When she was five Cate got hit in the head by a footy. It explains a lot. She attributes much of who she is to that event and to watching stacks of black and white TV, singing old war songs into hairbrushes and growing veggies with her Dad in her formative years.
Cate McQuillen is creatively driven.
From her home base in the Northern Rivers Region of NSW, she and her partner Hewey Eustace are mememe productions, creating 'out there' children's programming for a new generation of content seekers. With a myriad of skills and interests, her greatest assets are her approach and attitude and ability to generate ideas, motivate, inspire and see the 'big picture'. These days she wakes up and pinches herself.
How did she get from singing 'Good Morning Starshine', heading bush and making rosella jam to being the mama of a subversive preschool animation series...dirtgirlworld.
Her fledgling producer experience, which has included hoola hoops in New York and marketing in Cannes has lead to an international deal with the ABC, BBC and CBC and co-production with Canadian producers Decode Entertainment.
For Cate so much of it has to do with gathering a great team, greater than yourself, and then loving them. One might say she is a tad unconventional and a little disarming.
She thanks her lucky stars for satellite broadband, carbon credits, online shopping, fresh air and rainwater.
Photo: Sarah Nguyen
Originating from Melbourne, Hewey has called the gentler rhythm of sunny Northern New South Wales home for almost 20 years. His experience of 30 years in the music industry combined with a diverse range of media-related projects reveals a rich and colourful career.
Co-creator, executive producer, music supervisor, composer of dirtgirlworld music and co-owner of mememe productions, Hewey is a seasoned performer and musician who brings a combination of creativity and business savvy to the team. Hewey started playing, performing and composing at 9 years of age and is still doing so today. His music career has provided opportunities to tour Japan, the South Pacific and extensively throughout Australia.
He produced, arranged and wrote “dirtgirlworld” which won the 2002 Dolphin Award's Album of the year and was nominated for an ARIA (Australia Record Industry Award) in 2003. He is a skilled sound engineer and technician… and inventor!
Composing soundscapes and scores for documentaries and advertising, has enriched his musical experience. His ongoing involvement and participation in the industry informs his fresh new approach to writing and composing contemporary children’s music.
An engaged human, Hewey is interested in our planet, growing food, and helping save the environment through music.
dirtgirlworld..about the creation
When dreaming about dirtgirlworld, Hewey and Cate always envisaged something truly beautiful. A photomontage world that blended the real with the unreal , inhabited by characters that celebrated life outside and connected with children in a profound way.
This is why they chose to go down an untrodden path in preschool animation. They wanted characters with heart, that were real and genuine and spoke directly to the children who tuned in....sounds like live action ....but what they wanted was live action with a twist.
The decision to create characters with real eyes, mouths and bodies is the result of these desires.
The technique is ground breaking. It brings the opportunity for the animated characters of dirtgirl and scrapboy, to tell the story and share the joy with a real heart that shines through the eyes ...creating gorgeous, with an edge.
The choice of full faced characters such as ken, grubby and hayman pushes comedic performance, encapsulating all that is great about human range of expression and the quirkiness and fantasy that animation brings to a story world.
It’s pure silliness and a bizarre art form blowing away convention and hopefully introducing the audience to a rich visual palette in which to excite imaginations and inspire action.
They wanted dirtgirlworld kids to take what they experience on TV and step outside into their own equally fantastic rich worlds and get amongst it.
With the dream in their hearts and the visual clearly in the front of their minds they went about collecting a team that could make the dream a reality.
They believed it was about collecting a team of people way more talented then them, sharing the vision and then loving them as they all worked out a way together, to create dirtgirlworld.
It’s a contemporary look, has a music video feel, is stylish, innovative and engaging ...and more beautiful than they ever imagined.
The result of many hearts and talents coming together with a single focus.
As well as producing the show they created it and have been involved up to their eyeballs, across all elements of production. So as well as creating the concept, they explored the visual concept with the amazing Jean Camden and James Hackett of Hackett Film, Sydney, wrote the premises, wrote half the episodes, all the songs, musically scored each episode, directed performance, sang the songs, played the instruments, edited, shaped and encouraged everyone to come together in an endeavour that was always focussed on creating excellence for a generation of new hearts and planet guardians.
They are creatively driven, positive dreamers who are committed to the planet and daring enough to believe they can change the world...just a little bit.
dirtgirlworld is an opportunity for them to be best they can be.
clubdirtgirlworld...moving viewing to doing
dirtgirl is passionate about
‘doing’ things to help the planet.
Everyday she meets other
kids that feel the same.
Brainwave!Why not start a club, where kids who care for the planet can
hang out, have a say, get involved and have fun?
And that’s exactly what she did
Made for the wee set, not only is it a place for planet loving preschoolers…
it’s also an early intro to the world of social media.
At club dirtgirlworld, these digi natives create a username and password and
an avatar. They can save, send, like, download, delete, review and record.
It’s uber cool and uber safe in this real people moderated online playspace.
Designed around the forest at the back of dirtgirl’s place
this beautiful and magical setting
lets little voices say big things,
make planet wishes,
celebrate the great things they are doing
and start an actionist attitude that we hope sticks as they grow.
It’s ad free.
It’s audio rather than text driven.
It’s made for little kids by people with little kid hearts.
It’s club dirtgirlworld!
created and produced by mememe productions with the sensational assistance of Screen Australia