his childhood in the Queensland country town of Chinchilla, but he finished his schooling in Sydney, where he trained as a doctor, before turning his energies to cinema. Kennedy was raised and schooled in Melbourne’s inner west, and was devoted to cinema since childhood.3 Though Kennedy died tragically in 1983, their enterprise continued without him, with Miller sharing stewardship with accountant-producer Doug Mitchell. In reflection of the latter’s importance, the company has been styled as Kennedy Miller Mitchell since 2009 – yet given the particular historical focus of this article, the earlier name will be used here.

The importance of Sydney as a production context for the company’s work is epitomised in Kennedy Miller’s occupation of the Metro Theatre, in Kings Cross. The location undoubtedly lends the enterprise a certain symbolic cachet, placing it at the iconic hedonistic hotspot of its adopted city – Miller himself attributes a great deal of emotional value to the site, and has resisted lucrative offers to vacate. But the Metro’s practical value cannot be discounted, and its acquisition did much to shape the company’s production activities. When screen scholar Stuart Cunningham described Kennedy Miller as “the most dynamic ‘boutique’ production house in Australian film and television,” the use of the word ‘house’ can quite reasonably be stressed.4 Kennedy even thought about living there, at one time. In a home movie filmed in 1981, Kennedy, having acquired the Metro the week prior, talks about his plans for the space. He outlines an intention to convert it into a “totally self-contained environment for making movies,”5 and although the Metro never had formal soundproofing, it was frequently used as a shooting stage, especially for the 1980s miniseries. The building also served as office space, storage space, and screening space.

During the 1980s, journalists cited the ‘Kennedy Miller method’ as a mysterious communal process by which the miniseries were made there, and the company sustained an image as a uniquely collaborative environment. Its style of creative conduct stemmed from Miller and Kennedy’s ambition to be ‘comprehensivist’ filmmakers, who do not indulge in the siloing of production roles practiced in the Hollywood system.6 A recurring cohort of creative collaborators (including Noyce, Duigan, Noonan, and others) were encouraged to comment on each other’s works, and the miniseries were planned through group effort. The availability of stable production facilities, in the Metro, was important in facilitating this practice: Noyce recalls the place as having a “campus atmosphere.”7 One scene in a 1984 profile of the company, published in Cinema Canada, finds the cast and crew of the miniseries The Cowra Breakout (1984) sitting on the stairs of the Metro lobby to watch rushes from scenes they’d only recently been shooting inside.8 To the extent that Kennedy Miller could be described as a studio, in the old-fashioned Hollywood sense, this was conditional on its exploiting the spatial possibilities of the Metro.

But the company has made use of other Sydney sites, too. The 1998 sequel Babe: Pig in the City was one of the first films to use the old Sydney Showgrounds as a production location, making use of the nascent Fox Studios even as it was under construction. Miller’s short-lived digital animation studio, Dr D, established for the production of Happy Feet Two, occupied premises at Carriageworks, the noted contemporary arts centre in Redfern.9 Dr D was intended to provide work for the coming generation of local digital talent, and later productions, such as Miller’s never produced Justice League film, were likewise publically positioned as boons to Sydney industry. While Sydney geography may have shaped the company’s work – and its capacity to mount certain kinds of projects – Kennedy Miller has, in turn, deployed its clout to help shape Sydney as a production hub.

Kennedy Miller’s Melbourne

The ability to mount – or even propose to mount – economically substantial initiatives like Dr D or Justice League, which may require the securing of tax concessions and the wielding of influence at state and federal levels of government, is indicative of the power and influence the company earned after it left Melbourne. But it is indicative, too, of the concentration of infrastructure, training facilities, and talent that earned Sydney a UNESCO designation as an international ‘city of Film’, in 2010. Melbourne’s ‘second city’ status is true no less for film production than for other metrics. Though the city kept the flame of screen culture burning in Australia while the industry slumbered through the 1950s and 1960s – inaugurating its long-running film festival in 1952, and serving as site for the founding of the Australian Film Institute (AFI), a key institution of the industry revival, in 1958 – the professional production industry has remained centred in Sydney.10

The rivalry between these cities is a recurring thread not only in the popular imagination, but in historical accounts of the rebirth of the Australian screen industries in the late 1960s onward. The substance of this mutual antipathy is complex. Suffice to say, Melbourne generally is considered to have been home to film enthusiasts and connoisseurs, while Sydney is thought to have been home to ‘industry types’ and experienced practitioners. The distinction is not watertight, but it articulates the way the tensions between these cities have been observed and recorded in screen scholarship over the decades.11

