This week I am not reviewing a film or television show. Instead I’d like to tell you about The Banks Endeavour.
The Banks Endeavour is an authentic period drama and documentary that Red Dog Film, the company I work for, are planning to produce if we can raise enough through a crowdfunding campaign currently running on Indiegogo.
Why should you be interested this you ask? Well, the documentary/drama is about Sir Joseph Banks, an explorer and botanist that did a huge amount for science, exploration, for example…
- He sailed on the Endeavour and discovered Australia with Captain Cook.
- He was involved in bringing hundreds of plants back to Britain – he and his party were the first Eurpoeans to come across the Eucalyptus tree.
- He is considered by some to be the father of Australia.
- He was the man who sent Captain Bligh out on the Bounty – so we can basically thank him for Mutiny on Bounty (1962) with Marlon Brando.
The strange thing is though, despite doing so much for Britain and being involved in so much, he is hardly known to the public. Surprisingly I seem to be one of the few people who seem to have heard of him. I knew his name growing up as a child because we had a Banksia rose growing up the side of our house and my father told me who is was named after. It continues to be one of my favourite flowers, because of the creamy yellow colour of the petals and because it has no thorns.
One person who has know about, and has a great appreciation for Banks though, is David Attenborough. He even recently came to the opening of a Banks exhibition at a local museum The Collection, and gave our crew an interview for the short documentary below. He also intends to be one of several interviewees bookending the 40 minute drama we intend to produce.
So that’s a brief idea of what the project is about and personally, I think Sir Joseph Banks deserves more awareness. I’ve been helping out on the research side of the film and the amount this man did and touched upon during the Enlightenment period is incredible.
In many ways this project reminds me of a fantastic programme called Breaking the Mould from the BBC Four, which was about Florey, Heatley and Chain. If you don’t who these men are, they were the people who turned penicillin into a usable drug during the Second World War. Though many people justly credit Fleming with discovering penicillin, the work behind making it useful for hospitals and safe for humans was done by those three men. That programme still sticks vividly in my memory because it showed me amazing people who I never knew about it.
I like to think that The Banks Endeavour can do that too. That people will suddenly realise that the plants in their garden, that Kew, that Australia would never have been what they are without one man – Joseph Banks.
Anyway, so if you’d like to get involved and help support this film please click on the Indiegogo link here. The Banks Endeavour is also on Twitter and Facebook, so even if you can’t donate please spread the word.
Many thanks for listening…
Girl With A Gun Mic
This blog post originally appeared on Girl with a Gun Mic blog spot on 15th May.
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