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WA screen awards see new vision

Geoffrey Drake-Brockman with contenders Sean Tinnion and Miranda Edmonds. Picture: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Acrucial part of the classing up of the WA Screen Awards - glamorous new venue (the State Theatre Centre), high-profile host (Claire Hooper) - is a new statuette for the winners designed by one of the State's leading sculptors, Geoffrey Drake-Brockman.

Drake-Brockman says his design is based on the process of vision, which is appropriate for an award acknowledging achievement in the screen industries.

"In vision you always have light passing through a lens. The light is then focused on to a surface which could be the retina of the eye or the photo receptor in the camera. The process is the same," Drake-Brockman explains.

"The other reference to vision is that the three colours used in this statuette - red, green and blue - are the optical primary colours. These are the colours that all colours are broken down into for photographic and video recording."

The techno bent of Drake-Brockman's WASA statue is nothing new for the Dalkeith-based artist who is best known for incorporating robotics into large-scale public artworks. His most-famous piece is the 10.5m pineapple-like installation outside Perth Arena whose 108 aluminium panels open and close like petals in response to people walking past.

While he is working on a considerable smaller scale with the WASA statuettes, Drake-Brockman says he was afforded the same freedom to create as he generally enjoys with his other commissions.

What makes the project unusual for the sculptor is that he has not just designed the WASA prize but is manufacturing 30 statuettes for the various categories. "My son has been helping me make the statuettes. I think he will be anxious to get back to school," Drake-Brockman laughs.

Miranda Edmonds, co-director of the short Tango Underpants, and Sean Tinnion, who is nominated twice in the best original music (short form) category, are among the WA filmmakers who will be hoping to walk away with one of the Drake-Brockman statuettes.

This year the Film and Television Institute, which runs the WA Screen Awards, received an impressive 448 entries from 172 entrants across 143 screen projects. This year's most heavily nominated film is Antony Webb's The Fan. Other films with multiple nominations include Roderick Mackay's Factory 293, the Sam Worthington surf movie Drift and horror flick Sororal.