View through Peter’s lens

Peter would have to be one of the most creative people around.

As an experienced musician, film and music producer, he’s firmly earned his place in the artistic world. Throw in about 140 international film awards, and you have an innovative force to be reckoned with.

Peter started his musical journey in the 1990s at about age 13, playing the guitar.

“I fell in love with it,” Peter says.

“Every year I kept getting more and more lessons and by the time I left high school I was going to university to do music as well.”

He became a mandolin wielding muso, playing in a number of folk bands.

“Music was my vocation, it was what I wanted to do and I did that for many years, up until 2016.”

This is when he expanded into filmmaking.

“I sold a bunch of my studio gear, like guitar amplifiers and microphones, to buy this little camera,” Peter says.

“That’s when I realised how much more expensive film making was than music production; but that got me started.

“I didn’t actually go to film school to learn how to make a film. I used Anticipation, this script I’d written, to be my education into how to make a film. So I just got stuck in.

“It took me 2 and a half years to make it because I was learning how to do it.

“I somehow managed to cobble together a little crew and a cast actually trusted me to do it. Luckily, I got through it; that was my first venture into it all.

Anticipation, Peter’s first feature film, won him 19 international film festival awards.

“And no one knew about my condition, about my visual impairment,” Peter says.

“They just knew that this is a film up against someone else’s film.”

Peter lives with Cone Dystrophy, a rare group of eye conditions that affect the cone cells in the retina. As a result, his central vision is about 3 per cent.

Due to clever technology in focussing within digital cameras, Peter has managed to shoot other award-winners. These include various music videos and a film, Note to Self, which won the Judges Choice Short Film Open category in the Focus on Ability Short Film festival in 2022.

He’s also recently completed a feature horror film called The Housemate, which has secured distribution overseas.

“Of course, there are many people who live with disability and they’re still doing their work or following their vocations or whatever they want to do,” Peter says.

“I guess for me it was important that I was achieving despite the disability, not because of it.

“People that would see what I was doing were responding to the work I was creating in and of itself instead of, ‘it’s good for someone who has disability’.

“That’s something I was trying to do.”

With International Day of People with Disability coming up in December, Peter says the day brings awareness.

“I guess it’s like any day that’s been given recognition,” he says.

“I think it’s an opportunity for those people who don’t really deal with people with disability in their lives every day, day to day.

“It’s an opportunity for people to reflect on or see what disability is and see the people behind that day and what it’s for.

“It’s important to highlight that there are people doing things, who you may not even realise are living with disability, whether it’s physical or mental or there’s something going on that they’re actually living with.

“This day brings to light that we are amongst you.”

When not creating award-winning films, Peter spends lots of time with his two kids and his wife, plays electric guitar in his original funk band, Dr. Cuz, and plays digital golf on his phone.