Paul Mullan started his career with Television New Zealand in 1978. After eight years learning the many facets of television and specialising in Camera he relocated to Channel Ten in Sydney moving into studio directing for news and production. In 1991 he stepped out into private enterprise, firstly in partnership with one of Sydney's most prominent production houses, before establishing Black Magic Media in 1995.
Black Magic Media soon evolved into a small but strong television and corporate production company providing a raft of programs from corporate product DVDs to fully produced multi-satellite television productions for both television and corporate.
An early foray into television for Black Magic Media included the 4 x 4 Expeditions into the Malaysian jungle, Borneo and a month long cross country adventure from Cape Town to Cairo for the Ultimate African Safari.
Corporate & Satellite Production
In addition to TV projects, Black Magic's corporate client base included a huge range of industrial, commercial and pharmaceutical companies producing hundreds of video, news, sport and satellite projects for clients in Australia, USA, New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea and the UK. Black Magic Media also applied the same exacting TV production skills to conferences, symposiums and satellite broadcasts, especially relevant in Asia Pacific a decade or more ago. Today most of this work is carried out via much cheaper web based teleconferencing.
Paul’s personal interest in jet boats saw him establish World Series Jetsprinting with partners Jeremy O’Driscoll and later Eryn Moore to bring about the biggest advance in the world of high powered Jetsprinting with a competition run in USA, Australia and New Zealand. Jet Boat Marathon Racing was also a favourite and still features regularly on the Black Magic production calendar. Paul also travelled with and produced documentaries on six World Jet Boat Expeditions to all parts of the world providing some of the best jet boating vision seen globally.
Olympic Torch Relay
In 2000 Black Magic won the prestigious Sydney Olympic Torch Relay contract providing daily coverage of the torch's journey from Guam through to Sydney over 120 days for international news media through Channel 7. Subsequently the 2002 Manchester Games Baton Relay was also won and 50 days was spent on the road delivering daily news to the world through the BBC.
Around the same time tarmac rallying was becoming popular and soon contracts were in place with Classic Adelaide, Targa West and Targa NZ, the latter still part of our work today.
In 2007 Paul joined the newly established V8 Supercar TV unit as a contract producer of all support category programs produced and the following year Black Magic was awarded the contract to revamp and produce the weekly magazine show V8Xtra which screened on the Seven Network and TV 3 in NZ.
Gravel rallies have also featured predominantly on both sides of the Tasman for more than three decades be they full competition like The Australian Rally Championship we produced for Channel Ten for seven years or a charity rally for Variety Bash and Trillian Trek which we have produced for TV and social media since the 1990s. Today we still provide production services for the Otago International Classic Rally, Silver Fern Marathon Rally in New Zealand and The Alpine Rally of East Gippsland and Sunraysia Safari Cross Country Rally in Australia.
Paul's background still sees him hands on with cameras in some specialised roles combining shooting and directing, although his focus is on production and direction. In the last ten years Black Magic Media has carved out a specialised sport documentary niche in both tarmac and gravel rallies.
Black Magic also secured contracts for both the Australian Superbike Championship and Formula Xtreme motorcycle racing events for several years in the early 2000s as well.
For more than two decades Black Magic has successfully negotiated the highs and lows of television to maintain itself at the forefront of cost effective but high quality television and corporate production. This has been achieved by prudent crew planning and minimising of overheads – providing good client benefit in the process and all without losing that important aspect of enjoying what you do.
Today our work focuses more and more on social media delivery platforms and the concentration is on work that provides enjoyment, especially with wife Robyn joining the business as Production Manager behind the scenes. more often she is now behind a camera shooting rallies in-stage or jet boats racing on a river.
La Carrera Panamericana
In keeping with this philosophy Robyn & Paul travelled to Mexico for La Carrera Pan Americana, with five Australian race teams taking part in their premier road race, and produced a low budget TV documentary of their participation, which screened around the world.
This objective to enjoy what you’re doing is possibly why many staff who began with Black Magic full time, regularly return in freelance roles in both camera and editing.
The immediacy of social media enabled us to quickly transition our daily clips for TV news into Facebook and You Tube daily broadcasts and this became a feature of our work in the last decade.
Similarly, with the demise of more costly TV broadcast programs we developed the concept of producing daily social media updates in a way they could be cost effectively pulled together to form a TV special for substantially less than a fully produced documentary after the event.