Post by Adriana Alvarez.
Joshua Levi Collings is a man of many talents. His filmmaking business, Pegleg Productions, “is going crazy” at the moment with a few projects on the go. In the Winter issue of the hillscene we featured his house concerts, and when he wasn’t busy filming and photographing the night, he was joining in with the banjo on a few tunes. Music, film, photography, and events are some of the passions that drive this creative dynamo.
Whenever I see Josh around on a local film shoot, he’s got a big smile on his face and several cameras on the go. His three-legged dog, Bronson, the inspiration for the name Pegleg, is always in tow and seems to have the same boundless energy. He started doing film in high school in Queensland, he didn’t study it, he just picked up the school’s chunky VHS camera and took it with him everywhere. “I took it to every party and made a school video, which turned out to be a two and a half hour blockbuster” laughs Josh. Learning on the go seems to be in his blood and has led him to try his hand at a large variety of ventures. Since high school he has done many different things, including running a fencing company, several galleries and travelling around the world as a photographer for Anthony Robbins just to name a few.
Organising events for the galleries was another skill to add to his many talents. He ran over 120 events for Josh Levi galleries. One such event was ‘Underexposed’ was an exhibition of music photography with over 2500 images covering the walls of the galleries from floor to ceiling and included 40 bands playing over three nights. “It was wild”, says Josh “Powderfinger dropped in, Kate Miller-Heidke, some great local Brisbane artists came and did surprise shows, it was amazing.” So when Brent and CJ Dakis from Limerence were discussing the idea of starting the ‘End of the line’ festival Josh jumped on board to look after the music and art side of the event. With his previous experience of running festivals and the hard work by everyone involved, it was a huge success.
It was at the ‘End of the Line’ he restarted his filmmaking. At the time he was running projects for Melbourne University but finding it was not very satisfying doing that kind of work and being inside all the time. “So I just thought what do I love doing, and it was photography and making music and video so I just put them all together. I started up Pegleg last year in September and I’m flat out, inundated with work.” At first he was doing all the jobs himself because he had the skills, but since his business has taken off he’s been able to work with a range of talented artists; cameramen, editors and musicians from the hills. Using so many artists and creators from the hills has given his films a different vibe and flavour. His style of filmmaking with his love of stop motion, focused details, illustration and beautiful music makes them atmospheric, quirky and down to earth.
Josh’s first choice for work would be making music videos and environmental work. He’s very passionate about the environment and prefers projects that make a difference and bring about change. Some of his recent works have been producing videos with the tiffaney bishop COLLECTIVE on their graffiti projects and working with local councils on a series of films about volunteering. Whatever project he’s working on it’s bound to be something that he can inject his sense of fun and humour into.
Being very hands on and learning via Youtube videos rather than more formal channels has given Josh a multitude of talents and avenues to be able to express his creative spirit. His move to the hills to “escape reality” has been a real bonus for us, let’s hope he hangs around for a while.