The Story of Adam Lindsay Gordon

Jakin Manser as Adam Lindsay Gordon

Rider and Writer
A film by Brenton Manser and The Vanguard

SHORT HISTORY: In 2008 ‘Brenton Manser and the Vanguard’ set out 
to create a film documentary called ‘The Wreck of the Admella’ leading 
up to the 150th commemoration of the event. The Admella came 
to grief on our local southern coastline in 1859. This was our first work 
as a team.
We were so happy with our product and the team spirit that had 
formed around the project that we decided to continue telling local 
stories in film and song.
We are first and foremost a family folk band made up of Father, 
Mother, three sons and daughter-in-law, performing original songs of 
the stories from our south coast.
Branching into film was very easy with Brenton having contacts in the 
industry, the family being all musicians and able to compose all of the 
music needed, and forming an alliance with cinematographer and long 
time friend, Robert Tremelling.
Allan and Jenny Childs at Dingley Dell Cottage are very much into the 
history of the Admella and being cousins to Brenton and friends of the 
family, made it easy for them to become part of the team.
The second project for the team was ‘Old Mary’s Ride’: the story of the 
famous Vauxhall that crashed into the Blue Lake in Mt Gambier in 
1936. The film was directed and produced by Brenton Manser, filmed 
and edited by Robert Tremelling with music and acting from the whole 
team and computer animation by Jeshua Manser. The film featured 
the Mt Gambier Veteran and Vintage Car Club and was given great 
assistance by council, the local community and friends of the team.
This was a highly successful project with a sell-out Premiere of the 
film but even before that, became the talk of Mt Gambier when the 
original Vauxhall was located and brought back to the city for film re-
Since then the team has expanded again with the addition of a sound 
manager for live performance, a period clothing seamstress and an on-
location film sound manager, making 12 in the team.
The Next Big Thing: After a lengthy thought process and a couple of other short film projects/plays for the local council, we decided to film the story of Adam Lindsay Gordon. We were surprised to find that only one other film about Gordon is in existence and that was a silent film produced in 1916. Since Jakin Manser looked so much like ALG (thanks to Mum and her hairdressing/make-up skills) and was already part of the team, he decided to undertake the role. He immediately went into training learning how to ride a horse. (See photo above). The same team and functions of the team are in action for this project.
Brenton: “‘I took on a slightly different approach when writing the film plan with this one. In the other two projects we filmed interviews with people associated with the subjects and certain re-enactments as we could with the resources we had. In Rider and Writer, I have scripted what I want said and chosen look-a- likes to play the part of those people who were associated with Gordon. Without giving away too much, the story will be recounted through those characters, for example John Riddoch, and mixed with re-enactments. Because we are a self funded team, (and that was well thought through), we do not apply for funding for our projects. We rely on the good will of the community, volunteerism, the support of our local councils and simple ingenuity. If we need money for anything major, there are usually folks who are happy to help us. Our first two projects are available on DVD and sold locally (Dingley Dell Cottage) or through my website www.brentonmanser.com.au The sale of DVDs assists us in new projects. Rider and Writer should be finished by early next year, will be Premiered in Mt Gambier, and will also be available on DVD and most likely Blueray. Because we all hold down jobs to fund our projects, and work on the projects in our spare time, we do not set definite finish times. I suppose you could say ‘it’ll be finished when it’s finished’. I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant; it is very liberating to work like this and since funding for film making in Australia is virtually non-existent and calls for immense compromise, I believe we are forging a new way of film making that will possibly become the norm in the years to come”. Thanks to all those who are interested in our work and please contact us through the website if you would like to be placed on an emailing list for updates/progress reports. All the best Brenton Manser and The Vanguard