Melbourne had a bustling scene of ad hoc screen production activity in the 1960s and ‘70s, and this environment provided an early training ground for Kennedy and Miller. Filmmaker co-ops, avant-garde experimentalists and likeminded groups were in fact appearing in both cities during this time, and these movements not only nurtured Kennedy Miller’s founders, but also many of their future key collaborators. In Sydney, the Ubu collective, and later the Sydney Filmmaker’s Co-op, provided an entrée into cinema for Phillip Noyce; in Melbourne, such activity was centred on the University of Melbourne, and its student film society (MUFS), and the ‘Carlton Ripple’ expanding out from the suburbs around it. John Duigan – who, like Noyce, would later work as an ‘in-house’ director Kennedy Miller in the 1980s – appeared in several works from this scene, including Nigel Buesst’s Bonjour Balwyn (1971) and Come Out Fighting (1973).

Bonjour Balwyn (Nigel Buesst, 1971)

The university workshop where Miller and Kennedy met was taught by Buesst and tutored by Noyce, and when the month-long course concluded, Miller stayed on to continue editing and soaking up the Carlton and University of Melbourne film scenes, before returning to Sydney to complete his medical training.12 Both Miller and Kennedy continued informal apprenticeships in their respective cities. In Sydney, Miller took odd-jobs on local productions when he had time off his studies, while, in Melbourne, Kennedy worked with Buesst as a production manager and cinematographer on Come Out Fighting, and appeared as a bit-player in Tom Cowan’s The Office Picnic (1972).

The duo’s first short film, Violence in the Cinema, Part 1 (1971) was completed in Sydney.13 Unusually for a short work, the film received theatrical distribution, through Greater Union, but the two concluded they would need to mount a full-length feature in order to establish themselves as professional filmmakers. Miller subsequently moved down to Melbourne, cementing his partnership with Kennedy. The feature, which would eventually become Mad Max, was several years in the planning, and two short works were generated in the interim: Frieze: An Underground Film (credited as ‘A film by Byron Kennedy with assistance from George Miller’) in 1973, and The Devil in Evening Dress (George Miller, 1974).

The latter, an hour-long television special, is a documentary narrative (with staged re-enactments) about a spirit that supposedly haunts Melbourne’s Princess Theatre; the ghost of an opera singer who died during an 1888 production of Faust. More so than Mad Max, The Devil in Evening Dress bears the visible imprint of Melbourne on its production, and not only because it affects to be a documentary treatment of local history. The special is hosted, in characteristically hammy fashion, by Hollywood character actor Frank Thring Jr., on loan from the Melbourne Theatre Company.14 Thring narrates the story in period dress, and the film attempts to realise a cut-price, gothic vision of gaslight Melbourne, replete with a hunchback, old crone, lamplighter, and horse and carriage. Adrian Danks argues that Melbourne’s grand Victorian architecture – artefacts of the city’s Gold Rush era boom time – has facilitated the city’s anonymisation into a “time-coded anywhere” for many films shot on location there.15 But The Devil in Evening Dress deploys those same Victorian edifices in service of depicting the city as its own past self – conspicuous locations include the Princess Theatre itself, the Old Quad building at the University of Melbourne, and the steps of Parliament House; here Miller tips the camera skyward, eliding the modern city around him.

In retrospect, the casting of Thring has an added resonance, since the actor’s father, F.W. Thring, had once operated a film production company in Melbourne, Efftee, only to shutter its St Kilda studio doors in 1934 and move to Sydney; a trajectory the Kennedy and Miller would follow. Thring Sr.’s move, prompted by inhospitable Victorian legislation, put a dampener on Melbourne screen production for some decades, contributing to its ‘second city’ status. The emergence of successful television production outfits Crawfords and Grundy were exceptions to the otherwise quiet local industry, and these companies, in their own way, laid the groundwork for Mad Max’s emergence. As two of the few sources of experienced Melbourne screen production crew members, Miller and Kennedy drew on their ranks when the feature finally entered production. Cinematographer David Eggby was just one of a cohort of workers imported from Crawfords’ flagship cop show Homicide.

