Mark Regan's biggest passion in life is film.
When he was a child, the Mandurah filmmaker and university tutor borrowed an old video camera from his dad's work and started to make his own movies.
"I'm not talking your usual kid movies," Mark laughed. "My siblings were the actors, I would have a soundtrack in the form of CDs playing in the background ... I even did my own explosion effects."
Now a husband and father himself, Mark has immersed himself in filmmaking, teaching Media and Film at the Murdoch Institute of Technology and making his own films.
After a sea-change that saw him and his family moving to Mandurah six years ago, Mark found himself in the midst of a new community where he knew no like-minded contacts.
"I wanted to find my people," Mark said. "One day I posted on Facebook about wanting local actors and crew members for my short film, and I realised there wasn't really a place designed to have those conversations."
When COVID hit, and lockdown started to impact the arts, Mark decided to start an online community that could bring local creatives together while they were physically isolated.
"I created a group called Mandurah and Regional WA filmmaking Network on Facebook," he said.
"I wanted it to be a place where people across all aspects of the film industry in Mandurah and regional areas could discuss their projects and call for collaboration."
The group has attracted almost 100 members from diverse artistic backgrounds related to film, including actors, filmmakers, make-up artists, lighting and sound technicians, cinematographers, directors and producers.
And Mark said he has found his people.
Since Mandurah's proposal for becoming a film-friendly city was passed by council in March, the possibilities and opportunities for filmmaking projects and creatives using the city as a base have been widened.
This has also lead to discussions and collaborations at a local level on filmmaking ideas and projects.
"The film-friendly city initiative was such an exciting and smart decision," Mark said. "I think it will be really good for Mandurah long-term, promoting creatives and lessening hesitation around bigger projects coming to the area."
With the lifting of WA's lockdowns Mark plans to bring the online Mandurah and Regional WA filmmaking Network together for in-person networking events, with their first catch-up next week.
"Our first meet up will be at the Bridge Garden Bar on April 13 from 5.30pm," he said. "Members will be able to share their films, call out for collaborators and network."
The group will aim to host three networking events a year in Mandurah, with the possibility of extending to other regions in the future.