Welcome to Wonderland


"I have to say; I thought it was fantastic. It really made me want to book a flight to Melbourne to experience first hand what seems to be a truly awesome experience. I love the idea of it, I loved the way it was captured on film, & I loved how it made me feel. Lovin it!"
- Mel, Dublin
"hi james i watched welcome to wonderland last night and loved it. first and foremost it is full of beautiful cinematography (i loved the dance sequences and all of the visual imagery). i was half expecting it to be an intellectualised account of the dance scene and found it refreshingly down to earth and honest. it represented the bush party scene as it is which was great. above all it made me and my housemates itch with anticipation of the next dance party we can go to. well done tom"
- Tom Mithen - 7/12/2007
"I was absolutely overwhelmed by the way you have captured the essence of the Australian outdoor dance music festival lifestyle. Your film is nothing short of spectacular. What a carefully sculpted work of art. I was so impressed by the way you portrayed the many different types of people (and their experiences) who make the scene what it is. Your work is both inspirational and highly objective, taking the viewer on a matrix of parallel journeys through the world of the "electronica bush-doof". The additional features on the film give a third dimension to the understanding of both the culture and of your film-making process. I thoroughly enjoyed how each character was introduced and helped to tell the story from a personal view point. What a fabulous cast you have shared with us. Congratulations and keep producing first-class films!"
- Liz, Sydney
"I met you briefly on the Monday at Rainbow via Keren and I purchased a copy of Welcome to Wonderland. The following week, your DVD pretty much brought me to tears. These two additional DVDs are for my bro in the UK, and my mother in Perth. And really … thank-you. It is my pleasure to support anyone who puts together something so brilliant purely because they’re passionate about their subject matter. Keep up the great work … keep living the dream … and hopefully I’ll see you on life’s merry-go-round sometime soon!"
- Nick, Melbourne
"I have been meaning to purchase your movie for a while now and seeing the ad in Beat mag was the prompt. Just watching the snippets from the film on your website brought up so many memories and this surge of excitement from deep inside which I would only get on my way to a bush doof. I feel in someway that I know something that others that haven't experienced these gatherings don't know, can't quite explain it but I'm sure you understand. My very first earthcore was oh my God over 10 years ago and there was probably about 500 people and I remember going home and thinking holy shit what was that, I felt for the first time that I finally belong somewhere, the bush, stomping the earth and surrounded by family. So thank you for making this film and now I can show my little girls what Mummy did to find her spirituality and where the bpm's can take you. Leese"
- Lisa - 5/12/2007
"Your doco is great - really captures the atmosphere, diversity and energy of a great party. Visuals are fantastic too, obviously a lot of work gone into them and worth every minute. And same with the soundtrack, which perfectly mirrors the journey of the film. Thanks to you and everyone else involved for beautifully capturing the spirit, power and humour at the heart of a gathering."
- Peace :) Jim, NSW
"Saw your film and have to say: WOW! A very well done movie. It carries the emotions and visions of the scene very well. Being in Germany I somehow feel reminded to when it all started...! You’ll find a review of the great trance documentary movie Welcome to Wonderland on the news page of Chaishop – http://www.chaishop.com/news All the Best, Sam, Germany"
- Sam, Germany - Chaishop - world's no. 1 website for trance culture
"We saw it at Rainbow Serpent Festival and it is Inspired & Inspiring! How many movies can you say that about? Everyone should definitely see this movie!!! And that’s the only review of it you will ever need!"
- Brad Yelafella, Melbourne
"Thank you so much... I LOVED IT! It's all just so, so good... Thanks so much for giving me a way to take a little piece of Australia home with me!"
- Mel, New York
"I just wanted to stop by and say a few words... I purchased "wonderland" today... sat down, and wasn't sure what I was in for.. from the opening scenes and the first guy that spoke.." that needle on that record.." I was brought to tears... the emotions that stirred in me from watching this was unbelievable.. I have not been to a bush party in a long time.. I was first hitting the bush when I started raving in the early nineties.. but then sort of lost interest a little. I did leave the scene for quite a few years only coming out for new years etc.. for almost the last year I have been back out to the clubs almost every week and getting my buzz for it back. My first passion when getting into the clubbing raving scene was PSY trance... there is something about it that seems to have more meaning than other forms of electronic music... in the last few months I have found my lost passion in PSY trance.. Kryal castle in december and feb helped with that..lol..i spent the whole night in the psy room !!.. anyway.. going off on tangents.. lol.. what I came on here to say is... you have been able to convey the emotions and feelings behind the bush scene and its people in a way I have never seen... you had it down to a tee.. All I want to know now is??? WHEN IS THE NEXT PARTY!!?? to anyone who comes on here and hasn't been to a bush party..please watch this dvd... it will make your spine tingle.. absolutely fantastic job ppl...LOVE YA WORK..peace and take care.. hope to be stomping some dirt next to you all real soon xoxo"
- Shaun, Melbourne
"I really enjoyed watching your DVD, it completely captures the essence of what psychedelic trance is really about. The music, the vibe, the surroundings, and the most important part, the people in the DVD. It just takes me back to when I started going to parties. A lot of that has been lost here in South Africa, and it’s good to be reminded of why I fell in love with the psychedelic spirit back in 1999."