Mad Max’s international reputation has somewhat obscured its very local origins.  Set in an apocalyptic near-future Australia, the pulpy narrative concerns highway cop Max Rockatansky, who dispenses violent justice to a crew of barbaric bikers after the loss of his family. The film’s borrowing of B-movie tropes saw it quickly develop a reputation as an ‘Americanised’ or ‘transnational’ work, yet beyond its narrative dimension, its inspirations and production context are very particular to Australia, and to Melbourne specifically. While raising money for pre-production, Miller worked as a locum physician, with Kennedy as his driver, and the film’s treatment of car violence is inspired by the crash victims Miller treated on their rounds through Melbourne’s western suburbs, near where parts of the film were later shot. The pair lived off two-dollar counter lunches in Carlton while they saved, sharing a house in Kew, which later became the film’s production headquarters. Funding was raised in partnership with a Melbourne stockbroker, Noel Harman, and Miller brought on a Melbourne finance journalist, James McCausland, to help him write the screenplay. Melbourne-based distributor Roadshow was an important early supporter of the project – managing director Graham Burke took a special interest in Miller and Kennedy, giving them an office space, and advising on Max’s treatment, script, and editing.16 The soundtrack was mixed by Sound Engineer Roger Savage at Armstrong Studios in South Melbourne, which at the time was one of the premier audio facilities in Australia.17 Other Melbourne filmmakers provided crucial assistance and advice: Hitchcock protégé Richard Franklin, who had by then completed Patrick (1978), and who was perhaps as commercially minded as Miller and Kennedy, suggested composer Brian May for the film’s score.

A car park at the University of Melbourne (2015), where a key scene in Mad Max (1979) was filmed

That might only be so much production trivia, but for the fact that Mad Max’s ‘Melbourne-ness’ is evident, also, in the way the city is depicted in the film. In contrast to The Devil in Evening Dress, this is not because any of its grand Victorian edifices lend their iconography – none do – but because of the way the city is denuded and stripped of context. Adrian Danks argues that through its frequent anonymisation, Melbourne often emerges on screen as a “temporally and spatially indistinct” city of “‘not quite’ catastrophe.” In presenting the city as an anonymous urban bulwark against a vaguely defined social breakdown, Miller participates in this tradition of treating Melbourne as “some place and yet no place at the same time.”18 In this way, Melbourne’s desolate suburbia acts as a precursor to the even more abstracted, mythic desert landscapes that serve as a backdrop for the later Mad Max franchise entries.

In assessing Melbourne’s significance to Kennedy Miller’s early history, it is worth noting that while the mise-en-scène of Mad Max and The Devil in Evening Dress are both visibly linked to their city of production, few of Kennedy Miller’s later works are particularly expressive of Sydney on a textual level. Danks argues that Sydney is regularly used as a “dominant geography that is overbearing” in films made on location there.19 But this city, for Kennedy Miller, is merely a convenient industrial hotspot in which to construct – either physically or through digital animation – other imaginary locales, as with Babe: Pig in the City’s fantasy metropolis, or the abstracted arctic landscapes of the Happy Feet films. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome is perhaps the company’s only film to make use of Sydney’s iconic identifiability, in an epilogue that finds a tribe of lost children having formed a new society in the city ruins – but this, ironically, is actually realised through models and miniatures. Sydney has been Kennedy Miller’s base, but rarely its backdrop.

Miller has said that the decision to move the Kennedy Miller operation to Sydney was a practical one, the northern city being a more appropriate city from which to produce Mad Max 2, which shot in Broken Hill20 – and this reasoning prefigures the city’s limited deployment in their later work. But it is true also that Miller, a transplant, had reasons to be dissatisfied with his experience in Melbourne’s production scene. Mad Max’s shoot was difficult, and Miller had severe doubts as to whether the finished film was even fit to be released. Problems began when the actress initially cast as Max’s wife – the female lead – broke her leg in a motorcycle accident on the way to set, and the entire, meticulously planned production had to be hurriedly rescheduled and re-organised. Miller and Kennedy seriously contemplated whether it would not be simpler to abandon the entire project, only days into the shoot. Post-production was long – editing took the better part of a year – giving Miller plenty of time to brood over the production’s errors.   

