A week before we filmmed The Salt Maiden on Coochiemudlo Island, an angel backer, one of our sponsors from our crowdfund campaign on Sponsume, in true philanthropic spirit backed The Salt Maiden, allowing the approaching shoot, which almost looked like it would have to be cancelled to go ahead. Some people have been wondering who our fabulous mystery man is and what inspired him to support the film.
Mr Robert Neilson is the Managing Partner of Tyger Venture Partners (TVP), a group of Melbourne businessmen, most of whom are ex-Queenslanders, who come together on an ad hoc basis mainly to invest in high tech start-ups with a specialisation in computer software, bio-technology and green energy projects. TVP provides initial capital, business advice and mentoring until the founders can operate on their own.
In the case of The Salt Maiden, the film is seen as a worthy arts project to support, particularly given the quality cast and crew that has been assembled and the unique location of Coochiemudlo.
Robert Neilson was born in Queensland and spent his childhood in rural and outback towns before going to Brisbane Grammar School as a boarder and tertiary education at Queensland University Technology. While at Brisbane Grammar School he joined the Navy Cadet corp and first visited Coochiemudlo in 1968 as part of cadet activities on Moreton Bay. He has had a fond attachment to Coochie ever since. Later, through out the ’70s and early ’80s he spent many days sailing on Moreton Bay as a member of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. He left Brisbane in the early ’80s to do postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne but returns regularly to visit family and friends.
Also, of interest is his family beginnings in Australia. His great grandparents emigrated from an island on the south-west coast of Sweden to Brisbane in 1873 aboard the sailing ship, the Lammershagen. The ship was the first ship put into quarantine at Peel Island not far from where we filmmed on Coochiemudlo Island. Shortly after arriving, Robert’s great aunt Anna was born on Peel Island in January 1873. One of the first and few Europeans born on Peel Island, a “salt maiden” of Moreton Bay.
A scene from the Lammershagen on it’s 1873 voyage, which looks a little like a scene from The Salt Maiden shoot with cast, crew and extras all together on the Coochie ferry..
Grateful thanks to Mr Robert Neilson and Tyger Venture Partners from the cast and crew of The Salt Maiden.