RYMER CHILDS is an established independent producer of award winning, high end documentaries, short run series, educational and corporate content. We have produced content for ABC, SBS, Channel 9, BBC, Channel 4, Discovery Asia, Discovery America amongst others.
Rymer Childs produces award winning, high end documentaries and short run series for prime time. We have a proud, twenty five year history.
In that time, the company has witnessed many changes in the production industry and has adapted accordingly, without changing its core vision: to produce good story telling of high quality about subjects that matter to the community, politically and socially; and collaborating with the very best teams it can access.
We have enjoyed the glory days of full funding from local public broadcasters and public agency investors but have also succeeded in more stringent times, securing domestic and international investment in our content.
Rymer Childs productions have received multiple local and international awards. Our work has been screened at significant international festivals including Cannes, Chicago and New York and a number of Australian Parliamentary screenings.
Judy Rymer and Bayly Watson established the Company (then Rymer Bayly Watson) in 1986 with the express purpose of producing high end documentaries for the Australian and New Zealand markets. At this time there was no real precedent for such activity. Rymer and Watson were living on both sides of the Tasman and used this to their advantage. They produced (amongst others) a six x half hour series “The Grass is Greener” from an idea by New Zealand Producer Finola Dwyer. It featured Sam Neil, Jane Campion, Mark and Todd Hunter and John Clarke, amongst others. It played in prime time on TVNZ and SBS and received critical acclaim in both territories.
They also produced “Victory Over Death” about New Zealand’s foremost artist which won Gold at the Chicago Film Festival and received the Best Film in Montreal and New York.
Rymer and Watson had ambitions to develop their company internationally, though at this time there were no companies in Australia or New Zealand that had set up reliable on-going distribution and exhibition internationally. Beyond had just begun an international version of Beyond 2000. The Australian/New Zealand market was localised and its productions were extremely ethnocentric which was encouraged by all of the funding bodies in both countries at the time. Commissions were mostly obtained for individual projects that were exhibited in one off strands. Series were largely reserved for the broadcasters, who at this time had large, in-house production departments.
To produce high end work and survive in this environment, a company needed to stay small and produce one offs. By doing this we were able to attract the best crews to our projects and consistently deliver work that gained audience attention. We supplemented the one off prime time productions with regular non-broadcast commissions from various private companies and public institutions, producing comedy, drama and documentary work.
The company had a policy of developing new players and co-produced successfully with people from other disciplines within the industry:
Paul Warren (Cinematographer) co-produced “Fifteen Minutes of Fire” which led a new ABC documentary strand and held top ratings; and Robert Dein (Production Designer) co-produced “Poles Apart” which was selected into the New York Film Festival.
Following the tragic death of Bayly Watson, Rymer continued to work in Australia and New Zealand in both drama and documentary working on two landmark series, Standing in the Sunshine 4x1hr and Timebomb 2x1hr. With actor Sam Neil, she wrote and directed one episode of the epic series, Cinema of Unease produced by the BFI for Channel4/TVNZ. This film won Best Documentary at the New Zealand Screen Awards. Moreover it was one of three, out of a series of twenty eight, selected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes.
In 2001 Bevan Childs joined the company as a principal after a twenty year history as a location manager in international feature films. Rymer Bayly Watson became Rymer Childs. Its Message From Moree screened in ABC’s The Big Picture on the anniversary of the Sydney Bridge Walk for Reconciliation May 28th 2003, followed by an online forum on the ABC’s website. It had the first Parliamentary Screening of a documentary in seven years.
The company had survived into the 21st Century employing an approach of high end, one off and short run series for Australian and New Zealand broadcast. But radical change was occurring
in the international industry with opportunities opening up in both Europe and the US for Antipodeans. Broadcasters in these northern territories were suddenly confronted by the need to find new sources of funds and subject matter and this shift saw bigger opportunities for companies like ours to internationalise.
Our film All Points of the Compass was commissioned by ABC and BBC Scotland. It received an AFI nomination.
Over the last decade we have produced several films that have been financed through pre-sales, both local and international. We have worked as producer/director for international EPs and we have developed new ideas to exploit the opportunities of the international marketplace. Our current production Firing the Magic Bullet is executive produced by Ian Jones. It is pre-sold to SBS and the BBC and has an advance from the international distributor Off The Fence.
We have also continued to produce non broadcast projects and are currently mid way through a seven year project financed by the top four Australian Banks.
Recently Bevan Childs retired from the industry. This has led the company to reassess its position in the marketplace. Although our current production is still financed through this international presale model we are well aware that the life of the one off is precarious. We see the need to change the Company’s composition and refocus the emphasis of its content production in order to secure new opportunities.