1-10-1947 – 24-3-2006
Barbi Taylor, Film Producer, had a passion for film and the associated
arts. Once Barbi had committed herself to a production, she gave every
last ounce of her strength and energy to that film. Her experience,
garnered over the formative years of the revival of Australian films,
was boundless as was her enthusiasm and love of the craft of filmmaking.
As a producer or production manager, what ever her role, Barbi revealed
an understanding and concern for all facets of production, always
seeking the best often under trying circumstances. Her loyalty was
unchallenged, a loyalty that sometimes was not appreciated by others.
Barbara Taylor began with Hexagon Productions in Melbourne working as
Production Secretary to Tim Burstall, David Bilcock and Robin Copping,
on the breakthrough production of "Alvin Purple", one of the first
Australian films to engage public interest and support in the 1970’s.
Barbi even managed a small acting role in the film, which would have given her huge enjoyment.
Tim Burstall’s later films, including "End Play" saw Barbi expand her expertise as Unit Manager.
In mid 1977 Barbi worked as production manager for young Melbourne
producer Antony I. Ginnane’s joint venture with Bill Fayman and
distributor Filmways, Australian International Film Corporation which a
year later became FG Film Productions.
From 1977 through 1980 for Ginnane Barbi oversaw the production of
"Blue Fire Lady" (1977, director Ross Dimsey); "Patrick" (1978,
director Richard Franklin); "Snapshot" (1979, director Simon Wincer)
and "Thirst" (1979, director Rod Hardy), all of which were shot on
location in and around Melbourne.
Antony Ginanne recalls, "It was clear we would need someone to run the
day to day production nuts and bolts both on location when we were
shooting and in our offices between films. She was smart, amusing,
sassy, opinionated and organised. Most of all she was indomitably
optimistic which is a treasured quality in a production manager in the
independent film business.
She kept the company together and was as comfortable dealing with our
private investors, the government film bureaucrats who were beginning
to make their presence felt; our crews, the labs and our foreign sales
guys (then in New York).
Barbi was a staunch friend through thick and thin and instinctively knew who the good guys were.
When she left FG to do "Road Games" (1980, director Richard Franklin) I
was excited she was striking out on her own as Co- Producer and of
course she went on from there to a long list of distinguished producer
In 1986 Barbi produced the highly successful children’s adventure film
"Frog Dreaming", starring Henry Thomas, fresh from his successful film
Not resting on laurels, Barbi undertook the role of Associate and/or
Line Producer on many feature and television projects including "Heaven
Tonight" (1990,director Pino Amenta), with the young Guy Pearce, and
two of Jackie Chan’s films, "Mr Nice Guy" and "Jackie Chan’s First
Strike". TV series as Producer included "Chuck Finn", "Fast Tracks" and
"Ship to Shore".
Her last film as Producer was "Subterano". But as always, Barbi had irons in the fire and was planning her next production.
Apart from her love of film was her love of family and Barbi was
devoted to her sister Trish and her niece and nephew, and was always
proudly reporting their activities to her work associates and friends.
Barbi was also a "second mother" when her friend from Hexagon days,
Christine Suli died suddenly and left three daughters. With Eve and
Olivia in particular, Barbi embraced the two teenage girls and guided
them towards maturity with a love and devotion that surpassed mere
Barbi always had a love of theatre, in particular musical theatre and
opera and was a devotee of the works of Stephen Sondheim and the
talents of Barbara Cook.
A dear friend to those who knew her and an Australian filmmaker whose
talents were to be admired and treasured, as Barbi was herself.
Anthony Ginnane’s summation,
"During Barbi’s illness she was determined and resolute and till the
end I know she thought the cancer was just another production problem
She is one of the unsung heroes of the new Australian film industry who was there at the beginning and loved it till the end.
She will be missed but not forgotten"
Brian Kavanagh A.S.E.