Welcome to Wonderland

Behind the Scenes with director James Short

The Short Story

"My aim is to give the audience a greater insight into Australia's outdoor dance culture and reveal its wonders to a wider public. I want to take the viewer on an incredible journey that unveils the beauty, power and intrigue created when music, the natural environment and people combine."

James Short, the Director of Welcome to Wonderland, has spent the past three years filming outdoor dance parties around Victoria (Australia) and independently producing his vision. Working in the most unpredictable and challenging environments, he has captured the motivations and aspirations of the characters that play on these stages, and that live and breathe this culture.

The journey for James has not been easy. "Making a film about outdoor dance parties may sound like fun," James says. "The truth is that filming in the natural environment in harsh weather conditions at any given hour of the day or night presents many challenges, both technical and physical. Conducting interviews with music pumping in the background and asking people to reflect in the middle of intense celebration and release is also no easy task." However, James manages to entice his characters to share their intimate thoughts. "At all times I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible to ensure that I was really allowing everyone to tell their own stories and capturing real expression and feeling, especially when people were dancing," James explains.

"I think it would be fair to say that Welcome to Wonderland is a little left of field for a documentary. We are really trying to create a unique film that not only tells a story but also shares an experience. This has been an amazing journey for me and I can't wait to share it with the world. Welcome to Wonderland really is a film about the celebration of life that anyone can enjoy."

James is excited by life and his enthusiasm is contagious. The film crew, post-production team and those he has interviewed will attest that James' energy is infectious. It is his positive attitude, vision and commitment to a dream that has seen him continue through the countless personal, technical and financial challenges of independent filmmaking and be here nearly four years later to share his dream with you.

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