Andrew Wiseman - Principal of Pericles Films

Andrew Wiseman, Pericles Films, Pericles Film Productions

Andrew is an award winning producer of film and television drama who also has extensive experience as a documentary director. Andrew commenced his work as producer of the acclaimed Australian feature film The Tale of Ruby Rose (directed by Roger Scholes, co-produced with Bryce Menzies). Since then he has been a producer on a number of top rating Australian television dramas (mini-series and telemovies). The mini-series My Brother Jack and After the Deluge both won the Australian Film Institute award for best television drama. The tele-movie Waiting at the Royal won the prestigious Best-Made-For-TV Drama award at the Banff International Festival, 2001.

One of Andrew's most recent productions, Sisters of War, continued his interest in the production of high quality historical drama. This World War II drama was nominated in the category of Best Television Drama in the inaugural AACTA awards of 2012 and Claire van der Boom and Sarah Snook won the best actress awards at the Logie and AACTA award ceremonies respectively.

Andrew’s recent documentary series, Kokoda had a collective audience of nearly 1.5 million people.

Allied to his film and television work, Andrew has a keen interest in theories, both ancient and modern, relating to the human connection with narrative. The most recent expression of this interest is a doctoral thesis that explores the challenges and opportunities of transforming historical events into narrative drama for television. As he describes in his thesis:

A core part of the producer’s authorial role is to create a work that is vivid, intense and memorable. A television producer can craft a work of intensity and memorability by releasing the emotional elements of its story. MacMullen (1) draws these concepts together when he states “vividness, we may say, has emerged in the course of evolution as the key to remembering”. Part of the producer’s role is to employ the emotional elements of storytelling so that the work is vivid and memorable.

Film and television history drama should not be restrained. It aims to create impact, to create a visceral reaction. However, the capacity to create an intense reaction through harnessing emotional storytelling properties is not antithetical to also engaging reason.

Simon Schama, an historian who also works with television history, is convinced of the power of the television medium to engage the faculties of imagination and reason if it leaves a telling impression on the viewer. Schama (2) calls on Whig historian Thomas Macaulay when he makes the following point about television and history:

If it has the courage of its own convictions, and reinvents its own way of visiting the past, not just struggling to translate the issues of printed history … then it has a fighting chance … of making history which is not only “received by the reason but burnt into the imagination”.

Extract from the thesis entitled "Inspired by a true story.....  An assessment of how the dramatic elements of pity and fear can be applied by a producer seeking to transform historical events into narrative drama for television. Based on the case study of the production of Sisters of War (2010)."

(1) MacMullen, R. (2003). Feelings in history, ancient and modern Claremont: Regina Books.
(2) Schama cited in Bell, E., & Gray, A. (2007). History on television:charisma, narrative and knowledge. In H. Wheatley (Ed.), Re-viewing television history:critical issues in television historiography (pp. 142-155). London: I. B. Tauris.

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