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DGW joins witchcliffe ecovillage

I am super excited to announce Dogs Go Woof Productions is joining the Witchcliffe Eco-village project to curate the video content and share what it's all about. The ecovillage is located in the south-west of Western Australia, joining the town of Witchcliffe and is set to be world's most sustainable village. Everything from food, energy and water will be completely designed in with the ambition to become 100% self-sustainable entirely in the village - So, it's pretty darn exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of such a revolutionary project.

The Witchcliffe Eco-village is the brain-child of Mike Hulme, a property developer from Perth, who had always dreamt of designing a sustainable settlement ever since he was kid.

He has development a number of sustainable developments, but it has taken him the last 14 years designing and refining what he calls, "The village that he has always dreamed of," a living example to prove that we can live sustainably - the Witchcliffe Ecovillage.

Mike Hulme, Witchcliffe Ecovillage
Mike Hulme with his cows on the Witchcliffe Ecovillage site.

The village is currently entering its first stage of development with all the land-use, renewables and waste systems approved, which is a huge undertaking in itself, which means most of the hard-yards have been done and it's now time to build the first houses, shops and town centre. This means early adopters will not only be the first to move in, but will be at the forefront, showcasing what the village can achieve.

If you followed as back in the early days of starting the Permaculture Documentary, you may have gotten a glimpse of the Ecovillage, as we were shooting a film that incorporated it, but unfortunately it was never released as a film.

The project initially came to us while we were shooting another side project on Permaculture and Mike's wife happened to be there. She invited us to come and check it out. At the time I didn't really know what she meant: an ecovillage. A few days later, Mike got in touch and explained what it was all about. It was evident talking to Mike over that next hour that he had spent countless hours thinking about every aspect of the project. He had an answer for every problem and it all stemmed back to questioning if each aspect resonated with three ethics; Is it environmentally, ethically and socially sustainable. The same three ethics found at the heart of permaculture design. I hadn't heard or seen anything else like it. He said if we were interested, he'd be happy for Geoff and I to come and stay onsite and shoot a video.

Ecovillage Wine
The organic wine-making vines that line the surrounding agricultural lots of the Ecovillage

A couple of weeks later we were shooting with Mike.

We shot in total about five hours of footage and edited it down to an 18 minute skeleton cut, but something was missing. We had every detail, every plan, every way to explain the project, but there was a problem.

Upon previewing the draft with family and friends, responses were mixed. I could hear the sighs as the information followed one complexity after another. It was well explained and simplistic, but there was too much information. It wasn't until later, after reading New Scientist magazine's article about Alex Evan's book, 'The Myth Gap', that I realised I was lacking a story. It needed colour. This meant we needed to re-shoot.

We spoke to Mike about a re-shoot to focus more on the story side of things. After much deliberation, he revealed one of the things he planned, was once he moved into the village, he no longer wanted to be a part of the project. He was going to stop, slow down and live simply, without the hustle and bustle of our rushed lifestyles. For him, becoming the face of village would be a part of that and he wanted to be able to escape and relax. I understood his reasoning, but I knew the film would flunk without a story.

Geoff and I were making this film as a passion project and our time and money stringing it together was running out. We knew we couldn't complete the film without a story and there was no story without Mike, so, as we say in film, we decided to can-it and archived the footage with the hopes that one day, we might be able to tell its story.

2 years passed and I received a call from Mike, "Its really exciting, we have finally jumped the hurdles of all the bureaucracy and have the ok to go ahead with Phase One". "Wow, that's great news", I responded.

"Yes, it's been a long argues struggle, jumping through hoops and we've really made sure we haven't made sacrifices along the way. So, no it's great and I am really excited. So, that means we are now moving into Phase One and we are looking at actually marketing the first residential lots and I'd really like you guys to get involved and shoot some videos about the project. I really liked what you guys did with what we shot before and I think, now is the right time to get it out there."

"I'd be honoured to be a part of this project." I was thrilled. It felt like things, although had taken a turbulent path, were coming together and all the hard work Geoff and I spent would hopefully pay-off.

It's an absolute privilege to be a part of such a positive and exciting project that is thinking creating better ways to live that thinks of future generations.

- Be sure to check back for updates as they come.


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