Miller also had problems working with the crew; especially, it seems, the cohort from Crawfords. He later blamed himself for not setting down a proper protocol and rules of conduct.21 But he also seems to have had particular difficulty persuading them to realise the specifics of his stylistic vision. Mad Max was conceived as a rapidly unfolding montage assembly – at 93 minutes, the film is comprised of around 1300 shots, and required 1200 camera set-ups.22 The TV-oriented crew, accustomed to shooting broad coverage, apparently either did not understand what Miller required, or found it objectionable.23 Miller once said that the bad version of Mad Max was a “coloured, anamorphic version of Homicide,” and he seems to have felt that he had to struggle against that possibility the entire shoot.24

“You Just Have No Idea What Films Are About”

Whatever Miller’s personal feelings about the industrial support he received in Melbourne, it is evident also that film culture there was in some respects a poor fit for his and Kennedy’s developing sensibilities. In an interview with David Stratton for his book, The Avocado Plantation, Miller remembers Melbourne as a “salon city,” full of meetings of this or that group, with resolutions to do this or that thing, and go to this or that government body; a “masturbation” that he believed drained creative energy. He recalls attending one such meeting with Kennedy, who vowed never to go to another again.25 Miller was a regular attendee at the Sydney Film Festival in the late 1960s, where he later recalled seeing Melbourne director Tim Burstall’s 2000 Weeks (1969), one of the first Australian features to be produced since the national industry went dormant in the 1950s. The film’s reception was disastrously negative: in Miller’s account, one audience member at the Sydney screening stood up and yelled at the tittering audience, “Give it a go, you apes.”26 Mad Max’s vigorously commercial sensibility is perhaps evidence of Miller and Kennedy’s desire to avoid the perceived deficiencies of the work of their Melbourne contemporaries. Mad Max is not a film that asks its audience to give it a go; it is too busy grabbing them by the throats.

Kennedy, in particular, seems to have cultivated the attitude of an outsider to Melbourne’s film cognoscenti. In an obituary, John D. Lamond, who worked as producer on Devil in Evening Dress, remembers Kennedy as being “street smart” rather than part of the “film clique.”27 His small supporting role in Cowan’s The Office Picnic is illuminating. The film is a black-and-white drama of office politics, which recreates the dissolute conclusion of L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962) as the aftermath of a boozy office party in a Melbourne park. Kennedy plays a beer-swilling partygoer who reveals how the park’s forestry has given him the inspiration to make a Tarzan movie. In a monologue of hucksterish verve, he boasts about the idea’s commercial potential: “I reckon if someone was game enough to get a bit of money from somewhere, take a crew to Africa and shoot something, this’d be a box office smash.” Scripted or not, this scene, in which Kennedy summons the spirit of Edgar Rice Burroughs while standing in the middle of an Antonioni riff, seems suggestive of his populist sensibility. 

Kennedy’s commercial outlook was informed by a grant he received from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in the 1970s to travel overseas and speak with other filmmakers and industry workers; the trip apparently affirmed for him the commercial wisdom of action and narrative filmmaking.28 But this same outlook was seemingly not widely shared by his Melbourne peers. Filmmakers in the ‘Carlton Push,’ such as Buesst (on whose 1973 Come Out Fighting Kennedy is credited as cinematographer), were engaged in formal, social and political inquiry in the mode of their idol Jean-Luc Godard, while other contemporaries in the Melbourne Filmmakers’ Co-operative were engaged in work that was documentary, diaristic and personal in nature, and avant-garde in technique.

It was just this sort of avant-garde filmmaking that Kennedy and Miller saw fit to satirise in the short work Frieze: An Underground Film, which Kennedy financed with a small grant from the Experimental Film and Television Fund (EFTF) – the same source of funds that Cowan had drawn on for The Office Picnic. An assemblage of documentary clips and off-cuts, Frieze: An Underground Film is a tongue-in-cheek riff on the experimental filmmaking mode – the material includes a point of view shot from the rollercoaster ride at Luna Park in St Kilda (another iconic Melbourne façade), a young boy bouncing on a bed, a snowy field, a woman in a bikini, a poster of Jean-Paul Belmondo, and some behind the scenes footage from Violence in the Cinema. The logic of this assembly, Kennedy facetiously proclaims in voiceover, is to “juxtapose feelings of hot upon cold.”

At around six minutes into the eleven-minute film, Miller himself appears on screen, besuited and sitting crossways on a bed, cradling a tape recorder and microphone in his lap. He begins to critique the film in progress: “The art of film is a luxury,” he says, “and you get yourself a strip of film and a Bolex, and all you’re concerned with is serving up this sort of nonsense…You just have no idea what films are about.” This commentary carries on for the remainder: “[E]verything you put in the frame you should think about incredibly carefully, in meticulous detail, and you sort of wave this camera about [and] expect things to happen spontaneously.” At about nine minutes, Kennedy speaks, claiming defensively, that the film articulates an “intensely personal” point of view – but Miller’s critical analysis continues, unswayed.

