Tom Williams

Executive Producer


My job on set is to keep the project moving while allowing the creative people to be creative, and help the director achieve his or her vision. I was an English major in college and produced college theatre, which taught me how to deal with big personalities. I bring a little bit of organisation and focus to people who are very talented.

At Gran Via Productions we don’t have a mandate for particular material; we follow what excites us. After making Don’t Be Afraid Of the Dark in Melbourne and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in Queensland, it was appealing for us to do another film in Australia. So when we read Breath, which is such a uniquely Australian story and voice, it was obvious we should make it as an Australian movie.

I think [producer] Mark Johnson and I learned more about how to make a movie in Australia than the Australians learned from us! With Breath, our intention was to not bring our methods into play but to work within the local customs.

We made the film in a small town so we had to think outside the box. There were no hotels so we had to use holiday rentals; when we needed rain effects, a local irrigation specialist became our rainmaker. Normally we would hire our own experienced construction manager but a local builder became our construction manager – and he was a fantastic craftsman.

It was a dream come true to shoot on location in Western Australia, where Tim Winton had written the novel. The crew was fantastically talented and the landscapes and locations are breathtaking. Our shoot was the furthest I’ve ever been away from home but it was a big adventure and really pleasant working in a small town.

Barbara came on board one month ahead of me and showed an incredible DIY spirit. There was never a question that we wouldn’t use an Australian line producer. For an American line producer to come into this situation there would have been a very steep learning curve, and the relationships with the crew would not have been the same. On top of that, working with Barbara was a masterclass in remarkable ingenuity. Simon and our production team could not have made the movie without her!

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Barbara Gibbs

Line Producer