Josh Collings in zombie character

Joshua Levi Collings’ reel world

Josh Collings filmmaker

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.

'Don't Feed the Platypus' video

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.

Josh Collings in zombie character



HillsFest Horror

Post by Amy Middleton.
Earlier this year, Burrinja and Tecoma Primary School partnered to develop ‘HillsFest’, a short film competition designed to encourage students at Tecoma Primary School to develop their creative movie making skills by producing a short film related to a given topic. All entries were judged and the best fifteen films, in the opinion of the judging panel, qualified as ‘finalists’.
Wren Gillett’s film ‘The Chain’ caused much debate with the judging panel. Whilst there is no doubt that this is a fine piece of film making, this horror film was deemed a little too jumpy to be awarded a ‘G’ rating as outlined by the selection criteria.
When I met with her to chat about the film she seemed undeterred that her film had not been selected as one of the fifteen finalists. She had chosen to make a horror film hoping it would set her apart from her peers. I can’t help but admire her bold approach and feel a little excited about what else she might come up with in years to come. Wren’s easy going confidence is backed up by smart ideas and what seems to be an instinctive creativity. She is already developing ideas for her next film “The Lucky Charm”. I for one can’t wait to check it out!
Click below to view The Chain. To see the other 15 HillsFest 2013 finalists, head to the Burrinja YouTube page.

Revitalising the Oromo Language | the power of stories

Blog Post by Zac Exner from Burrinja.

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be involved in a film shoot which captured an incredibly moving story around community/cultural ties and the power of language to support the development of this enduring community fabric.

I woke early to pick the film maker, Scott Baskett of Legitimate Films, up from Melbourne Airport. I was unaware of the details around the shoot other than the fact we were working with a community leader named Toltu Tufa.  As soon as I met Toltu I was captured by her personal story and the grander story of the Oromo community in Australia and worldwide. Oromo is the 4th most spoken language in Africa, with a community of over 40 Million worldwide and to this day there are little to no educational tools available.


The Oromo language was been kept alive through the determination of a community holding Saturday Schools to verbally pass on the language and culture, I was lucky enough to visit five of these schools over the course on the day. The teachers that donated their time were truly inspiring but the real inspiration was the enthuasim with which the young students connected with the teachers and the content.


Toltu has been instrumental in administering these schools but now Toltu is stepping up to pursue her dream to create educational text books, posters, flash cards and cartoons to help the language be passed on to future generations all over the globe.

Throughout the film shoot I was astounded by the complexities of the issue but was further interested in the power of film/design and well thought out artistic practices; and how they can impact emotionally to start a social movement. This project has come from the community – but it is building a bigger community network which is strongly represented online and in-person. This passion for language feeds culture, community and individual expression allowing for the development of an enlightened generation that is in touch with the past and looks to the future.


Toltu has utilised many means to communicate her story including film, design and photography to develop a strong story to engage and mobilise a community. This was felt by the filmmaker Scott Baskett. “Having the opportunity to help tell Toltu’s Story has been an absolute privilege……. Film is a truly powerful medium and this is one project which reminds me of such power. It really shows what a well-timed clip, combined with a passionate leader can do.”

To learn more about the Afaan Publications project and the Oromo community visit

To support Toltu’s campaign you can make a pledge through Pozible

Tim Smith: A local lens


Tim Smith, a Hills based filmmaker who lives in Upwey, graduated from RMIT’s Film & Television course in 1999. He has been working in the industry as a camera operator and editor for over 13 years with a passion for telling engaging and dynamic stories through the lens of a camera.

Many of Tim’s films document everyday life with such sensitivity, that even simple landscapes transcend to dreamlike environments.  His ability to highlight understated beauty is refreshing, and his attention to detail brings those things that are easily missed to the viewers’ attention. Whilst his films are diverse, each one seems to be rooted in an authentic passion for the subject and belief in the story being told.

Tim’s portfolio is diverse, and as you might expect from his line of work, he has had the opportunity to join forces with a wide range of exciting clients. He has just finished working on a series of adverts for the Melbourne Heart soccer team and he is currently working on an RACV video campaign, as well as a collection of TV commercials with Arc Films. Very soon he will be heading to Sydney to film Ferrari’s for a few days. Amongst all this, he still finds time to document local life in the Hills. In his spare time Tim has been filming the McDonalds in Tecoma story as it unfolds and hopes to produce a documentary about it in the near future.

We are really proud to feature Tim’s work on the Hillscene Blog and look forward to showcasing more of his films early in the new year. For now, we leave you with one of Tim’s most recent documentary films featuring music by local artists Lilly and King.


Post by Amy Middleton from Burrinja.