The short is notable not just for what it implies about the value Kennedy and Miller put on the work of their Melbourne contemporaries, but for the evidence it presents about their shared sensibility, even in its nascent stages. Miller, clearly, already has strong feelings about camera placement and style, which – although they would cause difficulties in the production of Mad Max – have continued to shape his later work. It is clear, also, that Kennedy does not look kindly on experimental or ‘personal’ modes of expression, and has already developed a preference for commercially-oriented filmmaking that helped Mad Max become one of the most profitable films ever.

Kennedy made another funding request to the EFTF (which was then administered by the AFI in Melbourne), in 1972, for a project he titled A Night of Bloody Good Entertainment; a 90-minute work described as “a fast moving casserole of humorous situations and satire.”29 Though no further details are available (the funding request was withdrawn in 1973), this brief synopsis hints at something along the lines of a sketch movie – perhaps even akin to the filmed vaudeville acts that Thring Sr.’s Efftee had produced in the 1930s. The archived application gives no indication of how Kennedy intended the project to fit within the fund’s governing criteria, which, though it positioned itself as a resource for emerging talent, generally stipulated creative or technical innovation. It suggests, again, that Kennedy’s attitude as an outward-looking showman were an awkward fit for a screen production paradigm in 1970s Melbourne that incentivised inward-looking personal expression. Although Melbourne’s film culture was undoubtedly a formative influence on Miller and Kennedy, this may largely be to the extent that their narrative and formal sensibilities were developed in opposition to it.

What They Took With Them

Kennedy Miller’s movement from Melbourne to Sydney reifies, in a sense, the rivalry between the cities’ film industries and cultures – suggestive, as it is, of the journey from experimental to commercial, and from amateur enthusiast to professional. In Sydney’s embrace, Kennedy Miller became no longer a ‘kitchen table’ operation, but something like a fully-fledged studio. Yet Melbourne was, by historical fact, the industrial context behind the production and consequent success of Mad Max – however much that experience may have proved to be a trial for Miller – and the city’s physical character is writ large across the mise-en-scène of the duo’s early work. It seems doubtful, too, that Kennedy and Miller’s commercial sensibility could have been honed to such a sharp edge had they not absorbed first-hand the particular culture of Melbourne screen production in the 1970s. Evidence of their immersion in Melbourne screen culture and industry can also be felt in the duo’s shared vision for the Metro as a collaborative site. In their drive to be ‘comprehensivist’ filmmakers, we see an attempt to carry forward the team ethos that was a part of the cooperative production scene in Melbourne at the time of the industry’s revival. This communalism was also a feature of Sydney’s co-operative film scenes, and so perhaps the sensibility within the Metro during Kennedy Miller’s production peak in the 1980s is best understood as a synthesis of the best of both cities. And despite their disdain for a certain kind of avant-garde sensibility, Miller, at least, never abandoned a kind of interest in experimental technique. Mad Max might not strictly speaking be an experimental film, but it was made at the bleeding edge of its available resources, and represents a very particular type of formal expression on the part of its director. Later in his career, Miller would explore and push the development of visual effects and digital production technologies in what amounts to something like a de facto experimental practice, albeit always with an eye on their utility for commercial cinema. Melbourne nurtured the earliest stages of the Kennedy Miller operation, but its influence was ambivalent, imparting on the company’s founders a set of attitudes that ultimately drove them elsewhere. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to view Kennedy Miller’s near half-century of success as a reflection on the advantages of Sydney’s professionalised production sphere only. Melbourne screen industry and culture, in all its complexities, and sometimes deficiencies, was the soil from which Kennedy Miller grew, but also the home it had to leave.

This article has been peer reviewed.