- Charles, South Africa
"Thanks James, this is a truly wonderful film and i can see that this is a piece of art done with love."
- Zoltan, Spain
"I received the DVD today. Thanks very much for doing this for me. I loved the film. You all done a great job of it. I was amazed how good you put it all together. Congratulations on such a great film. Highly appreciated!!"
- Chris, Adelaide
"My husband and I loved your movie! We wanted to share it with our friends, so this copy is for a friend's birthday."
- Amy, USA
"Dear Clara, WoW if Welcome to Wonderland doesn't get you excited about this culture then I am not sure what will. As I may have mentioned earlier, I am yet to take part in a larger festival. I went to Summer Solstice last year (2005 man that sounds like ages ago already!), and a small party when I was in Byron Bay recently. However, many of my friends are Earthcore veterans who remember it when there were only 2-300 people attending. Several were at the 2000 NYE party (which may have been one featured on your doco) at Lake Eildon, and my partner has been to three or four RSF, I have tried hard to see her in the footage but with no luck as yet! I loved how you travelled the whole journey with Welcome to Wonderland; construction of the site; finding ones way to the site; the festival; the saying of good byes; and the packing up and re-instatement of the site. The interviews with many were awesome. I probably fit in with the guy who says "I am not quite 'way out' but I sure do like being around people who are". In my limited experience, the feeling and energy they bring to a gathering is a huge part of what makes outdoor psy trance the amazing experience it is. I completely agree with the comment that this music and dancing to it can be life-changing. It has become a huge part of my life since discovering it three years ago and I too definitely listen to it whilst cleaning the house! It is uplifting indeed. I work in a cafe in Nth Fitzroy and the shifts that I do early in the morning to set up are my favourite times to crank up Son Kite, Mr Peculiar, or Sugar. A work mate heard it when I first started and we found out we share a similar passion. My boss and others cannot understand how anyone can listen to this type of music so early in the morning! Oh well I guess they haven't seen a bush dawn whilst stomping away to Sun Control Species! Its not for everyone. And at the end of a weary day, nothing energises me more than a driving bassline from one of the RSF compilation tracks. I always work harder and faster then! The most special part of Welcome to Wonderland for me is the last 15 minutes or so where commentary and words are left and the music takes over. The full journey from opening rituals, the darker, night time tunes,the hint of light through the trees and smiles all round, dawn, and bouncing the morning away! Some of those builds and ensuing bass line slams sent shivers down my spine and emotion welled up inside me. In my life so far there have not been too many experiences that can consistently have that sort of effect on me. You and your team have done an amazing job of combining the beats with actual dance footage as well. Congratulations Clara. Short Documentaries has come up with the goods in a big way. I wish you, your team and Welcome to Wonderland every success in the future and look forward to any random meetings with you or any of your cool characters on a bush dancefloor amid a driving tune that we all know and love."
- Chris, Melbourne
"Ta for getting the DVD out to me so quickly. I watched it yesterday and it made me happy - thank you for making conscious many aspects of dance culture and for showing people's beauty so clearly. I'm looking forward to watching it again with friends."
- Cinnamon, Melbourne
"I think this doc is absolutely fantastic. If there are any more like this on their way pls e-mail me and I will b a definate buyer. Love it."
- Clare, NSW
"I got the DVD yesterday and watch it last night. What a great film. I enjoyed every minute of it immensely. Despite the fact that I have yet to go the Australia and therefore have never been to a 'Bush Party' it all really resonated with me. I have often tried to convey to newcomers all the wonderfulness of trance parties and particularly outdoor parties in beautiful locations but rarely find the right words to do it justice. The hour that you have put together goes through all the elements, which make trance outdoors so special and articulates it perfectly. The people and the places that you shot are also wonderful and demonstrate the diversity and acceptance of the scene."
- Duncan, London
"Just watching ya film, AMAZING! Thank you so much and big respect!"
- Ganga Giri, Bryon Bay
"I got Wonderland last week in the post, WOW! it was just so up lifting!! it made me wanna jump on a plane and fly to OZ and find a bush party to go to this weekend!!...I was taking to a mate a work about it and she came around and watched with me for a second time. She just didn't know party's like that ever went on!! she was hooked and also wanted to go to one!!.........."
- Gareth, New Zealand
"I actually saw the film at the Byron Bay film festival and was nearly crying at the end just because I have missed having such a great party experience as the film encapsulates.. I haven't been to such a good party for a long time! As I'm sure you are aware, the forest party scene in the forests close to Byron has mellowed out a lot due to police,property owners etc, and it just aint the way it used to be! So seeing your film brought it all back, and it was like coming home! Saw a few familiar faces too... so...thanks!"
- Hannah, Byron Bay
"love to support guys like you! good job!, listened to your interview on JJJ, I am a library worker in The mullumbimby/byron/tweed area and will be encouraging headquarters to purchase some copies for the branches also, think its a really interesting subject and would be popular in this area.Really great work!"
