In the remote wilderness, when necessity was the mother of invention, a maverick bunch of kids began experimenting with something that would change the world of adventure travel. These kids would become the pioneers “extreme sports”. Innovating new ways of tapping nature’s forces for adrenalin, they set off in the 1960’s and 1970’s on a global quest to find adventure paradise, armed with home-made movie equipment.
Among the characters are the likes of AJ Hackett and Al Byrne who take us on the journey of a lifetime to discover virgin paradise in Noosa, Gold Coast, Bali, Mexico, Europe, New Zealand and Africa during the 60’s and 70’s. The 45 years of golden unseen footage was restored by Peter Jackson’s team who discovered it during a technical test when making “Lord of the Rings” and were so amazed b it they suggested it be made into a film with great musicians like Cat Stevens contributing to a classic soundtrack for the film.
The story connects to audiences, young and old and the takeaway is personal INSPIRATION. Amongst the adrenaline and adventure, we witness the enormous changes in our planet over one lifetime and the solutions to the major issues which affect our future and civilisation, such as climate, future energy, economic growth and personal lifestyle. But it’s all hidden under the bonnet of an exhilarating cinema experience.
“LAST PARADISE” is the creation of physicist Clive Neeson whose childhood passion in the 60’s was inventing adventures and new electronic technology technology. “It is my life’s work. Capturing on film the pioneering of those wilderness sports which push the limits with the forces of nature and what is possible for humanity. It began with my mother, who was raised in an orphanage and escaped it all to become a wildlife cinematographer in Africa after the war. My parents raised four boys remotely and we all became addicted to that daily brush with danger. I began filming at the age of 15 with a broken camera that I bought in a pawn shop because as a kid I was driven by the dream of what this film would be and what life could be for a bunch of mates that shared the same childhood dream,” Clive said.
With a Master’s Degree in physics Clive converted a Silicon Valley career into an adventure lifestyle with like-minded friends who all found a way to turn their life’s passions into rewarding careers and fulfilling adventurous lives. LAST PARADISE weaves scientific and educational elements into an eye-opening and inspiring cinema experience for any age showing both kids and adults what is really possible in life if we believe in our own dream.
As for an insight into the future of where our world is headed, LAST PARADISE arms us with a vision: “We cannot see where we are going unless we plainly see where we’ve been and only such original footage can clearly give us that vision on a global scale” Clive said.
Winner of a string of international awards including Most Popular Film at the New Zealand Film Festival, Best of BANFF in Canada and The Ambassador of Green Award at XDance and with National Geographic as international distributor, the “Last Paradise” is becoming an inspiration for the youth of today as well as a tool for education and social change.
Director/producer, Clive Neeson, is a man straddling two worlds. On the one hand, his passion was filming friends who were credited for pioneering what we call extreme sports. On the other, Neeson gained a Masters degree in physics under fusion energy pioneer, Bruce Liley, and innovated digital technologies, such as the world’s first digital climate monitoring machine and robotic vision (digital movie camera).
Neeson grew up in East Africa, where his parents me filming wildlife during the 1950’s. On moving to New Zealand, he met a maverick group of children who would become the pioneers of modern extreme sports. Early footage depicts how their lack of toys and no TV acted as a catalyst to experimentation in the raw wilderness.
As teenagers in the 1970’s, Neeson and friends were inspired to explore the roads less traveled in a global search for adventure ‘paradise.’ We personally experience their daredevil adventures, set in lands and cultures that have long since gone.
In their quest for adrenaline we see a novel use of science as they harness the powerful forces of nature. Ranging from extreme surfing to hangliding and culminating in the audacious jump off the Eiffel Tower by lead character and bungy pioneer, AJ Hackett. “LAST PARADISE” is an exclusive witness to the very first pioneers and today’s very best. Its entertaining characters are “maverick” scientists and adventurers who inspire us to pursue our own dreams.
Remarkably, this film has been a lifetime project. From age 15 Neeson had the dream of making LAST PARADISE and created his own filming equipment to capture a unique perspective, which puts the audience in the driver’s seat. Forty years later it was the team at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production who recognized the quality of the footage and encouraged him to create the film using their studios. What resulted was the fulfilment of not only his own childhood dream but also of his friends and everyone who can relate to being a kid with the world at their feet.