  1. Susan Dermody and Elizabeth Jacka, The Screening of Australia: Anatomy of a National Cinema Volume 1 (Sydney: Currency Press, 1987), p. 207.
  2. An unpublished honours thesis written at Griffith University in 1985 is one of the few substantive works. See: Keryn Michelle Curtis, “Australian Television and Film: A Case Study of Kennedy Miller” (Honours thesis, Griffith University, 1985).
  3. Kennedy won a prize as a kid for a travel film about Hobsons Bay and Williamstown. See: Untitled, Footscray Mail, 16 May 1979.
  4. Stuart Cunningham, In the Vernacular: A Generation of Australian Culture and Controversy (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 2008), p.94.
  5. “Byron Kennedy Home Movies, Sydney, 1981,” (Home Movie, The National Film and Sound Archive, title no. 5357).
  6. Scott Murray, “George Miller interviewed by Scott Murray,” in Back of Beyond: Discovering Australian Film and Television, Scott Murray, ed. (Sydney: Australian Film Commission, 1988), p. 35.
  7. Ingo Petzke, Philip Noyce: Backroads to Hollywood (Sydney: Pan MacmIllan Australia, 2004), p. 123.
  8. Barbara Samuels, “The Movies, Mate: Part Three: Inside Kennedy Miller,” Cinema Canada 113 (December 1984): p. 30.
  9. Karl Quinn, “Miller’s dreams for animation studio end up on the cutting room floor,” The Sydney Morning Herald, June 1 2013.
  10. Lisa French and Mark Poole, Shine a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute (The Moving Image 9) (St Kilda West: ATOM, 2009), p.6.
  11. See, for instance: Cathy Hope and Adam Dickerson, “‘Give it a Go You Apes’: Relations Between the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals, and the Early Australian Film Industry (1954-1970),” Screening the Past (April 2011), http://www.screeningthepast.com/2011/04/%E2%80%98give-it-a-go-you-apes%E2%80%99-relations-between-the-sydney-and-melbourne-film-festivals-and-the-early-australian-film-industry-1954%E2%80%931970/
  12. George Miller, Interview with Kari Hanet (Oral History, The National Film and Sound Archive, 1990, title no. 380591).
  13. Kennedy set up an editing bench in the residents’ ward at St. Vincent’s Hospital, where Miller was completing his studies, and would periodically summon Miller from his rounds to examine the latest cut. See: “George Miller Enough Rope transcript,” accessed June 4, 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s2396301.htm
  14. Miller later also enlisted Thring for roles in Bodyline and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.
  15. Adrian Danks, “‘Don’t Rain on Ava Gardner Parade,” in Twin Peeks: Australian & New Zealand Feature Films, Deb Verhoeven, ed. (St Kilda: Damned Publishing, 1999), p.181.
  16. Roadshow also provided early financial commitment, conditional on the film raising sufficient funds privately. See: Sue Mathews, 35mm Dreams: Conversations with Five Directors (Ringwood: Penguin Books Australia, 1984), p.238-239.
  17. “George Miller ASO Interview with Paul Byrne,” accessed June 4, 2017, https://aso.gov.au/people/George_Miller_1/interview/
  18. Adrian Danks, “‘Don’t Rain on Ava Gardner Parade,” in Twin Peeks: Australian & New Zealand Feature Films, Deb Verhoeven, ed. (St Kilda: Damned Publishing, 1999), p.173.
  19. ibid. p.177-178.
  20. George Miller, Interviewed by David Stratton (Oral History, National Film and Sound Archive, undated, Title No: 465210).
  21. George Miller, Interviewed with Peter Bielby and Scott Murray (Interview Recording, The National Film and Sound Archive, 1979, title no. 329006).
  22. Peter Page and Tina Kaufman, “Mad Max: another rider of the silver screen,” Filmnews 9, 7 (July 1979): p. 9.
  23. George Miller, Interview with Kari Hanet (Oral History, The National Film and Sound Archive, 1990, title no. 380591).
  24. George Miller, Interviewed by David Stratton (Oral History, National Film and Sound Archive, undated, Title No: 465210).
  25. ibid.
  26. Cathy Hope and Adam Dickerson, “‘Give it a Go You Apes’: Relations Between the Sydney and Melbourne Film Festivals, and the Early Australian Film Industry (1954-1970),” Screening the Past (April 2011), http://www.screeningthepast.com/2011/04/%E2%80%98give-it-a-go-you-apes%E2%80%99-relations-between-the-sydney-and-melbourne-film-festivals-and-the-early-australian-film-industry-1954%E2%80%931970/
  27. Dierdre Macken, “Byron Kennedy died in style of his own heroes,” The Age, July 19 1983.
  28. Robert Milliken, “Byron Kennedy: end of the legend,” National Times, July 22 1983.
  29. “Byron Kennedy Application to the Experimental Film and Television Fund” (National Archives of Australia, 1973, Series: C116, Barcode: 12441450, KENNEDY Byron (Box 8).)