Mudgee - Home of great wine, art and my brother!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 05:46AM
Benjamin Richards

Taken from the full article here...

My first stop is in the heart of Mudgee, hidden behind a cafe with a small sign in its window: ''Unattended children will be fed espresso, followed by a red cordial chaser and a free kitten.'' TheMudFactory is one for the kids.

With a devoted patronage of five- to 15-year-olds, a haphazardly divided shed acts as a production house for drawing, painting, print-making, mosaics, digital photography and ceramics.

Already, the offerings surpass those of any comparable art school I grew up with. We never had a character such as Peter Richards, with 15 years of experience in the movie and animation industry. Under his tutelage, TheMudFactory has its own kind of Industrial Light & Magic studio. ''Kids aren't good actors,'' he says, ''so we made them watch Edison's early films and imitate them.'' I'm shown a production of two boys remaking J. Stuart Blackton's The Enchanted Drawing (1900), where a man sketches objects on an easel and lifts them into reality. Even now the rudimentary effects are surprising and the boys found themselves minor celebrities when the short was shown at Mudfest, an international short-film festival held locally every March. It was the climactic light-sabre battle - absent from the original - that clinched the fan base.

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