- Jane, Tweed Heads
"Good on ya James, I heard you worked your butt off producing it. Well done – someone had to document the culture."
- John, Melbourne
"I think you have captured the essence of the party and I wish I could have experienced it in person. I was a bit surprised at all the "freakish" outfits, people are quite creative, and I love it :) I enjoyed the music as well, it makes me dance with a happy grin on my face."
- Linda - proud owner of first copy of your film in Norway!
"I got the DVD, thanks a lot it’s really great! I can’t wait to show my mum."
- Loki, Melbourne
"..actually a really cool thing happened... a few weeks ago Kate emailed me and told me about this awesome DVD she watched in the house with Emma and some others about bush parties in Australia, and she told me I had to get it and watch it somehow. So, I got on the internet and ordered it. It's called Welcome to Wonderland (http://welcometowonderland.com/) and it came yesterday in the mail! Obviously when I got home from classes last night the first thing I did was watch it. I had the best little party in my room, lights out, volume up, and watching this sweet ass DVD on my computer in the middle of the nights. Lit some candles, burned some insence, and basically relived Kate's birthday bash all over again. This DVD really got me even more determined to get my ass back to Oz in January. It's just got to happen. So the most exciting part about all this was that the day I ordered it, the director of the film sent me an email: Dear Melanie, Thank you so much for supporting our film, it is truly appreciated. As this is our first copy going to NY we are extremely excited! I have sent you an extra small surprise which we hope you enjoy. I will send out a copy to you today – enjoy : ) Warmest regards, James That was so cool of him... freakin love Aussies. So I'm going to email him back later and tell him how much I loved his documentary."
- Mel's Blog, NY
"hi james congratulations for your movie it is a very good one, i saw the movie with my friends, most of then are dj or party organizer and they loved it.i have 12 dvds of psy trance parties and festival around the world, your for sure is the best, you catch the spirit."
- Milton, Brasil
"We've watched your film and thought it excellent. Fantastic photography and really brought home what it might be like at a Bush party! We desperately want to go to one now! A little more exotic than the parties I've been to here in North Wales."
- Olivia, UK
"Well Done folks!!! This is really excellent! The dvd was described to me as showing the “true meaning of the trance parties”, and I wasn’t disappointed at all."
- Peter, South Africa
"The film was great. Some classic interviews, awesome memories and plenty of familiar smiling faces. :)"
- Rob, Melbourne
"Hi guys, My name is Ryan and I Have just received the Wonderland DVD and CD set. I can't thank you enough for hitting the nail on the head so well. I am a Doofer up here in NNSW, i work voluntarily with a Production crew called "Alien Gossip". Thanks to your production, i can show my friends and family what it is all about."
- Ryan, NSW
"Love the work! I thought your documentary was fantastic, and have been spreading the love of your work around and telling all the crew down here in tassie!"
- Ryan, Tasmania
"I've heard great things about Welcome to Wonderland so I'm very much looking forward to receiving it. I am teaching a university-level global dance course and plan to screen your film for the students."
- Sarah, USA
"I was watching "Welcome to Wonderland" last night and it seriously brought tears to my eyes. Never thought I would consider giving up the club scene and going bush, but after Rainbow and this DVD I am thinking of getting a van and doing the Doof circuit next summer! :)"
- Stacey, NSW
"Just to let you know - my wonderful package arrived today. I have decided to give it to our friend, Mona from Chile who leaves Australia on Wednesday next week. It was here in Australia that we got her hooked on trance !!! This is the most perfect gift."
- Tammy, Sydney
"Just to let you know that we watched your doco and thought it was awesome! I really think South Africans have something to learn from the way you guys party in Oz. It really was a positive dvd and I’ve ordered 3 more to give to friends. Thanks for such an inspiring insight into the Ozzie Trance scene!"
- Ted, South Africa
"I enjoyed your film very much, even having tears prickling at points because it shows what i love so truly. Ive been doing this for about a year and a half and i will be doing it till the day i die. Thank you so much for the effort you have put into this. It shows our beautiful world in a wonderful light."
- Verin, Brisbane
"Hey James, Well talk about an awesome doco which gave an honest and clear picture of the scene as it is. The people interviewed were genuine and passionate about this great music scene and certainly made me reminisce of my early 90's (through until 2001) venture into the outdoor goa/psy bush doofs. I've been to Kryal Castle, Global Village, the Docks, Tennis Centre for some memorable events, however it's the outdoor scene for it's music & people that I truly loved and will always remember with a big smile on my face. The adventures we had at Mt Disappointment, Rainbow Serpents,Daylesford, Infected Mushroom, Reefer Decree, free bush doofs... too many to mention, lots of great memories. Only one overseas party came close to our aussie outdoor ones and that was the first Samothraki party in Greece 2001. Cheers for an excellent doco and one that I can safely show my kids when they grow up, I look forward to any other films that you bring to life like this and maybe someday I will venture back to the outdoors thanks to inspiration I've felt from watching this. All the best for your future productions, keep me updated.. please. Trav"
- Trav, Melbourne